EDEN PRAIRIE: Eden Prairie-based Starkey Hearing Technologies hosted the Tibetan spiritual leader, His Holiness the Dalai Lama for “A Call for Compassion and Conscious Kindness” panel discussion with Starkey CEO and Owner William Austin and Forest Whitaker, actor, director and UNESCO special envoy for peace and reconciliation, on 23 June.
The discussion, moderated by Forest Whitaker was attended by roughly 250 business-people, politicians and Starkey employees at the company’s headquarters. His Holiness the Dalai Lama addressed over 2000 Starkey employees during an event held yesterday on 22 June.
Opening the panel, Whitaker expressed his gratitude for being in the presence of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. He then asked the panel on what defines compassion, whether there’s a hierarchy of giving; what they see as good leadership and how they would advise people to nurture peace and compassion.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama spoke first. “Compassion is concern for others—sincere concern for others’ well-being founded on awareness of our own experience. Since it makes us happy when others show us affection and offer us help, if we show others affection and readiness to help they too will feel joy.
“The more compassionate our mind, the more we’ll be able to lead our lives transparently, honestly, truthfully, with nothing to hide. Compassion enhances our inner strength, reduces fear and causes friends to gather round us. As social animals we need friends and what attracts them is trust. And trust grows when we show real concern for others’ well-being,” His Holiness said.
His Holiness decried materialistic approach towards education and the world. “Material value can only provide physical comfort, not mental comfort,” he said. “Physical pain can be subdued] by mental joyfulness; mental worry cannot be subdued by physical comfort. So obviously, the mental level experience are more serious.
He called upon the participants to develop a “sense of universal responsibility” and understand that “technology will not provide us love.”
Educators should teach students about mental health and perception, His Holiness said. “A compassionate century through education is possible if we start efforts now.”
His Holiness also discussed global politics, religious harmony and leadership. “The African Union should develop in the manner of the European Union to reduce wars, and that India is a global example of religious tolerance for its largely peaceful coexistence of different faiths.” He said that while conflict in the name of national interests is quite understandable, conflict in the name of religion is “unthinkable.”
On the subject of compassion, Starkey owner Bill Austin agreed with His Holiness, saying that showing kindness and concern for others uplifts them. Having a stronger sense of compassion and respect for others can help ease political differences, he said.
Brandon Sawalich, Senior Vice President at Starkey, concluded the panel discussion by thanking the panel, especially His Holiness.
His Holiness was invited to join other guests of Starkey Hearing Technologies for lunch at the Austin residence on the shores of Bryant Lake.