Date: July 31th, 2010 (Staturday)
Lecturer: Master Zheng-Yan
Subject: Cherishing Water 警策危機勤造福
Looking around the world, I feel very worried and concerned.
We see that an earthquake has hit Iran. This points to an imbalance in the Earth element.
From another news report, we see the flooding in Pakistan. The floodwaters were very fierce.
We saw footage of a child trying to climb to a higher place. We could see his terror and fright.
He was crying and was very scared. It was heartbreaking.
Though we in Taiwan are safe and well, in other countries, disasters are happening.
Russia is also experiencing forest fires which have ravaged a wide area of woodland and peat bog.
The whole area looks like a wall of fire with fires occurring in one place after another.
Indeed, the Four Elements are all in disequilibrium now. So, how can we remain safe and well living on this Earth?
Therefore, we must be vigilant and be aware of what is happening, because everything on this Earth is interconnected.
When a disaster happens in one part of the Earth, other areas will be affected as well.
So, everyone, we must realize the lessons that Mother Nature is teaching us.
From the disasters that are happening, Mother Nature is giving us warnings.
So, everyone, please be very sincere, vigilant, and humbly pious.
What we saw earlier was the flood in Pakistan which was terrifying and frightful.
Yet water is essential for life, for it sustains all living things.
Here on Earth, humans animals and plants, all rely on water to survive.
So, we need to be grateful for water, and we need to cherish it.
While we reply on water to keep us alive, we also must not pollute it.
Once the water gets polluted, our land will be polluted too.
Once the water becomes polluted, it will be hard for many life forms on Earth to survive as the crops grown on polluted land will be contaminated and inedible.
From this, we can see that water is the source of life for humans and all other life forms on Earth.
Without water, life cannot be sustained. It would be extremely difficult to live without water.
We see China’s Gansu Province. Beginning in 1998, Tzu Chi began building water cisterns in Gansu.
The water cisterns collect rainwater.
Since it does not rain much in Gansu, it is important to collect all the rain that does fall.
The locals, from a young age, are taught to use water frugally.
Once women are married, it is their job to fetch water every day.
They have to walk a long distance to do so and even hike up mountains.
They have to walk several kilometers to fetch water.
They do all that for just two buckets of water.
That’s the amount a family uses. Sometimes the water is very dirty.
So, for over a decade, Tzu Chi has been building water cisterns in Gansu.
To date, close to 20,000 cisterns have been built.
However, about three years ago, I noticed that Gansu was receiving less and less rainfall.
So, I suggested a new plan of relocating people (in drought-prone areas) and building a village for them.
So, Tzu Chi has been doing that.
In the new village, they’d have better access to water and be able to lead a better life.
but for the 10,000 plus families with cisterns, the cisterns have improved their quality of life.
The time and energy that they used to spend on fetching water could now be used for other work such as farming. So, they have a better harvest now.
With water from the cisterns, they can grow crops.
When watering a corn stalk, they use a drinking cup.
One cup of water waters three stalks of corn. That’s how frugally they use the water.
Life with limited water is really very hard.
So, we must respect and care for Mother Nature and cherish all resources.
We should even cherish the rain that falls and try to collect it and make use of it.
We should avoid pumping underground water.
We should instead use our wisdom and promote the concept of conserving water and reducing carbon emissions as well as recycling to protect the environment.
In Suzhou Province, we held a camp for children.
During the camp, we showed the children how people in Gansu live.
The video made a deep impression on them. Then, they tried out what it was like to fetch water.
Their buckets were only half full.
Yet, after just lifting the shoulder pole, the children said:
“My shoulders hurt. It’s too heavy”.
From this experience, they realized that fetching water is really hard work.
The buckets were only half full, or even less, but their shoulders already hurt.
Only after doing it themselves did they realize how hard it was.
After watching the video of Gansu and experiencing what it’s like to fetch water, they’ve now learned they must cherish water.
We also see our children’s camp in Sanchong (in Taiwan)
Children at the camp all learned to conserve water.
See, children will learn if we teach them. The principle of cherishing water can be carried out in their daily lives.
They figured out ways to cherish water.
To save water, instead of one person using a bucket of water, three children decided to together use only one bucket of water.
In the shortest time, they finished washing themselves using only a bucket of water.
indeed, children in Gansu, China do not get much water for washing themselves in their entire life.
In contrast, children in Taiwan can take as many shower as they please or even take a bath in a bathtub.
Life can be so unfair.
We all live on the planet Earth but for some, the environment they are born in can be very harsh one.
So, we must cherish what we have.
If we fail to take good care of our planet or do something to mitigate global warming, we humans may face a water or food crisis. This is possible.
Everyone, we need to be highly aware of this and think seriously about it.
(Source: Da Ai TV 人間菩提)