Last week I sat outside for several hours in the unseasonable heat on the West Lawn waiting for the Dalai Lama to emerge out of the Capitol after he was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal. The Medal ceremony was shown on a large screen outside. I have to be honest, it sickened me to no end to see the Dalai Lama sitting next to George Bush. A man of such conscience and peace, sitting next to a war-monger. However, this was actually the first time that a sitting president has met with the Dalai Lama in public (pissing China off to no end).
Anyhow, it was amazing just to be so close to His Holiness - in fact, it moved me to tears when the crowd (including my cute dad who was on the phone with me at the time) started chanting "Long live the Dalai Lama! Long live the Dalai Lama!"
His Holiness made a point of talking about the environment in his remarks. Here is a portion of what he said:
"Since you have recognized my efforts to promote peace, understanding and nonviolence, I would like to respectfully share a few related thoughts. I believe this is precisely the time that the United States must increase its support to those efforts that help bring greater peace, understanding and harmony between peoples and cultures. As a champion of democracy and freedom, you must continue to ensure the success of those endeavors aimed at safeguarding basic human rights in the world. Another area where we need US leadership is environment. As we all know, today our earth is definitely warming up and many scientists tell us that our own action is to a large part responsible. So each one of us must, in whatever way we can, use our talents and resources to make a difference so that we can pass on to our future generations a planet that is at least safe to live on.
Many of world's problems are ultimately rooted in inequality and injustice, whether economic, political or social. Ultimately, this is a question of the wellbeing of all of us. Whether it is the suffering of poverty in one part of the world, or whether it is the denial of freedom and basic human rights in another part, we should never perceive these events in total isolation. Eventually their repercussions will be felt everywhere. I would like to appeal to you to take a leadership role in an effective international action in addressing these problems, including the huge economic imbalance. I believe the time has now come to address all these global issues from the perspective of the oneness of humanity, and from a profound understanding of the deeply interconnected nature of our today's world."Full transcript here.