Old and New
Old friends pass away, new friends appear. It is just like the days. An old day passes, a new day arrives. The important thing is to make it meaningful: a meaningful friend -- or a meaningful day.
-- Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama
The name "Tenzin" in Tibetan is like the name "Chris" in English -- it is a familiar name given to many Tibetans, both men and women. The 14th Dalai Lama's personal name is Tenzin Gyatso. If you think of the Dalai Lama as "Tenzin" then you are on the right track to understanding his personality, and his message today.
If you get the chance to meet the Dalai Lama personally, you will feel right away that he is like a good friend. If you are nervous or tense, he will tell a joke and give you his big, trademark smile. Tenzin's smile tells you that his concern for you is genuine. Above all he is kind and treats you as an equal.
This is the way old friends treat each other -- with respect, familiarity, and with the same concern for each other as for themselves. Today the Dalai Lama refers to meeting new friends in the new days ahead. When you meet new friends, treat them like your old friends. Reach out to them and discuss something of importance. Ask them about their concerns and listen carefully. When you meet new friends like they are old friends, they will become meaningful friends.
The Dalai Lama also refers to old friends and old days passing. They pass away naturally, and we might sometimes try too hard to stop them. Sometimes the only way to renew is to let go of the old -- especially an old grudge, or an old regret.
A lot of modern society centers on dream or wish fulfillment, but it is also okay to let old dreams pass away. It is not important whether our dreams have stayed the same our whole lives. What the Dalai Lama said about friends and days is also true about dreams: "The important thing is to make it meaningful."