(Due to there only being one of me, this post is also found at Brilliant at Breakfast)
Last week I went to the NJ gubernatorial debate in Trenton. This week, for the amazingly low price of ten dollars, American, I got to go see the Dalai Lama. No, really.
As world leaders go, he was by far the neatest one I've ever seen. OK, I've seen exactly 2, having been at some giant speech where President Bush (Sr.) was when I was in college. Still, I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that no way was Daddy Bush as cool as this guy.
He started his speech with self-effacing remarks. He told us that since the concepts of peace, war and reconciliation haven't changed, he really didn't have anything new to say. So, he said, if you're bored during the time that I'm speaking, I'm sorry. At least the weather is very pleasant, today, he said.
And then, he said the simple things that we were all there to hear him say. He said that all acts that come from compassion, those acts are peace. All acts that come from hatred, anger, jealousy - those are violence. And I understood what he meant.
He said that sometimes he thinks that Christians are better than Buddhists, because a Buddhist can choose to isolate himself from the world, rather than try to change it for the better, and still be a good Buddhist. He said that it did not offend him when someone referred to him as a good Christian.
At the end, he reminded us that if we had found his speech boring, well, it was over now, and we could go home. I now hope to one day be as cool as Tenzin Gyatzo, the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet.