Upon receiving the news that Dalai Lama was named the 2008 World’s Most Influential People by Time Magazine, I wrote Yet Another Recognition – Congratulations to Dalai Lama to offer my congratulations. Some of my friends felt that the tone might be too strong to be considered congratulatory, so here I am, writing another article and hoping it can better convey my sincere congratulations to his holiness.
I, unlike a lucky few, never had the honor to know Dalai Lama personally, and naturally I have never had the chance to admire his holiness’s bookshelves filled with the trophies after trophies he received over the years. I can only sit in the corner of my cozy bedroom staring at the only memorable thing I have ever received, my degree. In its humble $10 frame, the photocopy looks pretty impressive while the original being safely stored in a well-protected bank vault.
I know, believe me, had I have more things to treasure, I would have not been so protective. I can only imagine what it must have been like for his holiness to look at his extraordinary collection of trophies, more than anybody in the world could ever match.
He has to be proud of what he has achieved over the years. Not only does he remain the beloved and only spiritual and political leader of the exiled Tibetans for over 50 years, he also spreads the messages of love and peace to millions of people with his not so fluent English, which is a true testament to the power of his messages. Not only did he meet so many important world leaders, he also befriended scores of well-known celebrities from many countries. Not only did he give speeches in so many prominent venues, he also received keys to so many famous cities, although all are without gates and the keys probably won’t open the doors of any city halls.
The army of trophies on his holiness’s bookshelves has to be his most treasured accomplishment as words and memories fade away slowly but surely and these trophies are the only ones loyally accompany him even alone at night.
Which one would his holiness treasure the most? Could it be the Lincoln Award from Research Institute of America for His Holiness’ distinguished leadership in the service of freedom on January 23, 1960? That was only few months after his holiness fled Tibet and it had to be a real moral bolster to encourage him and his followers to carry on with the mission of the armed rebellion and to fight to get their power back.
Could it be the Nobel Peace Price on December 10, 1989? Just the title of “Nobel Price” should make anyone cringe with admiration, and not to mention the whole world was boycotting China after the Tiananmen Square student movement. You can almost see the sparkles in his holiness’s eyes. The dream of his and his followers’ was so close to become a reality.
Could it be the Congressional Gold Medal on October 17, 2007? It is the highest award a civilian can receive from the U.S. Congress, and every single important American leader, from President Bush to the House speaker Nancy Pelosi, was present to honor his holiness. The whole US government with its almighty military although bugged down in Iraq seemed to be behind his holiness and his followers, with full force.
Or, could it be the latest one, the 2008 World’s Most Influential People from Time Magazine? The whole world seemed to unite once more to support his holiness. With the help from virtually all free media outlet, so many world leaders came out to condemn the brutal crackdown by the Chinese government. Although the brainwashed Chinese people are trying to spoil the party, his holiness must have been feeling the momentum finally on his side.
I wouldn’t know given so many choices, but his holiness must have his picks. Any of them, frankly, would make me happy for the rest of my life, and that’s the true tribute to his holiness’s achievement.
Back in the corner of my cozy bedroom staring at the photocopy of my degree, I sincerely congratulate Dalai Lama on this well-deserved recognition.
May the new trophy find its rightful place on his holiness’s bookshelves.