The Dalai Lama says people should practice tolerance and forgiveness to have a more compassionate life, which was the theme of his speech Sunday to an estimated crowd of 14,000 at the KFC Yum Center.
The Dalai Lama is on a three-day visit to Louisville, where he’s already blessed the Drepung Gomang Institute, which is helping to host the events.
On Sunday, the Dalai Lama told the crowd that this is the century of compassion.
“This 21st Century should be unlike the previous century, more peaceful, more non-violent, in order to create a peaceful world, [a] non-violent world, ultimately religion with sense of concern for others’ well being. That’s compassion.”
The Dalai Lama called the United States a leader of global peace and said that Louisville signing on to be a compassionate city, which Mayor Greg Fischer has helped to promote, is “highly necessary, [and] very relevant [in] today’s world.”
Even taking the name of a compassionate city is a good step toward progress and if the concept catches on with the rest of the country, other regions may follow, he said.
“I always say America is the leading nation of [the] free world, then all world should eventually be free world,” the Dalai Lama said.
Further, the Dalai Lama said a leading nation like the U.S. should lead the way to “some kind of revolution in thinking, [a] revolution in the way of life, based on compassion.”
“I hope the peace not just remain on slogan, but peace must develop here,” he said, pointing to his heart.
The Dalai Lama said he believes human beings are becoming more mature and he called areas where one person holds all the power “outdated.”
In order to build a compassionate city ,we have to build a compassionate humanity and that’s not achieved through prayer, he said. In his own life, he said, he accepts the limitation of prayer. Real effect comes through action, he said.
Before the Dalai Lama spoke, long lines of people—some reportedly in a queue on the Clark Memorial Bridge—waited to get into the KFC Yum Center, where security was tighter than usual at the behest of the State Department.
On Monday, the Dalai Lama will hold a public teaching at the KFC Yum Center on a Buddhist text called the Lamp for the Path to Enlightenment.
Tuesday, he’ll address an exclusive group of public and private school students at the Kentucky Center for the Arts.