For decades, the Dalai Lama has travelled the world, meeting with people from a wealth of countries who differ greatly in their background, social status and viewpoint, bringing them his own individual wisdom and compassion. In his encounters with everyone from the inhabitants of shantytowns in São Paulo and Soweto to heads of state in Davos and Washington D.C., the Dalai Lama saw similar problems: a set of values that have helped the very rich to advance beyond the multitudinous poor, a disregard for the environment that could lead to global catastrophe and governments in paralysis, bereft of positive, progressive policies of any sort.
Now, as he turns eighty, having built up a profound knowledge of the world we live in today, as well as a penetrating grasp of its scientific context, the Dalai Lama gives us his vision for a better future. Challenging what he sees as a general mixture of cynicism and self-interest, he offers a radically different perspective and a vision that can be assimilated by people around the globe. From cultivating early on a capacity for caring that transcends religious, ideological and national boundaries, to creating an economic system that applies principals of fairness and which values fulfilment, his argument focuses on what is urgent and why it should matter to each of us.
In his unique manifesto, the Dalai Lama presents perspective on the world that can bring hope to millions, that will endure beyond the present day and that has the potential to reshape humanity as we know it.
Goleman (Emotional Intelligence), a longtime friend of the Dalai Lama, presents a personal and passionate account of Tibetan Buddhism's spiritual leader, discussing his habits, disposition, and goals for humanity. Goleman describes practical aspects of the Dalai Lama's vision that include being mindful of social injustice, supporting groups such as "Action for Happiness" and "B Corporations" that have an "explicit mission to benefit society," and uniting to combat climate change. Our hearts, he believes, can turn away from destructive dreams of money, power and fame. Oddly, however, Goleman seems to presuppose that the reader's interest in the Dalai Lama lies precisely in the sage's power, fame, and access, and spends a great deal of time on his globetrotting appearances that fill stadiums, his Nobel Prize, and his routine meetings with heads of states. One wonders whether a reader who would be wowed by that aspect of the Dalai Lama would also "get" the humble aspects of the vision but perhaps those are the readers Goleman wants to pull in? For anyone not put off by Goleman's dazzle, a solid and hopeful message awaits.