October 24, 2009 – Dharamsala
On October 24th, the International Day of Climate Action, His Holiness Gyalwang Karmapa said that there are many ways for us to be kind and generous towards others.
“We as Buddhists believe that benefiting others is an act of kindness, and the first thing that comes to our mind, as act of kindness, is giving alms to the poor. That’s not the only way, there are many ways to be kind. Taking care of the environment and nature is also a very important act of kindness that can benefit many humans and animals alike in the future.”
His Holiness was speaking at a modest gathering at the McLeod Ganj Day School on the International Day of Climate Action – a special day that is being observed throughout the whole world. His Holiness inaugurated a signature drive on climate action by signing his signature on a giant piece of cloth.
His Holiness took the audience by surprise when he shifted his role from that of “chief guest” to that of “resource person” when he gave a PowerPoint presentation about the environment. The PowerPoint presentation was not on the organizers’ list of planned programming for the day. His Holiness said that every human being has a responsibility towards preserving nature and that we must act now if the fight against climate change and the destruction of the environment are going to be won.
“Human greed is unlimited and uncertain. We have wants for many things that we don’t even put to use. I heard most Tibetan families in the settlements have one or more motorcycles. We all know that we Tibetans like to follow the West. Many westerners go on long bicycle rides to places as far as Ladakh. So, why don’t we Tibetans get rid of our motorcycles and get bicycles?,” His Holiness Karmapa said as he laughed away along with the audience.
The Environment and Development Desk of the Exile Tibetan Government, the Clean Upper Dharamsala Project of the Tibetan Settlement Office, and Tesi Environment Awareness Movement, jointly organized the day’s event. The event was attended, among others, by the deputy speaker of the Tibetan Parliament, members of the Tibetan Parliament and representative of the various institutes and organizations.
Gyalwang Karmapa speaks of kindness on the International Day of Climate Action