I’m reminded of something the writer Pico Iyer told me about the Dalai Lama. Whenever the head of Tibetan Buddhism visits Japan he is asked how the country can improve. His devotees expect an answer along the lines of deeper spiritual contemplation or a stronger commitment to peace. According to Iyer, the Dalai Lama consistently deflates his audience with the practical admonition: “Learn English.”
– David Pilling, interviewing Hiroshi Mikitani in the Financial Times. (I would recommend reading Pico Iyer, too, who is one of the more interesting and entertaining travel writers out there).