Dalai Lama: Taking care of others promotes peace

Source: Press and Sun

SYRACUSE— Against a backdrop of escalating violence in the Middle East, the Dalai Lama said Monday at a peace conference at Syracuse University that “genuine peace must come through inner peace, taking care of others.”

Two days of panel discussions began Monday with a symposium on the Middle East. The 77-year-old Dalai Lama, the exiled Buddhist spiritual leader of Tibet, is the centerpiece of the “Common Ground for Peace” gatherings.

“What’s peace? Absence of violence is not peace,” the Buddhist leader said. “Peace is something positive. Genuine, lasting peace is true, inner peace. You have to take care of others. Peace will not come from the sky. Peace must come through our actions.”

Panelists included former CIA director R. James Woolsey Jr., former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Andrew Young, Martin Luther King III, Nobel laureates Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei and Shirin Ebadi, and author Irshad Manji.

More than 1,000 people, many of them students, filled Goldstein Auditorium at the Schine Student Center on Monday morning to listen to a discussion of the rise of democracy in the Middle East. The symposium got under way even as Turkey and Syria continued firing artillery and mortars across their volatile border, stoking fears that Syria’s civil war might escalate into a regional conflagration.

Woolsey offered a simple solution: “Get off oil.”

“It’s happened to other commodities in history, but this business of power going with a commodity that has a huge amount of economic rent is a very serious problem,” Woolsey said. “I honestly believe that we cannot deal with this simply by drilling more for oil in the United States. We’ve got to get off oil and break the cartel (OPEC), which has 78 percent of the world’s conventional oil.”

Young offered an even simpler way to peace.

“If everybody had water, that is justice. That’s the simplest justice,” Young said. “Peace for the poorest of the poor is bread and water. We have to have a right to water, food, to health.”  Read further.

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