children

“Take me to the magic of the moment

On a glory night

Where the children of tomorrow dream away (dream away)

In the wind of change”

 

The song is called ‘Wind of Change’ by the German legendary band Scorpions. It takes me back to the time when I was a kid. The song blaring through the radio reminds me of a time when things were simpler, at least for me. The song was written at the time of Cold War and speaks about a hope that things will get better as the wind of change grows strong. Now the Cold War is over but the song is still very much relevant. This era has demons of its own. The war against crime, climate change, poverty and more is raging on. But the hope is there, stronger than ever – in the form of the children.

I recently had the honour to attend an event where His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama had a talk session. Being regarded as one of the most influential and wise leaders of our age, Dalai Lama describes himself as a simple Buddhist Monk. His Holiness has a pleasant, calm and an enchanting aura.

The two-day session was filled with wisdom, teachings, life-lessons and a lot of humour. (Believe me, Dalai Lama’s sense of humour will leave you in tears). But the most exciting part of the session for me was when a child, not more than 12, asked Dalai Lama a very interesting question.

He asked – “How can we work towards prevention of ecology? Initiatives at the global level are doing no good.”

To which Dalai Lama gave a little speech, which highlighted the responsibilities of the most important class of the society – the children.

Dalai Lama replied –

“Wonderful! Now you are the future of this world. There is a vast difference between the people from the 20th century and the people from the 21st century. I belong to the generation of the 20th century. The 21st century has seen change, a positive change. In the early 20th century the war was everywhere – first world war, second world war, Vietnam war, Korean war. Eventually, people started to change and developed a desire for peace. For example, the European Union formed. People adopted new concepts like that of coexistence, harmony and compassion. The 21st century has brought change. In the 21st century, people are paying more attention towards ecology. Now you are the generation of the 21st century. If your generation starts working with a big vision and a wider perspective then you will see a different world after 30 or 40 years. To create a world where everybody coexists in peace and safety is our responsibility since we have witnessed the destruction and killing. Some historian once quoted that ‘20th century has witnessed 200 million people who are killed due to violence.’ The human mindset of the 20th century is instilled with violence. Whenever we see some disagreement, we immediately think about how to face it by force which is the old and outdated thing. This century, your century should be the century of peace, 21st century should be the century of dialogue. Whenever we find some disagreement, solve it through talk, not weapon. You should think seriously how to make the world achieve external disarmament. Before that, internal disarmament is very important which can only be gained through education and knowledge. So you have a great opportunity, great responsibility and you will enjoy a new world – a more peaceful, happy and compassionate world.”

These words by Dalai Lama speaks volume. This is the advice of this century and the centuries yet to come. Children hold the key to a wonderful future. As India celebrates Children’s Day today, I’d say why only one day when every day can be children’s day!