by Kenny McCann
I came to Dharamsala because I was inspired by the compassionate resolve of the Tibetan people. I am now leaving with a genuine love and respect for the Tibetan community and culture. You have shown me what it truly means to be free from attachment even in a dire situation of exile and oppression. While you are dedicated to stand against the Chinese oppression of your land and people, you have not let it define your happiness. This is true strength. I have been met with more kindness, smiles, and hospitality on a daily basis by your community than I was in my own home of the United States. For this lesson of love and a true example of freedom from attachment I am forever grateful and forever changed.
I have had the pleasure of living within your community in McLeod Ganj and volunteering for the last 3 months in the Lha office. I worked as the volunteer coordinator with Lobsang Rabsel. Most of the time spent at Lha was spent laughing and chatting with Rabsel and the Lha staff and working with incoming volunteers. The Lha staff is truly a wonderful group of people who are dedicated to this community that I too have come to love. It was an amazing experience to meet and work with so many generous volunteers from all over the world. I came to find I am not the only one who was inspired by the Tibetan people.
I left my career and life in the United States to seek a new path of putting my skills and education to a cause greater than myself. As I was deciding where I wanted to start my year volunteering, I was saddened by learning more about the current situation in Tibet but inspired by your unwavering dedication to non-violent activism in the face of a violent oppressor. As I leave now to continue my work with refugee communities in Israel and Palestine, I will take these lessons from the Tibetan people with me. I will take your example of non-violence in action with the hope that it may be contagious and humankind can be lead by Tibet’s example to resolve its differences without anger, without bloodshed, and without fear.
Thank you so much to the entire staff at Lha and to every person I encountered on my walk through town each day. Your smiles were enough to sustain me and lift me up in this new life and in new parts of the world.
Thank you! Love without reason.