The founder of Children In Crossfire Richard Moore has described the Dalai Lama as the “life-boat I cling to” when considering the massive challenges facing the world today.
Mr Moore was speaking as the two men held a press conference in Derry yesterday morning after addressing over 1,000 people at the Millennium Forum on Sunday.
Speaking at the City Hotel yesterday, the Dalai Lama said Richard Moore was an inspiration and a living example of “compassion with action”.
Richard Moore lost his sight at the age of 10 in 1972 when he was shot by a British soldier.
In 1996, Mr Moore founded the Children in Crossfire charity, which works on the ground with children and families in war-torn and poverty stricken countries across the world.
His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama said: “When I first met Richard I was very much moved. I described him as my hero. That tragic experience brought enthusiasm to help thousands of other children. His case shows compassion is so important. He emphasises compassion with action so I really admire him.
“I very much appreciate his work. Some tragic experience happened and instead of being demoralised or angry, there was more enthusiasm, more determination.”
Richard Moore said for he was humbled by the Dalai Lama’s words of tribute and described the Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader as “somebody I completely and utterly admire in a world where there is a lot of conflict, disagreement, discord”.
He added: “You are certainly the life-boat I cling to in terms of the challenges out there. His Holiness being in Derry these two days will draw attention to children in parts of the world that Children In Crossfire are trying to help, and also help move forward this need to respond to the needs of others not only from the mind but from the heart. My dream would be that we don’t need a Children in Crossfire any more, that every child in the world has the same opportunities that I had.
“When we begin to feel the same way towards other children in other parts of the world and we respond to them and their plight in the same we respond to the love we have for our own children, then I think we will have a better world, and His Holiness is without a doubt the leading light in that regard.”
Earlier, the Dalai Lama said that each human being had a responsibility to help create a better, more human world. “Killing, bullying, cheating, basic human nature is not like this,” he said. “It is extremely sad and untenable, very demoralising to see people of different religions fighting, killing. So now all religious believers have moral responsibilty to build harmony.”