Things to Learn from the Dalai Lama: Our Global Family


In the lesson on electronegativity, our teacher told us a story: An alien comes to earth and asks you to give one person to them – your sister, a girl from Nepal, or a girl from another country. He then asked us, “Who would you easily give up?” We all shouted that it would be the girl from another country. He then asked us “Who would you not give up easily?” We all agreed that it would be our own sister. 

He then related this story with our lesson: the farther a valence electron’s shell is from the nucleus, the easier it loses its electron. Just like the farther you are in relation to other people (emotionally or physically), the easier it is for you to give them up to an alien. This might just sound like a simple statement, but the story has a lot of meaning. Is this concept a good idea for humanity and the human person?

Photo source: Pixabay

Why do we have an urge to protect someone even though we have never met them? Should a person from a different race, religion, political condition, and environment matter to me? Is what is unjust to one person from the opposite side of the globe affect me? After my teacher’s story, this question would usually come to my mind. The concept of a global family from the Dalai Lama was the answer to it.

“When I meet people in different parts of the world, I am always reminded that we are all basically alike. We are all human beings.”

The family is bound together because we have something common within us to relate with, not only mostly shared genes but shared emotions too. According to the Dalai Lama regarding the global family, we have to understand that we are all common beings: human persons. All the differences we hold are on the surface but internally and spiritually we all have a common element of being humans which we can relate with. When you understand that we are all a global family, there is then a sense of common responsibility to the world. The Dalai Lama also states responsibility doesn’t lie on the government or people on position but it lies within each individual. As an individual, we hold great power and duties not only for our society but for the world too. An unjust society in another country will affect us in some shape and form. We have to realize that we are not only an atom who loses its electron in some sort of condition; we are a human person with the power and abilities to think, choose and understand our own and others’ human dignity. We all have a common duty to inform ourselves about, address or condemn any injustice even if it is happening in a different environment, political condition and religion than us.

With the help of WYA’s internship, I have been learning about the global family since I can learn and connect with my fellow interns from different cultures and environments. It’s really beautiful how we can connect with each other with a relationship rooted in human dignity. Living together and working for the common purpose in WYA, we are able to share our ideas and values with each other. According to my co-intern, whenever we meet someone we look for common things with that person in order to relate with them. The first thing you notice in a person is that they are human: a human person, not any other being or object. Their appearance, job, religion comes after understanding that they are a fellow human. Dalai Lama explains in his text that one cannot truly be isolated in the world and we are connected despite political conditions and the environment. 

Photo source: Pixabay

In the later part of the text, he connects humans with spiritual beings. The peace we yearn for can only be gained when every individual is at peace and balances his spiritual and material development together. A being without inner peace can never be content with external happiness. Through this peace, even in the struggle of war, oppression, and violence, one can always find purpose and freedom. One shall win if they have inner peace with an understanding to do better. 

In conclusion, what we can learn from the Dalai Lama is an understanding of the human person who aims to build a deeper relationship with every being as part of a global family. This will help us to understand the duties we hold for every human person. One helping another human person then brings inner peace which is important for overall happiness. As a young person from Nepal, I am currently connected with a different world than the one I was brought up in. The concept of a global family has helped me to understand other human beings I meet. While the peace Dalai Lama talks about helped me to understand myself, my needs, and also of those around me. 

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Published on: Nov. 1, 2019
Written by Diwa Ghimire, a WYA Headquarters intern from Nepal

Want to be part of the WYA internship like Diwa? Dates for the 2020 internship are now available. Check the application requirements and get ready to be part of our global family! 

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