As part of his visit to Austria, the Dalai Lama visited SOS Children's Village Hinterbrühl on Monday. He visited the village back in 1973 and returned this week as the village celebrated its 50th anniversary. The spiritual and temporal leader was given a traditional prayer shawl during an official welcome. Afterwards, he gave a captivating speech and answered questions, smiling throughout.
Those who only focus on educating their brain and forget about their heart, will be lonely, was the Dalai Lama's message for the future for the children. He reflected on his own childhood and his relationship towards his parents: "Our life starts with maximum affection from our mothers. My mother was very kind to me. It is because of this deep experience of my mother's affection that I am a person who shows compassion today. People need to show compassion towards others. The ultimate source of peace of mind is affection", said the Dalai Lama.
The children and young people from the SOS Children's Village, who had experienced great traumas earlier on in their lives, were particularly interested as to how the Dalai Lama had become such a calm and collected person. "I really think that if my mother hadn't shown me affection, I would be a different person today. But it is also that I don't feel different to others. I consider myself to be one of you".
The Dalai Lama considers SOS Children's Villages to be one of the most important NGOs in the world that has done a great deal for Tibetans. Many of the facilities for Tibetan children in India and Nepal can be traced back to the friendship that Hermann Gmeiner, the founder of SOS Children's Villages, had with the Dalai Lama.
The Dalai Lama was accompanied by many well-known people from the worlds of economics, culture and politics, such as Governor of Lower Austria Erwin Pröll and many representatives from SOS Children's Villages.