2017-11-26 Dennis Kuchinich: Ethics and the World Crises
recorded from Free Speech, TV on Aug 2nd, 2017; transcribed by Tara, November 2017
Given September 9, 2003 Visit of the Dalai LamaXIV
. . .
The Dalai Lama XIV, Robert A. F. Thurman, Dr Helen Caldicott, Rev. Al Sharpton, Senator Dennis Kuchinich
Rev. Al Sharpton: We all have been wrestling with the tone of spiritualism as it relates to social and governmental environment. I grew up as a youngster in the aftermath of Dr Martin Luther King’s movement. I did not come out of the South; my mother did. So I grew up here in New York in Brooklyn where, for much of my early pre-teen years, we fought the Love Ethic and what Dr King was doing at that time, mostly in the South with some less than effective aggressive ways. As I grew older, I began to understand that we are programmed to think that those with money and those with the power to execute violence are those that we should look up to. We began to understand that Dr King using the Love Ethic, using the power of forgiveness, using the power of sacrificing oneself, for a greater cause did more to change America for people like me than anybody who had money or military power.
Yet we don’t talk about that. [Lots of clapping from the audience] We don’t talk about that in the span of history. What will matter is as we keep teaching humanity that revenge and hate and who has the biggest gun and who has the most money is the answer, even though most of the world is looking for clean water and clean sanitation, and a way to educate their children, and most of the world would gravitate to getting in line with those who would raise that.
You [the Dalai Lama] coming here is against the grain of a culture that is told our people that the size car you have, the size you have, the amount of jewellery you have, determines your worth. That is not your worth. What you are able to do for humanity is your worth. [Many more claps from the audience] and I think that your being here, your being here I think helps us to crysalzie what authentic heros and authentic leadership should be in a broader social context. And I humbly think that you represent that.
That’s why I wanted to be here this afternoon. [Huge claps and shouts from the audience, and the Dali Lama is saying “Thank you”, with his hands together, at his 3rd eye, in the praise position, sitting cross legged on his chair, and bowing towards Rev Sharpton. ]
Robert Thurman: Now we don’t want to get into you guys coming as competitors. We love you both [meaning Rep. Dennis Kuchinich and Rev. Al Sharpton – there is laughter and claps coming from the audience, and Rev Al and Rep Kuchinich shake hands, grinning!] We are glad to have you here, yet we are mainly having you here in that higher end that the Reverend mentioned.
Dennis Kuchinich: Thank you very much, and thank you to His Holiness for what his life exemplifies and to the encouragement that you give all of us.
I think one of the things that makes it so difficult for people today is to see a politics that professes an intention which is not consistent with the outcomes; a politics which professes an intention for peace yet produces war; a politics which lacks a unity of thought, word and deed as our nation’s Constitution was written. The Preamble of it spoke of “We the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union” – the idea of creation of a nation connected to perfection, yet the work was left to us to accomplish.
So the question then arises: how can we meet the challenges of our times in order to perfect this country? I would submit that the advancing tide in this world is toward human unity, toward people coming together. And that, as there is an inconsistency in government policies, those kinds of policies re-inforce fear and make it impossible to be able for us to connect to the deeper meaning of who we are as human beings. And so, with that awareness, let us introduce legislation in the Congress of the United States to create a new structure within the United States Government and that new structure is in the form of what is called the Department of Peace which would serve to make non-violence, the work that Dr King did, the work that Rev Sharpton talked about, make non-violence an organizing principle in our society for domestic as well as for international policy.
I believe that we are in a time when we can work to make war itself archaic! That we can connect with the aspirations of people all around the world. [the people interrupted with many, many claps]
[Rama’s insert: Dennis Kuchinich and his beloved wife, Elizabeth Kuchinich, are Ambassadors of Peace from Andromeda to the Earth.]
The Dalai Lama: How do you do that? How to move in that direction?
Robert Thurman: Well, maybe the effort that you urge the audience to do, the effort is to see to it that there is a Department of Peace. I think you, Mr Kuchinich, could use a few telegrams and e-mails?
Dennis Kuchinich: It would be helpful as people contacted their Congressional representatives and say “This is the time for us to take a step in that direction.” And any positive words from His Holiness in terms of this kind of proposal would be very much appreciated, and I think to help move this along. [More clapping]
The Dalai Lama: I am fully committed to the promotion of non-violence and peace. So naturally, I fully support your idea to lead the world and make a new pattern in international relations, according to the principles of democracy, freedom, justice – these things - the more people ultimately will come, and then I think things will change. Then I think a really meaningful discussion, I think, will be much, much easier. [BIG CLAPS]
Robert Thurman: Well, seriously, your Holiness, we are very, very grateful for your coming here, and we didn’t want to get you in trouble by all the kinds of humourous suggestions, and also heart-felt suggestions because we all have in our heart the people of Tibet, the cause of Tibet, as we know you do. And therefore, we hope that the people of Tibet get a break and that they will be able to find happiness. [The camera is on Dr Helen Caldicott] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helen_Caldicott
Tibet should not be punished and ignored because they don’t do terrorism, because they try the peaceful way, because they seek to speak even with those other people feel it is righteous to hate. [The camera is on Rep Kuchinich and Rev. Al] So we all understand this, I think – in this room, I can feel it and we all wish the very best for the people of Tibet and we really do [the Dalai Lama and Robert Thurman both put their hands together in prayful honouring to their 3rd eyes, and all the people clap.] from our hearts.
The music and the chanting starts, and Katrina vanden Heuval speaks.
She says “The Dalai Lama is many things to many people. He’s a rock star; he’s a phenomenon; he’s a Buddhist Light to millions of Americans, a screen almost, upon which Americans project their hopes, their anger, their sense of what’s missing yet what matters. Let every American come to the Dalai Lama who wishes to, and find in the Dalai Lama what he or she wants to find there. And I say all power to tolerance, which is what he preaches.
Female audience member: This was fabulous, very enlightening. He’s very humourous; he makes everybody laugh; he puts us all at ease.
Male audience member: I just felt touched by his laughter and by him personally.
Another gentleman: It has been the most amazing experience I have ever had! And I think the message is so important, this message of real, unconditional love. We are all here to create peace, really vital, extremely important . . .
Another gentleman: Well said . . .
Woman: He’s done something that’s hard for any human being to do – which is not to hate someone who has hurt you. I think that makes him a model.
Young Man: It is an important thing to understand possibilities, and what happened here . . . very important thing on September 11th . Instead of slapping back, we just like – instead – ask Why?There’s a reason why . . .
Woman: This is a democracy and it does require participation. And we need to do something. We cannot just sit back and criticize. We need to organize the unrest and do something that will have some effect, some positive effect.
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