Over 175,000 people returned to their usual self-centered lives today after attending various events during the Dalai Lama’s five-day “Seeds of Compassion” Seattle tour.
Throughout his visit to Seattle, the Dalai Lama spoke extensively of kindness and compassion, to approving applause from crowds numbering in the tens of thousands. Following these inspirational events, residents of the Seattle area promptly went back to their day-to-day lives, living in exactly the same way as before.
With deadlines to meet and traffic to contend with, Puget Sound residents casually disregarded the Dalai Lama’s message in record time.
“Compassion is great for someone that has become so enlightened as to be exempt from the wheel of death and rebirth,” said Michael Parker, a lawyer from Newcastle, “but most of us have to live in the real world, so I’m gonna do whatever is necessary to get mine.”
“I’m so glad that the Dalai Lama has chosen to bless humanity with his teachings by being continually reborn on this plane,” said Shoreline resident Tara Hammerson, as she cast an angry glare at the person in ahead of her in line for taking longer than thirty seconds to order their latte.
The Dalai Lama spoke of unlimited compassion, and said that we must be compassionate toward people whose ideas we don’t agree with. Parker said he agrees, as long as unlimited compassion doesn’t cost him anything. “I mean, when we’re talking about nodding and making sad eyes when my neighbor tells me that his wife’s favorite hairdresser is moving to New York, that’s the kind of compassion I have in unlimited quantities,” he said. “But when some uninsured jerk lets her three-year-old drive a shopping cart into my Benz while she loads the baby into the car… well, she’ll be seeing me in court.”
Although some people claimed to have been moved by the message, their actions clearly indicate that they completely missed the point.
“I’ve never actually met my neighbors, so I don’t really feel obligated to show them any direct compassion,” said Jake Rand, who lives in a condo in downtown Seattle. “Listening to the Dalai Lama speak was really motivational though,” he said, “I might stop actively avoiding eye contact with people in the halls and elevators or something.”
“The Dave Matthews concert was pretty cool I guess,” said Matt Jorgenson, “but I think the last one at the Gorge was better.”
In the end, it appears that the Dalai Lama’s visit will be little more than a footnote in the lives of most Seattle residents.
“The Dalai Lama said that when you show kindness you can make a real lasting difference in people’s lives,” said Hammerson. “Maybe I’ll pay for the drinks of the person behind me in the Starbucks drive-through tomorrow.”