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A Call for Revolution: Rebels for Peace

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An excerpt from A Call for Revolution: A Vision for the Future by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama.

At eighty-two, I am ready to say my goodbyes. According to my age, I am a man of the  twentieth century, but my yearning for peace, so deeply rooted in me, makes me feel that I  belong more to the future of the world, and to  the younger generation. In that sense, you and I are the same age, the age of renewal. 

The end of my life and the first part of yours are at a crossroads. The point where our paths join is  like that brief moment when night and dawn  meet in the sky. It is no longer night, but it is not  yet daybreak. A new day is being born. It is as though one page is turning on the horizon to the next one. It is up to you, my young friends, to write the next chapter of our history. I hope it will be the most beautiful and joyful chapter in the entire memory of humankind. 

I have been awaiting a peaceful future since the days when I lived in the country of my birth, Tibet. As an adolescent, all I knew of other countries was from the illustrated magazines that I read avidly in Lhasa. During my first journey to India, in 1956, traveling by yak and on horseback, I thought I might be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the skyscrapers of New York from the top of one of the mountains of Tibet, the highest on earth. I hoped to be able to see it through the bronze telescope that I had inherited from my predecessor, with which I could see the craters of the moon from the terrace of the Potala Palace. Since then I have seen for myself modern civilisation and I have even played a small part in how attitudes have evolved, but I have remained steadfastly engaged with my early commitment to the cause of peace. From my perspective of having spent my life observing the world, I beg you to pay heed when I say that if your generation sinks into violence, you will see the death throes of humanity. The twenty first century will be the century of peace, or humanity will cease to be. 

I call on all young people from all over the world to be the first generation on an earth that declares itself committed to peace and the good of all humankind. Build a global citizenry! Do not strive for utopia – make it a strategic objective, for it is the personal responsibility of each of you to ensure that the twenty-first century will not see a repeat of the suffering, devastation and bloodshed that characterised the past. 

Youth of the world, you are the citizens of tomorrow’s world. I am convinced that through your spirit you will be able to bring about global peace and fraternity, the greatest aspiration of the human heart. 

An excerpt from A Call for Revolution: A Vision for the Future by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama.


His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso is the head of the Tibetan Government in Exile and the spiritual leader of the Tibetan people. He received The Nobel Peace Prize in 1989 for his efforts to resolve Tibet’s conflict with China through nonviolent reconciliation. His books include Ethics for the New MillenniumThe Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living, with Howard C. Cutler, M.D. (both Riverhead Books). See www.tibet.com.


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