Last night, around midnight, I happened to check my emails. I could not easily believe what I read in an email from the college president. His Holiness the Dalai Lama is coming to Middlebury College in October! This is a very happy news. Though I will be graduated then, the thought of having him coming to Middlebury College makes me so happy. Also, I have already made up my mind. No matter wherever I will be then, I will do my best to come back to Middlebury.
I find hope in the darkest of days, and focus in the brightest. I do not judge the universe.
Right from my childhood, His Holiness the Dalai Lama has been my idol. Though I did not understand much about who he was and what he did, he had never failed to warm up my heart, every time I saw him. Back when I was in a Tibetan refugee school in India, we used to wait by the road sides and greet him whenever he passes by our school. He always had a very cheerful smile on his face and greeted his well-wishers with much sincerity – looked early through his car window and waved constantly at us.
As I grew older, I learned more about our country, its history, His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s role in our society and why he came into exile – to India in 1959. Knowing more about him instilled in me, a much greater respect and admiration for him. His undying courage to live up to his moral principles, and to truly shoulder the responsibilities of a global citizen, garnered him profound respect and love, from all over the world. His words on the importance of upholding the universal moral values: love, nonviolence, understanding, compassion and kindness, are translated into numerous languages and quoted most frequently. He has traveled all over the world and his messages reached millions around the globe. He was awarded the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize in 1989, for his decades-long commitment to nonviolence, in resolving the Tibetan People’s struggle for Independence. As the spiritual and political leader of the Tibetan people for many decades, he has taught his people to be resilient during the times of immense difficulties, and to never give up on their hope to restore justice in Tibet.
On a more personal level, I had the luck to meet His Holiness the Dalai Lama before. When I was in High School, I was elected as the “Girl Captain” of the school. During one of our School Anniversaries, His Holiness the Dalai Lama visited our school. On behalf of the students, I had the honor to offer a KHATAK (white silk scarf) to His Holiness. It is a Tibetan tradition to offer KHATAK to greet someone. His Holiness accepted my KHATAK with such kindness that I could not hold back my tears. He patted on my cheeks and said cheerfully, “Thank you. And always be strong and happy.” Those words still echo in my heart. When the days are hard, I think of him and his words, and I feel tremendous courage.
Becoming a refugee at the age of eleven and never seeing my family again, there are times when I am heavily consumed by sadness and lose the strength to be look further than my own problems. I would ask, “Why cannot I go home once in a while? Why cannot see my family once in a while? Why this and why that?” But afterwards, when I regain my sense of reasoning, I would remind myself that I am not alone. From His Holiness the Dalai Lama to millions of us, we all share the same fate – being separated from the loved ones and unsure about the day of return to a free Tibet. Despite all the struggles, his happiness is invincible. His true concern for others shines through him. His words sooth my heart as I know his compassion for others is genuine.
May you live a long life, His Holiness. I am so much looking forwarding to seeing you in October.