Messenger From a Burning House
How to try to preserve Tibet after half a century of occupation remains a tangled question: More and more Tibetans in exile, especially the young, believe the Dalai Lama is too conciliatory, too ready to forgive, and some urge attacks on Chinese power stations, roads and even officials. When the Dalai Lama, who just turned 70, is no longer around, it's possible that some Tibetans will turn, in desperation, to terrorism. His gamble — and hope — is that by taking the high road, and speaking for universal principles of tolerance and trust, he will gain some (mostly invisible) ground in the long run.
Those of us outside the Tibetan community face a very different, but no less urgent, task: As the Dalai Lama travels through the U.S., those who long to see him, to touch him, those who are eager to bask in his infectious optimism and warmth, must also try to help him in the place where he needs it most: urging China to change its policies before there is no Tibet to save.
Otherwise we just seize the parts of his message that inspire us and ignore the parts that challenge us. In doing so, we become dangerously close to being children gathering around a spiritual godfather, hungry for his wisdom and hardly caring that his home, across the way, is going up in flames.
Read the full piece in the LA Times.