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Buddhadharma : Spring 2019
68 BUDDHADHARMA: THE PRACTITIONER'S QUARTERLY Q & A with the Dalai Lama Q: How do we judge when a strong countermeasure is required and what it will be? Please describe what we can learn from your actions in response to the Tibetan genocide. A: One of the reasons there is a need to adopt a strong counter- measure against someone who harms you is that if you let it pass, there is a danger of that person becoming habituated to extremely negative actions, which in the long run will cause that person’s own downfall and is very destructive for the individual himself or herself. Therefore a strong countermeasure, taken out of compassion or a sense of concern for the other, is necessary. When you are motivated by that realization, then there is a sense of concern as part of your motive for taking that strong measure. In terms of the way we have been dealing with the Chinese government, we have always tried to avoid negative emotions. We consciously make it a point not to let our emotions overwhelm us. So even if there is a likelihood of some feeling of anger arising, we deliberately check ourselves and try to reduce that, and try to delib- erately develop a feeling of compassion toward the Chinese. One of the reasons why there is some ground to feel compassion- ate toward a perpetrator of crime or an aggressor is that the aggres- sor, because he or she is perpetrating a crime, is at the causal stage, accumulating the causes and conditions that later lead to undesirable consequences. So from that point of view, there is enough ground to feel compassionate toward the aggressor. It is through this type of reflection that we try to deal with the Chinese. This is an example of how one can deal with hatred and aggression. At the same time, we never lose sight of the importance of holding firmly to our own principles and adopting the strong measures that are necessary.