A joy to be with…

25 Mar 2020

When I worked with His Holiness Dalai Lama at the Golden Temple in Amritsar, he gave a talk on the meaning of life. After a few minutes, he started giggling. Soon, he had everyone in the room, including the world’s media, laughing so hard it hurt. Not a bad way to capture the meaning of life! And when I worked with Desmond Tutu, he came up to me with laughing eyes and a beautiful smile, and gave me a massive high five. I learned from these two holy men – authors of The Book of Joy – that leadership, spirituality and social change don’t need to be heavy, serious subjects. Instead, they can be full of laughter and love. When we use the power of joy, we open people up, and create the space for change to take root.

It was my job to design and implement the PR for a global event on love and forgiveness, co-hosted by HH Dalai Lama and the local Sikh community, at the Golden Temple in Amritsar. The role involved setting up all the interviews for HH Dalai Lama, briefing him (probably the most futile thing I have done since trying to master the cello aged 11), and leading this fine bunch of people around the Golden Temple for a media tour. We were all asked to remove our shoes and socks; the floor was soaking from people bathing in holy water; and the media were shoving, pushing and slipping to get the best shot. Love and forgiveness were required.