The Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, delivered the keynote address at the 2017 commencement ceremony at the University of California San Diego on Saturday, urging new graduates to keep humanity top of mind as they carry into the future.
“These people are the future of our humanity,” he said, addressing students and spectators gathered at the all-campus commencement ceremony at RIMAC Field.
“You have the opportunity and also responsibility to create a better world,” the Dalai Lama told the new graduates. “Please, think humanity.”
Dressed in a graduation gown and colorful purple flower lei, the Dalai Lama started the address by taking off his graduation cap and, instead, putting on a blue visor emblazoned with the “UC San Diego” logo.
“I prefer this hat,” he said, as the crowd laughed.
In his 22-minute speech, the Dalai Lama went on to talk about the importance of finding “inner peace” and happiness in life. He told graduates that, while education is important, their knowledge should be used to better the world in peaceful ways.
“This knowledge should not be [the] source of [the] creation of problems,” he said. “This knowledge now should be the source of peace; peace in oneself as a peaceful, happy individual. Warm-heartedness is very, very essential.”
The Dalai Lama told graduates that, as they begin their journey into adulthood, they should focus on living with “determination, will power and optimism.”
But, he said, it won’t be easy.
“Now you begin to enter the life. You start work; [it’s] not easy,” he said. “Because of a complicated society, life will not be easy.”
The Dalai Lama said those who focus on living with “warm-heartedness” would develop self-confidence.
“So, the determination will power, optimism is very essential. These things are important. According to my experience, these things become very, very helpful,” he said.
Saturday marked the second day of speeches for the Dalai Lama in San Diego.
On Friday, he delivered a public address, also at UC San Diego, in which he talked about spreading love and kindness, and the plight the world faces today due to what he referred to as “man-made problems.”
For a look at the Dalai Lama’s public address, scroll through our photo essay here.