His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, 75, is respected by the Tibetan people as their temporal and spiritual leader. At age 2, he was recognized as the reincarnation of the 13th Dalai Lama, Thubten Gyatso. The Dalai Lamas are believed to be manifestations of the Bodhisattva of Compassion and they embody wisdom, contentment, forgiveness and self-discipline. There's plenty to forgive: the brutal Chinese invasion of Tibet by Mao Zedong's People's Liberation Army in 1949 and the continuing oppression of the Tibetan people. So far over 1.2 million Tibetans have been killed and 6,000 monasteries destroyed. The violence is still ongoing. Forced to flee the mayhem in 1959, the Dalai Lama has been living in exile in Dharamsala, India. For his message of peace and compassion, he has been presented with countless awards, including the 1989 Nobel Peace Prize for his nonviolent campaign for the liberation of Tibet.

We're all the same mentally, emotionally and physically. I consider myself just one of 6 billion human beings. Prime ministers and street children — we are the same. Everybody has the desire to achieve a happy life and everyone has every right to achieve a happy life.

All major religions have the same potential to bring inner peace. These different religions have different practices, but the main message is the same: compassion.