The Dalai Lama speaks at USC about the importance of happiness
His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet, wearing a USC hat with matching cardinal and gold robes, spoke at the â€śSecular Ethics, Human Values and Societyâ€ť event at the USC Galen Center on Tuesday, presenting his message that secularism is not opposed to religion but something to be respected and valued.
The Dalai Lamaâ€™s visit â€” his first to USC â€” was co-hosted by The Dalai Lama Foundation and the Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values. More than 4,800 USC students and members of the community attended the event.
â€śTo achieve a happy life, we not only have to take care of the physical but also the mind,â€ť the Dalai Lama said. â€śEveryone has the same right to be a happy person.â€ť
The Dalai Lama stressed the importance of individual happiness, which in turn creates a happy family, a happy community and a happy world. He said, however, that religious activities are not necessarily the key to a happiness.
â€śI donâ€™t think that a happy world can be achieved through prayer,â€ť the Dalai Lama said.
He also stressed the importance of education and compassion.
â€śFaith and reason must go together,â€ť the Dalai Lama said.
Students said they enjoyed how personable the Dalai Lama was during his talk.
â€śI wish I could have a conversation with him one-on-one,â€ť said Nichole Lighthall, a graduate student studying gerontology. â€śHe was surprisingly open-minded about how society should be run… He seems like a genuinely good person, through and through.â€ť
Some students, however, said the Dalai Lamaâ€™s message was somewhat dampened by acoustic problems in the arena.
â€ś[His talk] was hard to hear because there was so much echo in the center and there was the language barrier,â€ť said Raymond Penaia, a sophomore majoring in communication. â€śBut I still feel like I was able to capture the meaning of his message.â€ť
Despite minor difficulties, most students left inspired.
â€śHeâ€™s an important figure and itâ€™s nice to see someone of his holiness come speak to us,â€ť said Chris Manasserian, a senior majoring in public policy, management and planning. â€śHe was very charismatic and funny. It surprised me.â€ť
The Dalai Lamaâ€™s appearances at UCLA on Monday were canceled because of ill health.