What would I say to the Dalai Lama?

2009 September 23
by Don Hammack

It would have to be: “Have you ever seen Caddyshack?”

If I were representing Biloxi, Miss., I doubt seriously I’d use the “Hello, Dalai” line, as Memphis Mayor Pro Tem Myron Lowery did Tuesday. It’s hacky, to begin with, but it also forgets the fact that you’re representing 650,000-or-so Memphians. It’s tough to do without launching into a generic welcoming speech, but politicians should be good communicators. I think I could come up with something a little better than, “Hello, Dalai.”

The Commercial Appeal story gives a couple of quotes from the Dalai Lama’s comments. I liked this one:

The Dalai Lama briefly offered part of his philosophy, pointing to his heart as he said, “If you keep here fear, anger, jealously, everything appears suspicious.”

Spending long stretches of your life pondering such things makes for an intimidating conversation partner, but I’m sure the Dalai Lama has spoken with a wide enough range of humanity to be able to tote the ball in whatever you wanted to talk about. Perhaps not the Saints’ chances this year, but deeper topics.

What would I say to the Dalai Lama given 30 minutes or so? It would be interesting to hear him talk about being a refugee. Katrina created many refugees, and while I would not technically be one of them, I’ve experienced that sense of loss and confusion. I’d have to do a lot more homework about Buddhism, but discussing the similarities and differences between it and Christianity would be on the list. (Did I say 30 minutes? I meant 30 hours.) And I’d like to talk with him about self-improvement, specifically resolving some bitterness I’ve been pained by. He writes,” May I examine my mind in all actions and as soon as a negative state occurs, since it endangers myself and others, may I firmly face and avert it,” and I’d like to explore that with him to help figure things out.

Oh, and if I had 30 hours, I’d ask him if he wanted to spend 98 minutes to watch Caddyshack.

One Response leave one →
  1. 2009 September 23

    Read you bio. CANNOT BELIEVE that I was not mentioned prominently. Am very bitter. Must avert these feelings….
    Ah, feel better!

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