On June 17, the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, delivered the commencement speech at the University of California, San Diego.
His central theme throughout the speech was the idea that world peace depends on inner peace — you can’t solve global issues without first attending to your own emotional life.
To a lot of people, even self-mastery might seem like a herculean effort; never mind getting rid of war and poverty across the planet. But the Dalai Lama proposed a formula that can help with both: education and warmheartedness.
“Education alone [does not] guarantee to bring that,” he said, referring to both inner peace and world peace. “So warmheartedness is very very essential.”
He went on:
“Combine warmheartedness and this brilliant brain. Combine these two. Then, firstly, individuals themselves [will] be happier, more calm, more relaxed. And then to others also, that kind of attitude will automatically bring more friends. …
“A happy family [and a] happy society ultimately very much depends on our inner peace. So inner peace — just mere education [does] not necessarily guarantee to bring inner peace. With warmheartedness, then inner peace comes.”
The selection of the Dalai Lama, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989 and is the spiritual leader of Tibet, as UCSD’s commencement speaker was highly controversial. Many Chinese students at UCSD protested the Dalai Lama’s visit, since they believe he is a separatist who wants to split China from Tibet, Quartz reported.
Still, the Dalai Lama focused his message on peace and on cultivating compassion for other people.
“So now, the time comes,” the Dalai Lama said. “Pay more attention to promot[ing] [a] deeper human value. That’s compassion.”