Liem Giok In* suggests that Tibetan youths employ their unique Buddhist heritage to free themselves from the confines of their current preoccupations to aim towards making the world, including China, a better place by shifting focus from nationhood to humanity.
Here are three questions.
Would it be possible that the young generation of Tibetans – inside Tibet and in the diaspora – could crank it up a notch and use the assets that they have to become the bright and shining light this world and these times need? As opposed to remaining stuck in the dark paralysis of weakness and sadness.
Would it be possible, that the young generation of Tibetans would stand up and confidently take up responsibility for their own fate, with the power of their great Buddhist heritage as back-up? Instead of continuing to beg for help from others, who really are spiritually inferior to what Tibetans can and should be?
Would it be possible, that the young generation of Tibetans, who – thanks to having lost their country – have no borders of their own and thereby are now citizens of the entire world, could envision a world of socio-economic well-being for all people, and environmental sanity for the entire planet?
It is your Buddhist heritage, oh, young generation of Tibetans, that provides you with the assets that you need. To know: the power of compassion and universal responsibility, and the force of wisdom that tells us that we all live and thrive by way of interdependence.
Of course, you may choose to limit your sight to the pitiful plight of your recent history, to the suppression by an evil occupier, and so continue to live a life of protest and lament. But what is there still to gain if you continue to plod on this beaten track? Really, what is there still to gain? Or you may choose to be just practical and carve out a living for you and your loved ones within the parameters of your present reality. But, at the same time, give up on asserting your voice and your values for political relevance.
And some among you, shining examples in your communities, have set up charitable and humanitarian initiatives to help your fellow Tibetans in Tibet or elsewhere, like orphanages, care homes for the elderly, hospitals, schools and so on. Such projects heal bodies and save souls. But they do not empower your inner values so they will determine a country’s laws and institutions.
Nevertheless, the above are logical options for Tibetans, and it is only natural for you to take them up.
But let’s free up the imagination, and loosen the shackles of our minds … then, you, young generation of Tibetans, can start to see a still higher way to live your lives.
Buddhism gave the world the practice of ‘mindfulness’. It is now established culture everywhere. But, you, young generation of Tibetans, should you not be the masters of this skill?
Mindfully knowing the present, you can skillfully understand what should be done for a better future. And, being Buddhist, you envision the entire world without borders as your working field. The world is your home now anyway.
Nations, states, however independent, are ultimately interconnected and united. Yes, ‘independence’ is a human right. But it starts within, by thinking independently, treasuring the good values of your own culture.
Young generation of Tibetans in Tibet, in Europe, in the Americas, in every continent, unite and unfold your vision for a better world. The world needs you. Your ‘statelessness’ is your asset here. You are unhindered by ‘national interests’, which is the very reason why the powers that are will never achieve world peace. Ignorant as they are, they have not yet understood that nation-building has since long become obsolete and irrelevant, contradictory even, for what people need today.
Well researched, well thought through, well discussed with all the different stakeholders and supported by a well-designed communication strategy, you, young generation of Tibetans can be the frontrunners of a high-profile practical plan for local, regional and global policies of economic sense and world peace. A plan that is diverse in its local colour, and universal in its basic human values.
Surely, start with Tibet, your own country, and yes, ‘China is a part of Tibet’1, no? Then use the Chinese megaphone, that now sounds loudly everywhere. In this way your light will spread onto the entire world. No doubt, we need it.
Is this a fantasy or a real vision? You, young generation of Tibetans, will you unite and overcome the political ineptitudes of the past? Will you skillfully use the tools that modern times provide you with: the technology of worldwide communication, the awareness of globalized interconnectedness, and the policy of inclusion? Or will you remain stuck in the ruts of old, wasting time on political intrigue, feuds and pathetic power games that never served any people?
In particular, I appeal to you, young Tibetans in positions of leadership and endowed with vision. Whatever you do – a modest project serving people or academic work of solemn status – it is the valor of your heart and the efficiency of your actions that really count.
It is my hope and prayer that, by reading this, some of you may start to see new avenues. And I am certain: with the blessings of the Enlightened Ones, practical support will come to manifest.
* In her book ‘Interdependent Economy – from political economy to spiritual economy’ the author has described views and proposals for an economic thinking and policy implementation that are relevant for this 21st Century. We can all contribute to and participate in a world of prosperity and peace. Ms. Liem Giok In is available for counselling services for leaders of socio-economic projects.
* Ms. Liem Giok In
‘China is a part of Tibet’, is an article by the same author, Liem Giok In, published in the Tibetan Review, March, 1999. Email the author for a copy of that article: email@example.com