The Dalai Lama came to New Jersey yesterday with his message of peace, compassion, and loving-kindness, versus “too much emotion, attachment, anger or fear.”
Fellow Nobel Peace Prize winner Jody Williams took issue with HHDL.
“I thought it was strange to be asked to be on this panel on inner peace, because I don’t have much,” she said. “It’s anger at injustice which fires many of us.”
She went on to criticize aspects of American policy that favor corporations and the wealthy, and, without naming a particular conflict, said there was no such thing as a “just war.”
They’re both right. The path to peace is fraught with conflict, anger and negative emotion can be constructively channeled to positive ends, and the ultimate personal prize is still a happy disposition. It’s not an either/or.
It’s reported that Deepak Chopra was also in Newark, explaining the (pseudo?-) neuroscience of happiness. He makes some people angry, too, like Julia Sweeney (but in a sweet way.) We’ll see how he and others play this Fall in SOL (the course formerly known as “Happiness 101” and now rechristened “Happiness and the Secret of Life”), with their various candidate Secrets.
I’ll be pulling for peace, myself. It was in somewhat short supply here last night, with our house full of ‘tween-age sleepover guests celebrating Younger Daughter’s impending birthday. I hope Mom finally got some sleep, it’s like the sign on Mother-in-Law’s door says: “when [she] ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.”
“Peace in the family” is something we all need more experience with, Your Holiness.