"He doesn't see sides..."
The Dalai Lama was in Washington DC last week as a guest of the American Enterprise Institute. As a conservative think tank filled with economists and financial leaders who take up capitalistic issues and materialistic topics, one might wonder why the self-described socialist was invited to address such a polar opposite?
The answer from the groups president; Arthur C. Brooks might surprise you. "We're here," he said "to talk about what matters to us most...as an economist it hurts me to tell you, money's not on the list."
Hmmm... Now there's a rich comment. Moral markets anyone?
Must be some inner conflict with Mr. Brooks that it 'hurts' for him to acknowledge his beliefs. None-the-less, it is refreshing and appreciated to see his honesty. Or rather, hear it.
I think the sheer authenticity of the Dalai Lama as a human being had a little to do with that exposed confliction. Probably a lot...
As a growing segment of our culture is taking up the concern about materialism, the widening income gap; both real and perceived, between the 'haves' and the 'have nots' and over-all equity in our capitalistic society, figures like the Dali Lama act like a bell. His ring is inherently simple, beautiful in it's approach; taking us a bit by surprise; coming at us from the blurred edges of our peripheral comprehension.
Until we hear the ring.
His English is not the best. Especially when he speaks spontaneously. It is powerfully effective, however. If you can allow the 'ring' to reach your soul...
"Being happy and well prove auspiciousness"
"To try to seek right method to bring happy life."
"Where start? From government? No. from individual - then we can make little contribution. That I feel most important."
(We face) a "turning-point century."
Melinda Henneberger, writer for the Washington Post wrote that the Dalia Lama was following his own advice in keeping an open mind and heart about capitalists as a group who "only take money, then exploitation."
"Now, he added, I develop more respect for capitalism."
Ring-ring-ring... I am-I be-I ring in harmony.
"we should be wise-selfish rather than foolish-selfish..." (Happiness comes from self-confidence)
There's a good one to work on for a while!
At the end of the session, Brooks referred to their ever-smiling guest as "the most wonderful man we've met in so much time."
According to Henneberger, there was a young Indian woman in the group with the astute observation that having "no agenda" helps. "He doesn't see sides..."
He does have a mission, though; to profess the virtues of a "happy life."
"He doesn't see sides...Neither does the 'ring'.