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His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Lady Gaga don’t seem like two people who have very much in common. The former is a global leader and the latter is an international entertainer. Despite their titles, they tend to agree on many topics, especially the idea that humanity needs to re-embrace compassion for one another.
After speaking at the 84th annual U.S. Conference of Mayors in Indianapolis, the unlikely duo conducted a Facebook Live discussion led by Gaga, who asked questions submitted from social media. In case you’re running low on time, or you’re just need a lil’ pick-me-up, here are the most important takeaways from their conversation.
The Dalai Lama believes today’s culture is too materialistic and focuses too much on external values, and the education system could be the one to blame. “Not much is taught about our inner value,” he said. “Our education system is very much oriented about external values.”
According to the Dalai Lama, when one is focused too much on themselves, a lack of compassion is created. Problems will always exist in day-to-day life, “but your mental attitude is the key factor.”
The past cannot be changed, but the future is yet to come. This is why the Dalai Lama believes the younger generation (hello, millennials) should strive to create a healthier environment for future generations.
When we start thinking of our hearts and minds as an interconnected energy, the Dalai Lama says this can create a sense of calmness within the self: “Beautiful brain and warmheartedness must combine, then that person can be very happy.”
Compassion is not a strong suit in today’s society, where there are wars all around the world over religion, territories and race. “When you show more central concern for others’ well-being, then you also get the feeling of ‘I’m something useful to others,'” Dalai Lama explained. “That brings more self-confidence and [a more] meaningful life. Otherwise, you will be lonely.”
It doesn’t matter which social class you fall into, we can’t continue as a healthy and happy society unless we rely on each other: “We are social animals, so individual futures entirely depend on the rest of the community.”
From birth, we’re taught to be competitive in order to reach our goals. Whether it’s having the highest grades in school or battling for a job in your field, competition has always been deemed healthy. According to the Dalai Lama, it actually isn’t a healthy mindset: “The reality of today’s world is heavily interdependent in the competitiveness,” and “we need a sense of oneness and of humanity.”
No matter how many fitness Instagrams you follow or how many days a week you go to the gym, if your mind isn’t healthy you’ll continue to suffer: “Physical illness you can subdue. Mentally, [there’s] too much worry and anxiety.” A more healthy mind makes for a healthy body.
The Dalai Lama says he is not one for yoga and isn’t the best at meditation, but what really helped him stay healthy is his mindset: “Mainly, I found peace of mind really makes a difference.”
When asked by a viewer how one can be happy in a world were there’s so much tragedy, the Dalai Lama said he believes it’s all about perspective: “Looking at the same problem with a wider lens can help you understand how positivity surrounds you. The same problem looked at from a distance reveals that there are a lot of positive things there.”
Watch the full Facebook Live chat below.