Prior to admitting that he is not the right person to ask how music affects the soul because he simply “is not interested in music,” he spoke on the idea of teaching our younger generation morality through education.
“Our system is lacking moral education,” he says as the crowd applauded in approval. His Holiness stressed that religion is and will never be a universal form of teaching morality, but education can, and each of us have the potential to help fix this issue. With education, he says that we can use science and purpose as a method of instilling this idea among our youth.
His Holiness concluded his speech around 8:50pm (which was well past his 7pm bedtime) and Whoopi Goldberg took the stage as emcee. After cracking a few jokes and warming up the crowd Whoopi introduced all of the night’s performers. Once they were all on stage, they proceeded to play a rendition of John Lennon’s “Imagine” to celebrate and remember his birthday. There are hardly any words to describe the experience – having this performance follow the Dalai Lama had emotions running high. I found myself tearing up and chills running down my spine while feeling empowered and motivated to make a difference in the world. I’m sure this was an experience that everyone in the Dome that night won’t forget.
Following the united performance, artists such as Dave Matthews, Natasha Bedingfield, Phillip Phillips, Matisyahu, Nelly Furtado, and many more performed number one singles that pictured the idea of peace, acceptance, strength and forgiveness. One by one, each song seemed to swell the emotions of the crowd. Dave performed his recent single “Mercy,” after confessing that he has taken a lot of his better lyrics from His Holiness. Matisyahu sang “One Day,” which expresses hope for a day where there would be no wars and all of our children would be able to play together without discrimination, hate and violence. Clearly reflecting the ideas of the Dalai Lama, Matisyahu seemed to hit home. The crowd continued to roar with excitement when artist Andy Grammer, American Idol winner, ran through the audience during his hit single “Keep Your Head Up.” The inspiration did not stop here, the concert was expected to end at 11 PM but instead lasted until 11:46 with no sign of the crowd losing their energy.
Even though each artist moved us with their music, before the concert, singer Natasha Bedingfield said “I think music is quite a powerful thing, it crosses cultural boundaries, it speaks in different languages and touches you in a way even if you don’t understand what they are singing about, you can feel the emotion.” What Natasha said truly summed up the entire concert before it even happened. Even if you had never heard the songs played that night or understood the language they were singing in, you felt those same emotions that every other person felt at that moment in time.
After all of the moving songs and speeches given by the artists and the Dalai Lama, I want to leave you with one statement by His Holiness that I hope every person took from that night –
“You should not consider tolerance and forgiveness as a sign of weakness, but a sign of strength.”
Editors Note: Unfortunately, this article was a victim of oversight. I apologize for the lateness to Chelsey and the readers for the delay in releasing our coverage of the One World Concert. -Charlie