By Tenzin Pema, Tibet Policy Institute
I have always been deeply fascinated by the altruistic thoughts, words and deeds of my root guru His Holiness the Dalai Lama. He first thinks about all the sentient beings of the world on an equal level in terms of wanting happiness and not wanting sorrow. Being one among the seven billion human beings in the world, he takes the sole responsibility to promote human values, which are drastically being wiped out from this world. Being a religious practitioner, his contribution in promoting religious harmony in the whole world is unprecedented. Only after that, he counts the facts and aspirations of Tibet and Tibetans. No word and deed left for him to talk about his own family. He is the best well-wisher of all irrespective of caste, colour, creed, gender, etc. His teachings and words are the best lessons to the whole world to turn our mother Earth into a better place to live in. Recently on 9th March, Ms. Enee Xia, a Chinese human rights defender from United States told the gathering of Tibet Policy Institute staff that translating teachings of His Holiness The Dalai Lama in all the languages are essential to bring positive change, and to transform minds of people for the betterment of all. His teachings are the best solution to Tibet and China in particular and to the whole world at large.
The world is being driven very fast by bright and innovative brain of human beings and the 21st century witnesses incredible advancement in science and technology. It is indeed an unimaginable fact for an ordinary person like me to imagine about today’s sophisticated equipment coming into this world, but everything is in front of our eyes. With such development, in minutes and hours, we can reach everywhere we want and at the same time, within seconds, this beautiful world could be turned into ashes.
With such progress, are we really happy and satisfied? The genuine and honest answer is ‘No’. Why the essence of happiness and contentment is absent from our lives? My root guru His Holiness again gave the answer to this question on 8th March 2012 during Water-Dragon’s first Purnima ritual ceremony at main temple Tsuglhakhang, Dharamsala. “Today’s world is lacking love and compassion and it’s all caused by wrong system of education”. How true he said this! Single-handed modern education produce brilliant brain to spearhead unbelievable inventions and discoveries, but it badly fails to produce warm and kind hearts. This is the main cause of such excessive influx of negative atmosphere in this world. As a result, we have been witnessing enormous human disasters in this world bringing endless sorrow and suffering to all.
Children are always regarded as the nation builders and future seeds of the country. However, let us think and analyze what kind of models are shown and taught to them at home and school? What kind of seed we are sowing in their minds? Are we nurturing both head and heart together? What do we expect from our younger generation?
MP Lobsang Yeshi la expressed in his maiden speech in parliament on 15th March that if all the people think only about their personal life and career then none will be left for common struggle of Tibet and Tibetan. I give my 100% support to his opinion and concern. After hearing this, I remembered Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok expressed in his ‘Thunderous Secrets to the people of the Snowland in the 21st Century’ (1996) that “People of the Snow land in the 21st century have more responsibilities. Tibetans either monks and nuns or laymen having little power, wealth and education should not be engrossed by only one’s own livelihood, but I wholeheartedly request all of you to have deep and serious thought over Tibetan education and Tibetan studies.”
Many of the elderly people in the family encourage younger people to study hard to get good job in future and to earn good salary. If this trend of encouraging younger generation towards earning more money continues then how can we regard them as nation builders? We must first understand it explicitly that family is the first school to the child and parents are their first teachers. So the best example of being a good human being and a patriotic Tibetan should be shown by parents and other elderly members in the family. If this is done by majority of the family by walking on this path, only then, we can speak something about our common cause with pride and commitment. Otherwise, it is just lip service.
If we expect to achieve something in future, then we ought to be generous enough to sacrifice anything for that. Until yesterday on 17th March 2012 thirty patriots inside Tibet have led the path of highest level of sacrifice for our land and people and their sacrifice should not go in vain. I personally believe that a sense of patriotism was sown in their hearts from the very beginning in their first school of life. Therefore, we have such families around us who can cross every limit for the betterment of our common cause. Why don’t we learn something from them now? Let us start to do something individually. Let us start to bring something good change in ourselves for our cause. Let us get ready to contribute anything of our capacity. As was opined and discussed in the current parliament in exile that wealthy people ought to be generous enough to donate a part of their wealth, likewise, educated people ought to be ready to think and act for our common cause, and people with leisure ought to be ready to participate in every activity and movement for the cause, so on and so forth.
It is high time for us to bring dramatic change in our education system so that we shall have better products later. To be good and kind human being can be taught best by teachings of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Along with his biographies, his teachings should be included in our school curriculum and should be given utmost importance by the administration and staff of the respective schools.
Secondly, all the Tibetan staff of the respective schools need to be more patriotic and teach Tibetan children to become real nation builders of future Tibet. In order to mould the hearts and brain of children together for becoming devoted citizens of future Tibet, schools need to show more movies based on patriotism, need to invite resource persons (preferably experts on Tibetan history and Tibetan studies) to talk on certain topics, need to invite former political prisoners to narrate their patriotic acts, need to introduce good patriotic books, etc. Additionally, it is very helpful for students to boost their energy on studies if teachers could give special lessons taken from the important speeches and articles written by real well-wishers of Tibet and Tibetans, like His Holiness the Dalai Lama, 10th Panchen Lama, Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche, Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok, Prof. Dungkar Lobsang Thinley, etc.
From other part, parents and elderly members in the family ought to encourage youngsters to become sons and daughters of Tibet first. Let them realize that if they succeed in becoming loyal and patriotic sons and daughters of nation, then naturally they become good children of their parents. Let us all unite to bring change in our struggle, to accomplish our long-cherished dream and to become a group of contributive member to this world.
Bottom Line: At this turning point in our struggle, Tibetans should be educated in such a way that at the end, the products naturally become thinkers, speakers and workers for the emancipation of our ‘Land and People’.
The writer works at Tibet Policy Institute, Central Tibetan Administration.
(The views expressed here are that of the author and shall not be regarded as views and policies of Central Tibetan Administration.)