BELOW: Letter from Tenzin Tethong
Former President, The Dalai Lama Foundation

"... those of us who work for peace should not only 'follow' in the footsteps of great
peacemakers who have gone before us, but should 'walk with' those who still show the way."

December 27, 2012

Thank you for for sharing your new thoughts on the Gandhi-King Season of Nonviolence. I want to respond to the overall idea of inviting His Holiness to be part of the Gandhi King naming of the Season of Nonviolence.

I have always felt that the Gandhi King Season of Nonviolence is a wonderful idea with obvious educational values, and a great teaching vehicle to make the world more peaceful and just. I have to admit that when I first learned of it, my initial reaction was that certainly His Holiness should or could be a part of it.

However, I know that His Holiness would not lobby for it and nor would it be proper for any one of us to insist on that too, respecting the work and the many considerations each of you have had to go through when planning it. However, I do agree, there is every reason to include His Holiness as a man of peace and an active promoter of nonviolence and good will among all peoples. My second thought,one that I have been sharing in recent years, has been that those of us who work for peace should not always "follow" in the footsteps of great peacemakers who have gone before us, but should "walk with" those who still show the way. And I have added that those who understand the intentions and efforts of His Holiness, should fall into the same situation lauding his name and his message when he is gone; but should walk with him while he is in our midst. And so, I would be very pleased if His Holiness becomes a part of the Season of Nonviolence along with Gandhi and King.

I don't personally know all the original persons involved in the GKSNV other than Ela Gandhi (who I met in Italy recently) and Yolanda King who I met many years ago, who I would think would not have any objections to bringing His Holiness along. March 10th, one of the most important calendar days for Tibetan cultural awareness, falls between the Gandhi and King anniversaries and so would offer a wonderful third opportunity for celebrations, commemorations and events for the program itself. And further, this would a great way to bring in many religious and cultural organizations, primarily Buddhist and Tibetans ones of course, into the GKSNV's global reach.

I hope this can happen. Of course Tibet and Tibetans will be direct beneficiaries in many ways, but beyond that it really will have the potential to offer a great deal to the rest of the global community.

Thank you for sharing this and I look forward to this new and exciting development.