His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama, gave a public address at the University of California, San Diego, Friday morning, ahead of his speech at the all-campus commencement Saturday.
The Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, spoke to hundreds of people, filling the seats and stands on RIMAC Field at UC San Diego.
The lecture, "Embracing the Beauty of Diversity in Our World," focused on love and kindness among humanity.
"We have to work together and share each other’s problems as one human family," the Dalai Lama said.
He jokingly added that all problems were created by men, not women.
He also touched on the subject of mental health and the importance of education on the issue, calling on universities like UC San Diego to focus on it as well. He addressed the need for compassion among people regardless of their religious beliefs.
The emphasis of “we, we, we,” creates the concept of “they, they, they," and that is what leads to distance and violence in the world, he told the audience.
"'They' deserve our love and kindness," he said, adding that if we give compassion to all individuals, "today's enemy, next time becomes a best friend."
Following his speech, the Dalai Lama sat down with San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, UC San Diego Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla, and journalist Ann Curry to answer questions.
The sold-out event was open to the public.
The Dalai Lama last visited UC San Diego in 2012.
Following the announcement of his visit in 2017, the Chinese Student and Scholar Association (CSSA) denounced the university's decision to have the Dalai Lama speak at the commencement ceremony.
China and the Dalai Lama have a politically tense relationship, which is reflected in the response from UC San Diego's international student population.