The Dalai Lama's Reputation In The West

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Every single person has a reputation, which may be considered as one of the components that can make up one’s identity. It could be a good one or a bad one. A reputation is not born. It is “the general opinion of a person’s character or other qualities” and “the distinction of being or doing something”. People are known and perceived as individuals by their reputation. Reputation is made and built through a combination of opinions based on the past, current events or actions, and through myth and gossip which could be true or false. The current Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, who is the fourteenth in a line of incarnations, is a person who has acquired a competing reputation for his complex and diverse roles in Tibet, China and the West. The Dalai…show more content…
People in the West love him and treat him with respect. They consider him one of the wisest and most compassionate, peaceful people. His popularity in the West is because of many reasons. First of all, his story of how he was chosen as the Dalai Lama and taken away from his family at a very young age makes it tempting and attractive to the West. His rough start in life and his escape from the Chinese made people sympathize with him at the beginning. But after being exiled, the Dalai Lama’s spiritual, political and moral authority was rooted through his advocacy for Tibetan freedom from the Chinese and he was admired by the West for his peaceful resistance towards China, which earned him a Noble Prize. Second of all, in the West, the Dalai Lama is viewed as a living Ghandhi for applying his pacifist policies regarding China’s forced entrance into Tibet. Third of all, his modern view of Buddhism as well as his approaches to significant public issues like the human rights, the oppression of the minority and the environment, affected and influenced the West significantly. The combination of these three points allowed him to meet with world leaders. People were impressed by his charismatic personality and sense of humor. It is said that the Dalai Lama is known for the skillful way in which he uses phrases from political documents that are important in other cultures. All in all, these determinants and his personal characteristics helped shape the Dalai Lama’s reputation as a popular and recognized figure in the

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