The Dalai Lama told a crowd in Louisville on Sunday that people should forgive the Boston bombers.
The 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, has been visiting several cities in the U.S. and made a final stop in Louisville. After a speech on compassion, a crowd member asked him how people can forgive the Boston bombers.
“Forgiveness does not mean you accept their wrongdoing. No. You must oppose [it],” he said. “But the wrongdoer? For that, forgiveness. You should not keep negative feelings, anger, for that.”
That theme of compassion was repeated throughout the Dalai Lama’s message.
“We really need a more compassionate attitude, not only towards the human being, but also some other species of mammals, including fish and different birds, different animals,” he said.
The Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader said compassion starts with the individual before spreading to the collective society and said he is hopeful this century will be one of peace.
The Yum Center event drew more than 10,000 people from around the country to hear the public teaching. Many said the Dalai Lama’s words rang true with their own beliefs.
“I think that we all need to step away from the violence and step away from the selfishness and the greed, and get in our hearts and start showing more compassion to ourselves as well as to others and strive to create more of a peaceful world,” Jeane Cole, a Cincinnati resident who traveled to hear the Dalai Lama speak, said.
The Dalai Lama will conclude his visit with a talk on Tuesday with middle and high school students from the local area.
He is also no stranger to the Midwest. He has visited Bloomington five times in the last 30 years.