His Holiness The Dalai Lama
"Until very recently, many people felt that disagreements
and conflicts between nations and communities could only be resolved
through war or the threat of force. Although everyone wishes to
live in peace, we are often confused about how it can be achieved.
Violence inevitably leads to more violence. It is not the solution
- definitely not in the long term. Today, more and more people are
realising that the proper way of resolving differences is through
dialogue, compromise and discussions, through human understanding
and humility. There is a growing appreciation that genuine peace
comes about through mutual understanding, respect and trust. This
is an encouraging and positive sign.
It has never been more urgent that we seek a genuine
determination to achieve global demilitarisation. However, I believe
that in order to have the confidence to eliminate physical weapons,
some kind of inner disarmament is necessary. To begin with we need
to embark on the difficult task of developing love and compassion
within ourselves. Only in this way can we address the underlying
causes that disturb and prevent peace and happiness.
When we are able to develop love and compassion, first within ourselves
and then extending such feelings towards others, we will find that
peace is not merely the absence of war, but a state of tranquillity
founded on the deep sense of security that arises from mutual understanding,
tolerance of others' points of view, and respect for their rights.
Peace is not something which exists independently of us, nor is
war. The political leaders, policymakers and army generals who have
responsibilities with respect to peace are members of our own human
family, the society that we as individuals have helped create. Peace
in the world thus depends on peace in the hearts of individuals.
Whenever we pursue noble goals, obstacles and difficulties are bound
to occur. As human beings, we may lose hope. But as there is nothing
to be gained from discouragement, our determination must be very
firm. According to my own limited experience, we can transform ourselves
and make a difference. If we all were to spend a few minutes every
day, thinking about these things and trying to develop a sense of
inner peace, eventually it will become part of our lives and then
everything we do will contribute to peace in the world."
The Dalai Lama