Tenzin Gyatso (born 1935), also known as the 14th Dalai Lama, is this week’s #RespectYourElders feature.
As the Dalai Lama, Gyatso acts as the de facto political and religious leader of Tibet. He is also one of the most important figures in Buddhism today, and is responsible for spreading its message throughout the world. Gyatso was enthroned as the Dalai Lama as a child, and his decades of experience as a religious and political leader contribute to his ability to contribute to matters of international importance.
For more than 50 years, the Dalai Lama has been advocating for Tibetan autonomy as well as world peace. For his efforts, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989. Additionally, his teachings have had global influence and he is frequently asked to speak at many prestigious events and universities. He has given speeches and lectures on topics such as world peace, Buddhist philosophy, women’s rights, and science at places like MIT, Johns Hopkins University and the World Conference on Human Rights.
Today, at age 80, the Dalai Lama continues to be an important figure for world peace and says he will continue to work as much as he can for as long as he can. His continued international teaching, engagement in interfaith dialogue and writing on complex topics including the relationship between science and religion are a powerful testament to the vibrancy of older age.
Photo: “Dalai Lama at Syracuse University 01” by VOA – http://www.voacantonese.com/media/photogallery/1524674.html. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Dalai_Lama_at_Syracuse_University_01.jpg#/media/File:Dalai_Lama_at_Syracuse_University_01.jpg