Dalai Lama Addresses 15,000 Children in Seattle
The Dalai Lama was received by an enthusiastic and appreciative audience of 15,000 children on Monday in Seattle.
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Thousands of Washington state school children cheered the Dalai Lama on Monday, chanted peace slogans and clasped hands over hearts to lively drumbeats, but some said they wanted to hear more about the hot issue of the day -- Tibet.
"The issue of Tibet is worrisome," said Michelle Cheng, 15, whose parents are Chinese. "He didn't seem to talk about it much."
The Dalai Lama, wearing a traditional cinnamon-hued robe and brown walking shoes, addressed a crowd of 14,400 school-age children in central Seattle. Underlying a theme of compassion and how it can help end violence and sibling rivalry, he also emphasized the love of mothers, the need to nurture children, forgiveness and a wide range of issues related to compassion during his 25-minute address.
"I will try not to be so mean to my sister Ruby and not call her Ruba anymore," Mia Loren Cassidy, 8, said afterwards.
Victorian Dan, 14, whose mother hails from Cambodia, said the Dalai Lama inspired them but should have discussed the recent violence in Tibet in more detail.
"It surprises me that Tibet is in a state of crisis and it isn't talked about much or taught in class," said the student of Thorton Creek Elementary in Seattle. "I think it might have been necessary to address it, but it was a very uplifting speech."
The Dalai Lama is on a five-day visit to Seattle with compassion the centerpiece of his public appearances.
The Dalai Lama addressed 15,000 children at the Key Arena in Seattle on Monday. We hear from three of them reflecting on the Tibetan spiritual leader’s message.
At KeyArena on Monday, thousands of children were urged to commit acts of kindness, like raking leaves for a neighbor or sharing a lunch with someone who doesn't have one.
They were reminded to appreciate small delights in their day -- from the perfect strawberry jam sandwich to extended recess.
When the Dalai Lama walked onstage clasping his hands and bowing, children cheered like he was a rock star, standing on chairs and waving gold pinwheels.
But amid the spectacle of Brazilian drumming and Native American stories and toddler hip-hop, the students were charged with a serious task: helping fix the world they'll inherit.
The Dalai Lama emphasized the interdependence of everything in the galaxy, and universal experiences that create pain, pleasure, happiness and sorrow.
Divisions between "we" and "they" are outdated with 6 billion people sharing the planet, he said. He also argued that compassion and "warmheartedness" should be secular -- not purely religious -- values and should go far beyond those who are easy to love.