The Dalai Lama visits the City of Brotherly Love to accept the prestigious Liberty Medal and host a public forum timed with Philly’s first Day of Kindness.
The Dalai Lama’s visit to Philadelphia is inspiring a citywide Day of Kindness on October 27.
His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet returns to Philadelphia this fall for the first time in seven years, to accept the Liberty Medal on October 26. The Dalai Lama “perfectly represents the ideals of tolerance, compassion, and kindness that the Liberty Medal recognizes,” says Jeffrey Rosen, president and CEO of the National Constitution Center, which bestows the medal each year. In its 27-year history, the Liberty Medal has been awarded to luminaries such as Nelson Mandela, Sandra Day O’Connor, and Colin Powell.
According to Rosen, the Dalai Lama, who received the Nobel Prize in 1989 for his commitment to global human rights, had been discussed as a possible recipient for years, but logistics and schedules kept getting in the way. “We’re delighted to at last be able to honor His Holiness,” Rosen says. “The gods have smiled on us.”
Taking advantage of that timing, a local group is organizing the city’s first Day of Kindness on October 27. “Whether it’s feeding a meter that’s about to expire or joining a choir that’s visiting a retirement home, we hope people throughout the city will participate in making Philadelphia a kinder place,” says J. Nathan Bazzel, one of the organizers of the event.
On the Day of Kindness, volunteers can find organizations in need of help on the website dayofkindness.org, or they can participate in a 21-day challenge to perform one act of kindness a day. At strategic points throughout the city, citizens can also gather to design and paint hundreds of flags with positive messages. And capping off the day, a forum at the Liacouras Center of Temple University, entitled “Finding Happiness in Troubled Times: Educating the Heart in the 21st Century,” will be moderated by the Dalai Lama himself and is open to the public. The Liberty Medal will be awarded on Monday, October 26, at 5 pm at the National Constitution Center. 525 Arch St., 215-409-6600