The Dalai Lama spoke to a crowd of thousands Tuesday at the Gwinnett Arena as part of a visit to Emory University. His Holiness is a Presidential Distinguished Professor at Emory and the Buddhist leader of Tibet, who lives in exile in India.
His public talk focused on how people can be responsible citizens in the 21st century. The Dalai Lama said contributing to our global society requires education, compassion and conversation.
“In order to create [a] peaceful century, we must develop [a] strong belief [that] any problem must solve through talk, through dialogue,” said the Dalai Lama.
He said conflict is born out of self-centered actions, which have larger implications in a global society.
“Destruction of your neighbor is destruction of yourself because everything [is] interdependent,” he explained. “That’s our new reality. So now, we have to think how to build this more compassionate society.”
The Dalai Lama said humans are social animals, so the future depends on individuals building a better sense of community for themselves.
“Through education, we can develop firm conviction in the mind. So then change humanity, not through United Nations or through government--at the United States through Capitol Hill or [the] White House. I don’t think you see change,” he joked.