Nobel Peace Prize Winner Questions Value of Inner Peace, Before Dalai Lama

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Jody Williams. Photo: Official Site

The Dalai Lama hit New Jersey for the Newark Peace Education Summit on Friday, rocking his signature deep red robe, where American activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Jody Williams, with whom the Dalai Lama shared the stage, championed anger and disagreed with some of the Dalai Lama's ideas. Specifically, the Dalai Lama's statements that people must attain inner peace in order to promote peace and that "too much emotion, attachment, anger or fear" hinders progress "did not sit well" with Williams, according to the New York Times. Detailing the ways American policy favors corporations and the wealthy and cautioning against "easy forgiveness," the world-famous anti-landmine activist said she sort of likes her inner turmoil, and politely suggested His Holiness, you know, stop being so damn calm all the time. Williams explained:


“I thought it was strange to be asked to be on this panel on inner peace, because I don’t have much. I’m still struggling with inner peace, and I’m not sure I’ll ever work it out. It’s anger at injustice which fires many of us. Shirin Ebadi is no wimp. His Holiness, fighting for the freedom of his people, is no wimp. Gandhi was no wimp. Martin Luther King was no wimp."

In turn, the Dalai Lama came to the defense of the United States, the country that helped him escape Tibet in 1959. “America, of course, a lot of drawbacks there, but I always feel, champion of democracy,” he said. “Now we get argument. Like children, a little quarrel here takes place, a fight. But to keep ill feeling is very bad." The two hugged it out, of course, though the Dalai Lama called Williams "quite blunt," before refraining from muttering expletives under his breath, while Williams laughed quietly to herself.

Promoting Peace, Nobel Laureates Square Off, Politely [NYT]
Dalai Lama, other scholars discuss strategies to bring peace [NJ.com]