Dalai Lama opinion piece “Why I’m Hopeful About the World’s Future” for The Washington Post.

An opinion piece, published in The Washington Post Monday, saw its author His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, who is currently living in exile in India, expressing his reasons for feeling grateful and hopeful. He begins the article by thanking the Indian government and the people of India for helping him and his fellow Tibetans to live in dignity and freedom, to lead a life where it is possible for them to keep their culture, language, and their Buddhist traditions alive.

According to the Dalai Lama, it has been six decades since he left his homeland, Tibet. His generation has witnessed so much violence, more than 200 million people killed in conflicts in the past century. Even in this 21st century, there is no end in sight to the violence that is happening in the Middle East. Syria is facing one of the greatest refugee crises in the history of the world.

As a refugee himself, he could connect with the situation and empathize with all those people fleeing their homeland. In such situations, it is easy to be overwhelmed by despair and hopelessness. However, it is necessary to be optimistic and realistic in this early years of the 21st century. It is encouraging to see people across the world responding with compassion and mercy towards the plight of refugees.

He and his fellow Tibetans may have not yet been able to return to Tibet, however, they are grateful for the humanitarian support that they have received, and are still receiving, from people across the world, including the United States.

Recognition of universal human rights, the growing international consensus in support of gender equality, respect for women, a widespread rejection of war as a means of solving problems, all the valuable works being done to counter terrorism, a significant reduction in the nuclear weapons: all are reasons to be hopeful in this 21st century.

The Dalai Lama asserts that the idea of total victory for one side and the total defeat for the other is completely outdated. History has shown that violence only leads to further violence. Peaceful democracies have always been more successful in removing authoritarian regimes than violent protests.

Prayer should always be accompanied by productive dialogues and sensible actions. Everyone should work towards peace with the perspective that all the people in the world belong to one family. Dalai Lama says that he is a person who believes in “secular ethics,” an approach to ending conflicts and finding solutions to the environmental crisis through education based on common experience, common sense, and scientific findings.

The Dalai Lama also says that it is encouraging to see the world nations working together for the health of the planet. He has a more personal connection to the issue since Tibet is the world’s highest plateau and an epicenter of global climate change. Global warming affects the country three times faster than the rest of the world.

The Dalai Lama ends the article by stating that it is possible to achieve peace eventually because of the basic compassionate nature of human beings.

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