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Dalai Lama & Lady Gaga preach kindness to mayor's conference

Posted at 12:25 PM, Jun 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-26 23:51:40-04

INDIANAPOLIS -- Kindness and compassion can't solve all of the world's problems, but the Dalai Lama and Lady Gaga say they can set the stage for those solutions.

The Tibetan leader and the Oscar-winning singer/songwriter appeared on stage together during the Sunday morning session of the U.S. Conference of Mayors at the J.W. Marriott Grand Ballroom.

The panel discussion that also featured businessman Philip Anschutz and former NBC journalist Ann Curry followed a short speech by the Dalai Lama, virtually a miniature version of the speech on compassion he gave at the Indiana State Fairgrounds Coliseum on Saturday.

"Kindness is the water that puts out the fire," said Gaga, a retort to the old 'you can't fight fire with fire adage.'  

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The Dalai Lama was asked about the current political tone, particularly with a presidential election campaign that has featured as much name-calling as it has policy discussion, plus the recent virulent campaign that led a majority of voters in Britain to choose to leave the European Union.

He said political leaders, among others, need to be able to give and take constructive criticism while remaining kind to each other.

 "President George (W.) Bush is a good friend. I respect him.  He had a noble goal of bringing democracy to Iraq, but after (the war began), I told George Bush 'I love you. I respect you, but I have big reservations about some of your policies," the Dalai Lama said.

PHOTOS | Dalai Lama & Lady Gaga at U.S. Conference of Mayors

Lady Gaga compared the earth to a slowly rotting apple, with the people being the seeds. "The good seeds preserve the apple, and the bad seeds quicken the erosion. We all want to be good seeds."