Sunday Sermon

President George W. Bush welcomes His Holiness the Dalai Lama to the White House Wednesday, September 10, 2003.

My call for a spiritual revolution is thus not a call for a religious revolution. Nor is it a reference to a way of life that is somehow other-worldly, still less to something magical or mysterious. Rather, it is a call for a radical re-orientation away from our habitual preoccupation with self towards concern for the wider community of beings with whom we are connected, and for conduct which recognizes others’ interests alongside our own.
-His Holiness the Dalai Lama

I don't think I could shake hands with President Bush, or at least not with a smile. It's not just the war mongering and the lying to us and the ever-expanding deficit - like many Democrats, I'm still pissed about the way he was elected.

It's been nearly four years, and I can still get whipped into a froth about it (after all, I am "the Furious"). I harbor conspiracy theories, speculating that it's not a coincidence that the problem state just happens to be governed by his brother. I think it's because I can still vividly remember the rage I felt when the Court's decision was handed down...I was even more angry when none of the main Democrats stepped up and offered legislation to do away with the Electoral College.

But mostly it's because I am a petty bitch.

The U.S. Government does not support Tibetan independence, and sticks to a "One China" policy which also opposes independence for Taiwan. This is because according to Colin Powell, "Sino-U.S. relations are at their warmest point in more than 30 years." The U.S. is the one country in the world that could single-handedly force China to give the Tibetans their country back and they won't - even though they have come to the rescue of numerous other countries that were annexed by larger neighbors. I suppose if a huge oil reserve were found under Tibet, things would be different, but simply put, China is of interest to the U.S., Tibet is not.

And yet, the Dalia Lama comes to the White House, smiles, shakes hands with George II, and discusses the things on which they can agree; the preservation of Tibet's religious, cultural, and linguistic identity.

A cynic might say that HHDL is just a good politician, but there is a lesson here none the less. The finding of common ground with this reprehensible Republican hawk would be something of a miracle for me - especially since the first thing I would do if granted an audience with George W. is kick him in the shins (petty bitch, remember?) - and yet HHDL seems to do it with grace. The stakes for him are much higher, and yet he finds a way to relate on a human level with the President.

I still have so much work to do.

Go in Peace.


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