Bakersfield College’s Anthropology professor Krista Moreland, hosted a virtual talk to honor Nelson Mandela and His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, on July 14.
Moreland stated in her introduction that both Mandela and the 14th Dalai Lama had endured hardships and injustice, both were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for using peaceful means to fight against injustice and human rights violations, and both recognized the value of education.
Moreland shared a quote from Mandela, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
Mandela was a South African political leader, anti-apartheid revolutionary, and philanthropist who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to ’99.
His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama is the spiritual and temporal leader of the Tibetan people who recently turned 85 on July 6.
Guest speakers included Paballo Lengane, an economics student from the University of Pretoria, South Africa, and Minyak Rinpoche, a Tibetan monk from Monastery, India.
Rinpoche had planned to visit BC in person but had to cancel because of COVID-19.
Throughout the webinar, the presenters shared their knowledge of Mandela and their reconciliation to enact positive change.
Lengane shared Mandela’s aspects of his life. Ranging from his personal, philanthropic, to political view of life.
He also brought up Mandela Day, an annual international day in honor of Mandela, celebrated each year on 18 July, Mandela’s birthday.
Lengane said to honor Mandela on his birthday, people should “encourage relationships between people and to have a rainbow nation and that is only achieved through reconciliation and being honest with one another,” and spend 67 minutes doing something for others, which represents the 67 years Mandela fought for human rights.
Rinpoche highlighted the important messages from Mandela and the Dalai Lama.
He said when the Dalai Lama committed himself to serve the people, he lost his personal freedom and without him, it would have been impossible to achieve what India is today.
“[The Dalai Lama] encourages people that everyone can do something if you practice, if you learn about compassion. And if you can change yourself, you shouldn’t [need someone] to change you. You can do it yourself by cultivating compassion and love and kindness,” said Rinpoche.