Hot on the heels of the Popepalooza 2015 comes the imminent visit of another important spiritual leader. The Dalai Lama will return to Philadelphia later this month for the first time in seven years. He is coming to Philly to receive the Liberty Medal, awarded by the National Constitution Center each year to individuals who embody “the ideals of tolerance, compassion, and kindness.” The Dalai Lama will be in good company: past Liberty Medal recipients include Nelson Mandela, Sandra Day O’Connor, and Colin Powell. The Dalai Lama has also received the Nobel Peace Prize. His was awarded in 1989.
According to Jeffrey Rosen, the National Constitution Center’s president and CEO, the Dalai Lama has been considered a potential Liberty Medal candidate for many years, but there were always logistical and scheduling issues keeping him from coming to Philadelphia to receive the prize. Rosen says that the Center is “delighted” to finally be honoring the Dalai Lama.
To honor the Dalai Lama’s visit, the city is organizing the first-ever Day of Kindness. It is inspired by the Dalai Lama’s selfless and giving nature, and is all about doing small things to help others. Examples being bandied about include feeding a meter that you see is about to expire (saving someone else a ticket) or singing in a choir that visits nursing homes. The Day of Kindness will be October 27th.
That same day, the Dalai Lama will host a forum entitled “Finding Happiness in Troubled Times: Educating the Heart in the 21st Century.” It will be held at the Liacouras Center of Temple University, and it is open to the public.