Dalai Lama

Tenzin Gyatso, the fourteenth and current Dala...

Tenzin Gyatso, the fourteenth and current Dalai Lama, is the leader of the exiled Tibetan government in India. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989. Photographed during his visit in Cologno Monzese MI, Italy, on december 8th, 2007. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I saw the Dalai Lama the other day. Apparently, he is on a college tour and is collecting hats from around the nation (I can joke because he does too). I wish I could say it was a life-changing experience, but I did not feel any more enlightened after the two hours in which he spoke. However, I did resonate with the words he spoke.

The first part was a speech about compassion; the second part was a question and answer session. During the Q&A session someone asked about how to reconcile or get along with other religions. In his adequate English he talked about how India is as much a melting pot of religions as America, but that India is more a model to the world of how to coexist with thy neighbor. He emphasized that one should keep to the religious framework in which one grew up, as drastically changing our belief system could cause all sorts of confusion (or Confucian, were we to take the pun route).

His answers brought me to my happy thought: a peaceful coexistence of diversity and individuality. My dream is much like the Dalai Lama’s dream. I dream of a world where Pakistanis, Sikhs, Native Americans, and any others who religiously avoid cutting long hair can coexist in corporate America without any sort of harassment or frustration caused from having to repeat oneself and having to answer the same ignorant questions. Just if it was not clear in the beginning, fashion freedom is tied to all other sorts of human rights issues. In this situation, fashion freedom is intricately tied to religious freedom, one of the freedoms on which this country founded.

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