EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (KMSP) - Welcomed by the CEO of Starkey Hearing Technologies, William Austin along with legendary actor, producer and director, Forrest Whitaker, the Dalai Lama was the centerpiece of a panel discussion titled "A Call for Compassion and Conscious Kindness."
“You have three strong-minded individuals that really want to do good in the world and have a shared mind of wanting to help compassion and caring,” said Senior Vice President of Starkey Hearing Technologies, Brandon Sawalich. “He’s really bringing caring to what we do. It’s not about business, the bottom line of a business is people.”
Politicians and local top business executives gathered for this once in a lifetime opportunity. Many were quickly surprised to see His Holiness has quite the sense of humor.
“Occasionally, I find it difficult to keep compassion toward mosquito," he said. "Sound asleep mosquito go bzzz like that. I go swat like that."
The discussion was similar to a private talk the Dalai Lama took part in on Thursday with all 1,300 Starkey employees. Messages included his views about giving, philanthropy, love, kindness, emotion, education and conflict resolution to name a few.
“With calm mind, we can see holistic and our intelligence has the opportunity to analyze all aspects of that," he said. "So your attitude becomes more realistic.”
“He looks at things very directly, the Dalai Lama, and tells you how to bring people together,” said former senator Rudy Boschwitz.
“It’s messages we’ve learned from our childhoods and we forget because we get busy with all the noise and things we do in our daily lives. It really brings you back to center,” said Sawalich. “My biggest takeaway was the compassion and caring for others.”
Opening up for a question and answer opportunity, the Dalai Lama was stumped by one question, how to bring country together at a time when politically people are so divided?
“I need to spend a few months in Washington,” said His Holiness. “I don’t know.”
Minnesota has second largest Tibetan community in the United States. Saturday morning, the Dalai Lama has a public talk opportunity at the Minneapolis Convention Center. For more information, click here.