The Dalai Lama

by Kate Brodock on 9 April 2008

Posted in: Newsworthy

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I have to tell you, the Dalai Lama is one of those people that I would put on my “If-you-could-ever-meet” lists, and I don’t even really make those lists. My essay into graduate school included the question “what would you do with a million dollars,” to which I responded, “I would buy every leader of every country a copy of The Art of Happiness”….. at least I got in.

I recently came across a quote by “the Lama” that I’ve heard a few times and am encouraged to respond to. I’ve seen him speak on three occasions and they have been some of the most memorable moments I can remember.

[As a disclaimer, I'm staying away from political opinions at this point, as I would likely end up writing an essay on subject.]

“Dream— nothing!” says the Dalai Lama. This quote is great, and let me tell you why.

What he’s getting at is the implicit meanings behind the words “dream.” I don’t disregard the many positive ways in which the word “dream” is used to motivate. I think is a meaningful word to use. But the way in which the Dalai Lama uses this phrase (on a regular basis) is somewhat telling.

To him, dreaming is not enough. I would agree that the word dream implies a sort of passive wishfulness, one that does not necessarily incite action. It includes hope, but what else? Yes, I think that common, “Dream big things” phrases are very inspiring, to some. But maybe it takes more than just dreaming.

Does dreaming include responsibility? If you’re dreaming, are you willing to take the action required to “make your dreams come true?” This is what the Dalai Lama was getting at: it takes more than dreaming. It takes recognizing the effective elements in your dream, and executing them. Whether they be for your business, for the good of humanity, or for the preservation of self.

Whether it be the autonomy of Tibet, the peacefulness of the world, the meaning of your life, or simply the tackling of the day, are you just dreaming? Or are you moving actively in the direction of making your “dreams come true?”

Dream of nothing. Strive for everything.

Maybe Nike could make a shoe out of it :)

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