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“It’s not everyday you get to see the Dalai Llama,” my mother explained to me as I weighed the amount of stress already compiling from simply thinking of missing another day of school. But she was right. How could you pass up such an opportunity?
The Dalai Llama started his talk with an analogy and I did not follow; this was partly because I could barely make out what he was saying and then thought I was mishearing him because he obviously couldn’t be talking about turtles. But he was. He was explaining how mothers leave the newborn turtles and how they, from then on, are taught to take care of themselves. “We all have mothers.” Our families and our backgrounds create us. We are all the same physically. “My blood is your blood,” he repeatedly said, but it is the nurture that molds our path. The youth are the ones to create the change, they are the leaders of the future, so it is important we place a lot of our focus on nurture, on creating a healthy family, and on educating youth.
He moved on to talk about inner peace. He said, “Peace does not mean no problems.” Peace is a calm mind, which is the result of open mindedness and open heartedness. We need to possess an “infinite altruism,” but at the same time we need to build our self-confidence and will power. Fear and anxiety cause turbulence in the mind. With fear and anxiety we cannot achieve a calm mind. Fear, however, can be good and healthy in small doses.
The room lit up whenever he laughed. He possessed a sort of magic. He was contagious. You could never fully understand what he was laughing about because the few lines before his laugh were impossible to understand. You laughed anyway. My eleven-year old brother could not understand why the crowd’s silence suddenly turned into a deep laugh. He in the end didn’t even want me to try to explain to him what was going on anymore. He was a lost child in a crowd of maturity wanting desperately to be found and taken away. I understood.
His speech was all over the place, jumped from category to category, but it didn’t matter. Everything he said held the same importance. Everything he said could have been interpreted as a life lesson. Even being in his presence was awe-inspiring. He stands for something more than us; he stands for peace. How does he do it? He holds the same outlook on life at all times, his soul never deters. He is never tempted? He embraces technology and is known as a monk who uses Facebook. He acknowledges the importance of the media without allowing it to overtake his life. How does he maintain that perfect balance? How does he always maintain his “infinite altruism?” Would we have similar all-knowing thoughts if we were put in the same position as he was at two-years old? He says that we are one in the same but then why does he have the ability to have the calm mind and infinite altruism he speaks of while many of us do not? Is it all because of his background, this concept of nurture? I can talk about a complete open heart and a calm mind but I cannot live it. I get caught up in the little things that accompany life and then have trouble finding time to see the bigger picture.
We all felt inspired by his talk – well almost all of us, maybe not the children under eleven – and everyone went home a better person, wanting to change the world. And that was the point, right? The point of my missing school. I was trying to see the bigger picture, place my context into that of the world. But all those life lessons I learned are put aside for now. If everyone went home as I did, suddenly reverting back to his or her day-to-day lives we have accomplished nothing. Maybe if we thought of changing the world as a part of our job rather than an extracurricular activity the world would be a better place. We have the opportunity to make a new world, a happier world, but do we really?
I want to change the world but it’s not the right time. Not with AP’s and finals coming up. And that research paper, “Ohh, man!!” But the future is still open.
School: Junior at The Bishop’s School
Favorites: I enjoy photography and photojournalism. I love how pictures can freeze a moment in time and allow that moment to always be revisited. Pictures, however, are only part of the entire moment; even though you can capture the moment there are always a variety of things happening outside of the picture frame that are left for your imagination. Photography triggers imagination; that is the magic of it.
Interests: I am very interested in analyzing the way people think and respond to certain situations. I would like to one day pursue a career that uses that analyzing to create a positive impact on the world. I am a modern dancer as well as a soccer player and in my free time I enjoy taking pictures and yoga.
Dream: I would someday like to travel the world and immerse myself in many different cultures. I want to understand and reach the hearts of as many people as possible. And of course, I would document all of my travels.