We need an education of the heart

Dalai Lama: We need an education of the heart            

Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama greets people in Huy, Belgium on May 29, 2006. (Geert Vanden Wijngaert Associated Press)  Los Angeles Times November 13, 2017

Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama

When the president of the United States says “America first,” he is making his voters happy. I can understand that. But from a global perspective, this statement isn’t relevant. Everything is interconnected today.

The new reality is that everyone is interdependent with everyone else. The United States is a leading nation of the free world. For this reason, I call on its president to think more about global-level issues. There are no national boundaries for climate protection or the global economy. No religious boundaries, either. The time has come to understand that we are the same human beings on this planet. Whether we want to or not, we must coexist.

History tells us that when people pursue only their own national interests, there is strife and war. This is shortsighted and narrow-minded. It is also unrealistic and outdated. Living together as brothers and sisters is the only way to peace, compassion, mindfulness and more justice.

The time has come to understand that we are the same human beings on this planet. Whether we want to or not, we must coexist.

Religion can to a certain degree help to overcome division. But religion alone will not be enough. Global secular ethics are now more important than the classical religions. We need a global ethic that can accept both believers and nonbelievers, including atheists.