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Matthieu Ricard: A Call for Solidarity

Tibetan Buddhist monk and author, Matthieu Ricard, was visiting his home town in Aix-les-Bains, in France, for a conference when the Paris attacks occurred last week.  Ricard, a scientist who holds a PhD in molecular genetics, has written and spoken widely about the power of altruism and how it is an inherent quality of humanity.  He advocates for practicing compassion in thought, word, and deed to develop kindness and compassion for ourselves and others. 

Today he wrote movingly about our need to resist the urge for vengence, and how important it is to understand the underlying causes and conditions that create violence and destructive behavior.

Faced with the barbaric terrorist acts that have destroyed the lives of so many people in Paris, our immediate reaction is to be completely shocked and experience immense pain. But we have to turn this response around. During all great trials, it is calmness and solidarity that allow us to rebuild, not displaying vengeance and resorting to violence. French people and other citizens of the world need to come together in goodwill, and not respond with fear. Together, we must envision constructive solutions to promote fundamental human values especially towards those who have been neglected, particularly with regard to their education.

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