Thursday, June 22, 2006
As promised, I am writing about my observations of Tibet and the Tibetan people. Actually, what is even more significant to me is what did not happen to us while we were in Tibet. According to the people that we talked to, just 40 years ago, Tibet was one of the most dangerous places on earth. Often, in our Western media culture, Tibetan Buddhists , and Buddhists in general are portrayed as a peace loving people. Certainly there are peace loving Buddhists just like there are peace loving Christians and Muslims around the world. But the assumption is that Buddhism naturally lends itself to a peaceful co-existence among people. From what I've heard about Tibet from the Tibetans themselves, nothing can be further from the truth. Up until the time that China took over Tibet, one could hardly travel anywhere without fearing the fierce bandits that often robbed and killed the travelers. Not only that, Tibet was very much a feudal society where warring clans would periodically raid each other's villages and destroy and kill everything in sight. All of this lasted until just a few decades ago. The fact that we could freely move about without fear of being killed by bandits is a tribute to the moral standards of the modern world-a world shaped by Christianity. Even in communist China, when people that were once isolated from the rest of the world are exposed to the broader world shaped largely by Christianity, things change and life is easier for everybody. Thank God for the values that Jesus introduced into the world.