Author: Michael Stone
Responding to the recent massacre in Paris, the Dalai Lama argues for “humanistic values” while declaring that the problem of terrorism “cannot be resolved through prayers.”
The Dalai Lama condemned the killings in the Friday-night Paris terror attacks while speaking at the 5th Convocation of the Lovely Professional University (LPU) in Phagwara, Punjab. Concerning the terrorist attacks the Tibetan leader opined:
Despite its many spectacular developments, the 20th century was also a period of unprecedented violence springing from the idea that problems can best be solved by force. Much of the violence of the early 21st century can be seen as spilling over from that. However, no wants to face problems. We only want to live a peaceful life, but we need to pursue a systematic programme of education, from KG to university, to bring this about. If we can do this, the 21st century could become a period of peace and dialogue.
Violence is a reaction by short-sighted, out-of-control people. At 81, I believe it cannot be resolved through prayers or government help. We have to begin the change at individual level and then move on to neighborhood and society.
Speaking to the German publication Deutsche Welle about the deadly Paris attacks, the Tibetan spiritual leader echoed his previous comments at LPU, saying that people should not expect God to resolve man-made problems, and that a systematic approach is needed to foster humanistic values:
We need a systematic approach to foster humanistic values, of oneness and harmony. If we start doing it now, there is hope that this century will be different from the previous one. It is in everybody’s interest. So let us work for peace within our families and society, and not expect help from God, Buddha or the governments.
The Dalai Lama received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989, and is known for his decades-long struggle for Tibet’s autonomy and his commitment to nonviolence. The Dalai Lama fled Tibet in 1959, and has been living in exile ever since.