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Today is the birthday of the Dalai Lama, the revered world leader of Tibetan Buddhism. He is 85 years old today. It has been my privilege—along with large crowds of others—to be in his presence twice in my life. In spite of all the pain and struggle in his life, one cannot fail to notice the buoyancy and deep love that emanates from this holy world leader, affecting all in his path. I am grateful to live in a time that allows people of all nations and religions access to such a saint, such a down-to-earth model of how to live. It is my joy and privilege to share some of his “quotable quotes” in celebration of his birthday. We would do well to reflect on his words and follow his example today. (Remember to smile.)

Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.

When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive—to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.

♥ Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive.

Today, more than ever before, life must be characterized by a sense of Universal responsibility, not only nation to nation and human to human, but also human to other forms of life.

If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.

♥ My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.

If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.