Future Seeds….. Where are they?
By e-mail[Wednesday, March 28, 2007 11:44]
By Dolma Yangzom
“The small things you do in life makes a difference, no matter how small it is.” This reminds me of the starfish story when a man was picking up starfish which are carried by the waves towards the shores. Another man passing by the shore wondered what the man was doing and asked him, “What are you doing here?”. “Picking up the starfish”, the man replied, “And trying to save some lives.” At this the man promptly replied, “But it doesn’t make any difference, as there are hundreds of starfish all across the shore.” The man then picked up another fish, released it into the water and said, “It did make a difference to this one.”
There are several lessons one can learn from this anecdote. I relate this story to our Tibetan struggle. How little does every Tibetan contribute? How many of us think that the issue of Tibet belongs to us all, how many of us seriously thought about taking the responsibility on our own shoulders rather than again passing it onto the next generations, saying “you are the future seeds of Tibet.” This confuses the matter a bit since we have been hearing the phrase ‘future seeds of Tibet’ for a long time. Has anyone given a second thought and wondered who the so called future-seeds-of-Tibet really are? Have all of them evaporated or crystallized? When I look at the present Tibetan society as it is, I have to think of or count only few Tibetans (to be honest and not critical) of our years who can be endorsed with the title “future seeds.” While many others are either busy making their livings, doing their daily chores.
I once looked through the mirror and asked myself, “Am I supposed to the so called future seed,” as our teachers used to call us when we were too young to understand the actual meaning and the responsibilities attached therewith. To be honest, I really didn’t find the answer myself, even though, now many Tibetans of my generation and myself included, are educated well enough to shoulder the responsibility of a healthy ‘future seed’. I again wonder where have all those young generations of Tibetans vanished?
All these 50 years of life in exile, of maintaining and preserving our unique cultural traditions and spreading the message of peace and non violence, and even as more and more westerners take a keen interest in Buddhism and Tibetan remedies to mental health and happiness, I wonder how many of them understand the Tibetan cause and struggle? As His Holiness cites in most of his speeches, “…the existence of Tibetan Buddhism lies in the reality of Tibetan people’s freedom to religion and survival of Tibetan as a nation.” With the tag of being one of the most peace loving countries in the world and the most successful refugees, where have we reached actually? This is a question, I believe every Tibetan should try to seek. Furthermore, it gets more cynical when we call ourselves refugees registered as foreigners (in India). As we are moving towards almost five decades of life in exile, how far have we reached in pace with the rest of the world. His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s noble thought of establishing separate Tibetan schools for the future seeds of Tibet did help retain our rich religious, cultural and moral values, but how far did it nurture the young Tibetans to be the future leaders of the world or least of all, leaders of Tibet. Perhaps there are difficulties encountered by the Tibetans in their struggle to maintain the uniqueness of their cultural tradition, yet at the same time be productive and competitive citizens and be able to walk in pace with the rest of the world.
Ama Jetsun Pema la in her memoir mentioned about the importance of the future seeds, “We look after the children and prepare them to take on their responsibilities in a Tibet that we believe will once again be free. The young are the seeds of the future. The most important aspect of our mission in exile is to give the children a Tibetan education and teach them our language and culture. If we do not do this, we will not fulfill our duty and assure the survival of our nation.” But did we truly succeed in accomplishing our goals? Did we succeed in moulding those tiny toddlers into future leaders who can govern future Tibet? Would we be in a position to take Tibet into the era of globalization?
A quick glance at most of the Tibet support organizations reveals the critical plight of our situation, since most of the Tibet support organizations and center for Tibetan studies across the world are being coordinated by non-Tibetans, whether in India or in the western hemisphere. Of course, we remain indebted to all our non-Tibetan friends for supporting the cause of Tibet, but I am sure, there are many people like me, who keeps searching through the windows of their spirit, aspiring to see Tibetans leading the struggle for their homeland. I am sure there are people out there who want to see the true future seeds - those of us, on whom His Holiness laid his aspirations to build a future for a free and modern Tibet, seem to have been blown away with the wind of globalization and ‘dollarization’, which is indeed a matter of concern.
However, no matter how far we reach with the material gains and physical prosperity, the spirit of Tibetanness still lingers in the veins and nerves of every Tibetan. I don’t intend to nitpick here, neither do I nag. All I want to do is arouse the spirit of my fellow brothers and sisters, the spirit that resides in them, but must be in hibernation. I only want to let them know, we can’t afford to wait for the winter to end, because spring is far behind and the Chinese are marching forward with all its might. For me, the realization that the obligations of being a Tibetan and responsibility as a future seed of Tibet lay on people like me came quite late. The seriousness and the weight of the matter is something that many Tibetans of my generation feels, but our yearn for a warm fuzzy feeling of this materialistic world so much overshadows the broader spectrum that it somehow loses its brightness.
To what extent our freedom in India and the western world is precious. It is only here that we can prepare our country’s future and be able to bring the fact of truth and justice to the entire world. This is the time and this is the platform. The podium on which we are to sharpen the blades to build a strong future Tibet. To this we should all promise. With a cynical grin and positive hope, I call upon all the future seeds, for this can be the final call.
Courtesy to Phayul.com