South Asia Institute
South Asia Institute

Individual Responsibility in the Global Community

Excerpted from The Texas Uniona^?(TM)s Website

The Dalai Lama believes profoundly in the power of the individual.

Tue, September 20, 2005 | Frank Erwin Special Events Center on the campus of The University of Texas at Austin

4:00 PM

He recognizes that while well-meaning governments and large institutions such as the United Nations can do many good things, they are not likely to effect major change in the world by themselves.

Several years ago, in a speech to the United Nations World Conference on Human Rights titled "Human Rights and Universal Responsibility," the Dalai Lama emphasized the interdependence of individuals, peoples and nations:

"As we approach the end of the twentieth century, we find that the world is becoming one community. We are being drawn together by the grave problems of overpopulation, dwindling natural resources, and an environmental crisis that threaten the very foundation of our existence on this planet. Human rights, environmental protection, and great social and economic equality are all interrelated. I believe that to meet the challenges of our times, human beings will have to develop a greater sense of universal responsibility.


I, for one, strongly believe that individuals can make a difference in society. Every individual has a responsibility to help move our global family in the right direction and we must each assume that responsibility."

If each individual accepts some responsibility, significant change will result. The Dalai Lama believes that this can be achieved and that this possibility offers a source of hope to everyone."

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