“In 1959, when all was lost in Tibet and I had just arrived in India, Prime Minister Nehru assured me that the real way to serve the Tibetan cause was to give our children a proper education. Education is like a universal panacea, which is as appropriate elsewhere today as it was to the Tibetan community then.
Childhood and youth are a time of learning and training in preparation for life ahead. Although human beings are naturally intelligent, when we are young we have some freedom and flexibility of thought and action because we do not have many obligations. However, this natural freedom and intelligence will only become fruitful if they are given proper guidance and encouragement. Education is the foundation of all personal and social improvement and to make it available to others is one of the greatest gifts. To do so is truly to honor children.”
—The Dalai Lama, from his foreword to Child Honoring: How to Turn This World Around, edited by Raffi Cavoukian & Sharna Olfman (Praeger, an imprint of Greenwood Publishing Group, www.greenwood.com; 320 pp., $29.95 hardback).
A version of this article appeared in the September 06, 2006 edition of Education Week as The Dalai Lama