As the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism and leader of the Tibetan government in exile for half a century, the Dalai Lama has well considered views of the kind of government that is most appropriate for the flourishing of human nature.
The Dalai Lama says that “many successful freedom movements have been based on the true expression of people’s most basic feelings.”
The most successful movements are based on truth
His words are a valuable reminder that truth itself is still seriously lacking in much of our political life.
There’s more when it comes to truth:
“Especially in the conduct of international relations we pay very little respect to truth. Inevitably, weaker nations are manipulated and oppressed by stronger ones, just as the weaker sections of most societies suffer at the hands of the more affluent and powerful.”
He’s had experience with this considering the nature of China’s occupation of Tibet. His words also apply to the United States and Russia, which have each occupied nations in the Middle East and Central Asia over the last decade.
Global politics requires love and compassion
On the nature global politics, the Dalai Lama says the following:
“The world has grown smaller and the world’s people have become almost one community… I believe that to meet the challenge of our times, human beings will have to develop a greater sense of universal responsibility.”
“Each of us must learn to work not just for his or her own self, family or nation, but for the benefit of all humankind. Universal responsibility is the real key to human survival. It is the best foundation for world peace, the equitable use of natural resources, and the proper care of the environment.”
This urgent need for cooperation is sorely needed given the challenges we face. The Dalai Lama recognizes “that the most secure foundation for the new world order is not simply broader political and economic alliances, but each individual’s genuine practice of love and compassion.”
Here’s the key point:
“These qualities are the ultimate source of human happiness, and our need for them lies at the very core of our being. The practice of compassion is not just a symptom of unrealistic idealism, but the most effective way to pursue the best interests of others as well our own. The more we – as nations or as individuals – depend upon others, the more it is in our own best interests to ensure their well-being.”
Originally published on The Power of Ideas.