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You have to hand it to the Dalai Lama. He did away with the whole “thoughts and prayer” response to tragedy in a single tweet.

He’s obviously right here. Prayer achieves nothing. Actions are what count.

And this isn’t the first time we’ve heard these kinds of comments from him. After the 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris, he made it clear prayer wasn’t going to solve anything:

We cannot solve this problem only through prayers. I am a Buddhist and I believe in praying. But humans have created this problem, and now we are asking God to solve it. It is illogical. God would say, solve it yourself because you created it in the first place.

We need a systematic approach to foster humanistic values, of oneness and harmony. If we start doing it now, there is hope that this century will be different from the previous one. It is in everybody’s interest. So let us work for peace within our families and society, and not expect help from God, Buddha or the governments.

Either the Dalai Lama is more secular than we thought or we’re all Buddhists…

Regardless, anytime someone with more than 17 million Twitter followers reminds people that prayers alone achieve nothing, we should be grateful. With all the noise and hate online, there are still people willing to state unpopular truths without denigrating others.

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Hemant Mehta is the founder of, a YouTube creator, podcast co-host, and author of multiple books about atheism. He can be reached at @HemantMehta.