Messina, Sicily, ITALY: “This is an extraordinary moment for our city. We’re happy to have you here and to feel your presence among us. My mission has been to bring you to Sicily to talk to us,” Mayor of Messina, Renato Accorinti said, as he welcomed His Holiness the Dalai Lama at the Theatre Vittorio on 17 September.
A sell-out Messina crowd greeted the Tibetan spiritual leader with a thunderous applause and cheers.
Mayor Accorinti joined by a city official bestowed Messina’s ‘Builder of Peace, Justice and Nonviolence Prize’ for the first time upon His Holiness. There is no peace without justice, he declared and justice can only be achieved through nonviolence.
Acknowledging the Peace award, His Holiness said that millions of people had lost their lives through violence and that global economy and environment are getting ruined due to human conflicts. “Let the 21st century be a century of tolerance and dialogue.”
To achieve this, he said, the key is education. Within education is a need for a sense of secular ethics based on common experience, common sense and scientific findings.
His Holiness also asserted a need for an emotional hygiene, corresponding to physical hygiene, based on a better understanding of the workings of the mind and emotions.
The crowd listened in rapt attention as His Holiness urged a greater sense of compassion and oneness of human being.
“The real source of peace of mind is love and compassion; not the love we feel for those who are close but an unlimited sense of altruism, a love that can be extended to all beings, including your enemy. This is something only human beings are capable of.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama prescribed demilitarisation as the only way for achieving peaceful world.
“While the UN seems to be a union of governments, we must explore a worldwide union of peoples. Our dream of peace will only be fulfilled in a demilitarized world. This is something I request my Christian brother to pray for.”