A Message for the New Millennium
friendlysystems at mindspring.com
Wed Jan 5 10:38:05 JEST 2000
Here is a message that "speaks my mind".
> Message of
> His Holiness the Dalai Lama
> to the New Millennium
>Many people seem to be excited about the new millennium, but the new
>millennium in itself will be nothing special. As we enter into the new
>millennium things will be the same; there will be nothing unusual. However,
>if we really want the next millennium to be happier, more peaceful and more
>harmonious for humankind we will have to make the effort to make it so.
>This is in our hands, but especially in the hands of the younger generation.
>We have had many experiences during this century - constructive as well as
>extremely destructive ones. We must learn from these experiences. We need
>to approach the next millennium more holistically, with more openness and
>farsightedness. If we are going to make the right kind of efforts to make
>the future of the world better, I believe the following matters are of
>1. While engaging in material progress and taking care of physical
>well-being we need to pay equal attention to developing peace of mind and
>thus taking care of the internal aspect of our being.
>2. Along with education, which generally deals only with academic
>accomplishments, we need to develop more altruism and a sense of caring and
>responsibility for others in the minds of the younger generation studying
>in various educational institutions. This can be done without necessarily
>involving religion. One could therefore call this 'secular ethics', as it
>in fact consists of basic human qualities such as kindness, compassion,
>sincerity and honesty.
>3. This past century in some ways has been a century of war and bloodshed.
>It has seen a year by year increase in defense spending by most countries
>in the world. If we are to change this trend we must seriously consider the
>concept of non-violence, which is a physical expression of compassion. In
>order to make non-violence a reality we must first work on internal
>disarmament and then proceed to work on external disarmament. By internal
>disarmament I mean ridding ourselves of all the negative emotions that
>result in violence. External disarmament will also have to be done
>gradually, step by step. We must first work on the total abolishment of
>nuclear weapons and gradually work up to total demilitarisation throughout
>the world. In the process of doing this we also need to work towards
>stopping the arms trade, which is still very widely practiced because it is
>so lucrative. When we do all these things, we can then hope to see in the
>next millennium a year by year decrease in the military expenditure of the
>various nations and a gradual working towards demilitarisation.
>Human problems will, of course, always remain, but the way to resolve them
>should be through dialogue and discussion. The next century should be a
>century of dialogue and discussion rather than one of war and bloodshed.
>4. We need to address the issue of the gap between the rich and the poor,
>both globally and nationally. This inequality, with some sections of the
>human community having abundance and others on the same planet going hungry
>or even dying of starvation, is not only morally wrong, but practically
>also a source of problems. Equally important is the issue of freedom. As
>long as there is no freedom in many parts of the world there can be no real
>peace and in a sense no real freedom for the rest of the world.
>5. For the sake of our future generations, we need to take care of our
>earth and of our environment. Environmental damage is often gradual and not
>easily apparent and by the time we become aware of it, it is generally too
>late. Since most of the major rivers flowing into many parts of south-east
>Asia originate from the Tibetan plateau, it will not be out of place to
>mention here the crucial importance of taking care of the environment in
>6. Lastly, one of the greatest challenges today is the population
>explosion. Unless we are able to tackle this issue effectively we will be
>confronted with the problem of the natural resources being inadequate for
>all the human beings on this earth.
>We need to seriously look into these matters that concern us all if we are
>to look forward to the future with some hope.
>January 1, 2000
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