Dalai Lama- ‘I’ll quit.’

DHARMSALA, India (AP) – The Dalai Lama threatened Tuesday to step down as leader of Tibet’s government-in-exile if violence committed by Tibetans in his homeland spirals out of control.

I grew up with old t-shirts at the Salvation Army that read ‘Save Tibet’. From my perspective in rural Nebraska, it seemed like a funny quaint slogan, like ‘Virginia is for Lovers’.

Neither place seemed real. I didn’t know anyone that had been to Tibet OR Virginia

(I STILL don’t know anyone that’s ever been to Tibet.)

But the Dalai Lama, who’s audiobook (yeah, yeah, I didn’t READ it) of The Art of Happiness changed my life for at LEAST a few weeks- before I got back into the same ol’ habits.

The frustration of the Tibetan people in their continued peaceful protests against the Chinese government has turned some toward more violent means of expression. The Dalai Lama’s threat to resign rests on the ability of the Tibetan people to continue under their repression without violence.

I have always been torn on the effectiveness of nonviolent movements. There is a great deal sacrificed and very little damage inflicted. The movement relies heavily on the sympathy of outsiders.

Do we care? China hosts the Olympics this year and has already gone to extraordinary measures to beautify their cities and move (not reduce) pollution. They’ve even gone so far as to practice shooting rockets at rain clouds to prevent it from raining.

Where are the t-shirts?

PS- for a great blog on Buddhism and more, please check out Monkey Mind.

UPDATE: Monkey Mind promotes going to Avaaz to sign a petition.

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