Saturday, February 20, 2010

Learning from the 'Jewish Experience'

Tenzin Nyinjey

We all are familiar with how Jews survived two thousand years of persecution and exile. In fact His Holiness often counsels us to learn from the Jewish experience. It is on account of this that l watched 'the Pianist', Roman Polanski's finest work that fetched him an Oscar. I wanted to watch it for a long long time. It's a touching movie, about a Polish Jew, a pianist, whose family members are massacred by the Nazi Germans, about how he alone survives thanks to his courage, intelligence and, above all, his love and passion for piano, against all odds. I recommend all young Tibetans to watch it; or perhaps they have already watched it. I could be the last!

I thought we Tibetans can relate a lot to this. Our people have also gone through similar persecution under the Chinese. I was wondering how humans could become such cruel creatures, committing genocide, exterminating a whole range of people - men, women, children, homo-sexuals, not sparing anyone. The potential for such crime is in all of us!

I am proud we Tibetans have stood our ground and so far haven't committed such inhuman crimes on any people! I am proud we haven't strayed from the principles of non-violent political struggle, despite being oppressed like hell for more than fifty years. I am proud we still regard the Chinese, who kicked us out of our own homes, who destroyed our way of life, who massacred a more than million of our fellow Tibetan brothers and sisters, as humans inflicted with ignorance, and has the capability to set their courses right. I am proud that our leader, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, calls them "our Chinese brothers and sisters."

Above all, I am proud that we are ready to forgive the Chinese and look for peace and reconciliation with them.

I believe It's all human hatred that creates such kind of brutal tragedies. While watching the movie, my blood was boiling with anger over the way Nazis treated the Jews, so much so that I wanted to bang on the table. But then I admonished myself, saying, "well it is exactly such kind of anger that creates such bloodshed. One has to negotiate anger, calm it down, control it, so that one doesn't eventually become a Nazi or a Fascist."

The world definitely needs peace, which is possible only when we learn to forgive, the way many Tibetan political prisoners forgave (but not forgot) their Chinese captors. Is it impossible to create peace? Does peace really confuse men, as Bresaies tells Achilles in Troy?

Humans are genius. As the late historian Howard Zinn, known as the Mahatma of US, once said, "We have created and invented miracles on this earth. Why can't peace?"

Indeed, why can't we with leaders like His Holiness to guide us in this world?

All it takes for the world is to take a leaf out of us Tibetans, who have never lost faith in it, in PEACE!

May PEACE prevail on earth! OM MANI PADME HUNG!

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