Tibet and Tibetans:Past and Future. I should say ahead of time that I have been proud to call many many Tibetans, especially during the 1980s my friends, both in California, Oregon, India and Nepal. I thought to be fair I should say this to you before I get started.
Tibetans in Nepal and India I found to be among the most precious people I have ever met on earth. Because of having to survive above 8000 feet in elevation they tend to be very physically hearty and very intelligent and pragmatic and very good business people because anyone who wasn't pretty much like this died in those environmental stresses a thousand years ago.
If they are direct from the countryside of Tibet and haven't traveled much they might seem to be fairly naive about the world but then again that is true of most country people all over earth who don't have TV's, newspapers or radios that much or public education so this is not unusual. The same likely would be true of country people of most nations in Asia, Africa or South America.
The plight of Tibetans still inside Tibet is likely to be similar in some respects to the Native Americans in the US from the 1800s to the present. Though it makes me very sad to say it I feel it must be said.
Until enough economic success is had by the average Chinese person and until China gets something resembling a US or European type Democracy, Tibet is very unlikely to have anything resembling being its own state or having independence. Though this is a sad fact I'm afraid it is a fairly pragmatic one. I don't think the Chinese could be goaded by conscience into returning Tibet to Tibetans just like the Cowboys of the 1800s were not going to give back Indian land to the Native Americans. It just wasn't part of their nature. Furthermore, unless the US and Europe were willing to go to war with china and I know they wouldn't go to war for that, Tibet and Tibetans will find themselves more and more marginalized and sad.
So, what I'm trying to say is that sometimes it is important to realize what one can change and what is relatively impossible to change in order to have a sane and useful life. However, if a Tibetan Ghandi shows up and is successful then God Bless Him or her. I just don't think the Chinese because of their history of the last 500 years would be open to the kind of conscience and shame necessary to give back Tibet to the Tibetans and the Dalai Lama. Understanding this in a pragamatic way Tibetans can find ways individually and collectively how they want to deal with this sad state of affairs on earth in regard to Tibetans.
I feel the greatest gift the Tibetans have given to the world is the Dalai Lama and his Nobel Prize for Peace and all their cultural (both pragmatic and spiritual) wisdom .I know this wisdom has worked for me and given me both hope and insight into a better future when I had no hope at all for a future for mankind. Now, through studying with several Tibetan Lamas I think in terms of 500 to 1000 years like they tend to rather than just today or next year or 5 years the way most Americans do. For this long view I am very grateful. I hope what I have said here will help Tibetans somehow into a brighter future.