Sunday, April 20, 2008

The Dalai Lama and Earth Day

On Sunday, I went to a lecture. It's true that I've already gone to my last lecture of college; this was a bit different: I just went to a lecture given by the Dalai Lama. That's right. His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. The lecture was entitled, "Earth Day Reflections" since Monday was Earth Day.

He wore a red visor on his head, which matched his red robe. He sat in a big leather chair with his legs crossed beneath him. It felt more like I was getting coffee with professor--who doesn't speak great English, though, lol--than sitting in a basketball stadium listening to a Nobel Peace Prize AND a Congressional Gold Medal recipient. It was pretty cool that a man of his magnitude could have that effect on an audience.

His speech was mainly on sustainability and environmental responsibility, and also compassion, tolerance and inter-religious understanding. Here's a quote: "Each of us must learn to work not just for his or her own self, family or nation, but for the benefit of all mankind. Universal responsibility is the real key to human survival."

It really got me thinking about what I can do, since I am moving out and becoming an adult now. Chris and I have talked about getting solar panels installed once
we actually get a house. So then we would actually be producing energy for ourselves, and when we have an excess, it goes back to the power company and gets distributed elsewhere. Pretty neat, huh? I've seen a lot of other shows on alternative ways to save energy and water and such within your home. I really want to do as much as we can to protect the environment. (Although I must admit, the chances of us living in one of those self-sustained garbage houses out in the desert is pretty unlikely. lol)

The strange part of all this, however, was all the protesters outside. Apparently China is none too fond of the Dalai Lama. According to the Ann Arbor News: "A pro-China demonstration continued throughout the day, with about 100 protesters in a couple of locations passing out literature and engaging passers-by in discussion in support of China over its dispute with Tibet." They were also holding a lot of signs about the Olympics since they are being held in Bejing.

All in all, it was a pretty interesting experience.