By Diane Small
“Kindness and compassion give rise to enduring joy, and it is important that we try to educate both the heart and the brain. The education of values like kindness and compassion need to begin from childhood, and these are qualities that can be nourished.”
So says H.H. the Dalai Lama about childhood education – and so no wonder he was very pleased when Eva Cirnu and Dominik Czartoryski suggested creating a children’s book, packed with easy-to-understand quotes by the world’s most famous Tibetan monk.
‘Books such as this will enable the children to proceed towards a positive direction, one that will lead to create a more peaceful and compassionate society’, says the Dalai Lama, in his usual positive way, in the book’s forward.
The Dalai Lama’s advice for children of all ages focuses on his advice about kindness, happiness and the virtues of non-violence, as well as practical advice for situations children often need help understanding, such as how to deal with making mistakes or managing anger. The quotes included in the book are short, funny and easy to understand, while the illustrations are highly inclusive, portraying children from different cultures and countries.
The ethics of the book are indeed impeccable: for example, unlike most children’s books published today, this one is not bulk printed in China; instead, it’s printed on-demand in the USA or Canada, thus saving paper. Publishing rights have also been given free of charge to the Central Tibetan Administration (the Tibetan government-in-exile) to translate, publish and distribute our book.
By the end of 2018, every Tibetan school, library and settlement in exile will have copies of The Dalai Lama’s advice for children of all ages, translated in Tibetan, with the aim of allowing Tibetan children growing up outside their home country to benefit from the the Dalai Lama’s wisdom, while learning Tibetan.
What’s more, part of the proceeds of the book’s sales will go to Nishtha, a grassroots organisation based in Dharamshala, India, H.H. the Dalai Lama’s home in exile. For over two decades, Nishtha has been working towards the improvement of livelihoods in local communities via its programs that focus on women’s empowerment, health, education and environmental protection.
So, how does the Dalai Lama feel about a book of Dalai Lama quotes aimed at children? “I am pleased to know that this small book of illustrations is being published for the benefit of children. Books such as this will enable children to proceed towards a positive direction, one that will lead to create a more peaceful and compassionate society,” he says.
The Dalai Lama’s advice for children of all ages is available on Amazon, in English, French and Spanish.