Sunday, November 27, 2011

A holiday message for US Congress members from the Dalai Lama

During the past several weeks, words like “shame,” “embarrassment,” “disgust” and “despair” are those that most often come to mind when I contemplate the machinations and dysfunctions of the U.S. Congress. Sadly, the failure of the “Supercommittee” is but the tip of the iceberg. I think of the “water” of which this metaphorical iceberg is comprised as being mostly garbage filled. Soon I will be departing for an extended period of service overseas – in Singapore. What will I say to my colleagues, friends and students at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy when they query me about the recent events that have been unfolding on Washington, D.C.’s Capital Hill? What does this communicate to the world about a country in which I have taken pride, America?

Fortuitously, the Wednesday November 23 “Insight from the Dalai Lama” from my calendar offered the following message to ponder. I will be sharing it with my own Senators and Representative.

“Sometimes we look down on politics, criticizing it as dirty. However if you look at it properly, politics in itself is not wrong. It is an instrument to serve human society. With good motivation, sincerity and honestly, politics becomes an instrument in the service of society. But when motivated by selfishness with hatred, anger or jealousy, it becomes dirty.”

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