20190930匯聚大愛共鋪路Thirty Years of Tzu Chi’s Education Mission
Two days ago, I went to the Hualien Jing Si Hall and watched people presenting on stage from the fifth floor balcony. Among them were heads and supervisors of our four missions. Some are accomplished doctors, nurses, or department directors of our four missions. A few of them enrolled in Tzu Chi’s kindergarten when they were five years old.
Some were brought by their parents and received education in our primary school, middle school, high school, and university or university of science and technology. More than 2,000 of our graduates are now serving in Tzu Chi’s four missions. They are now grown up, have formed their own families, fulfilled remarkable achievement. Seeing them on stage, I am truly moved.
I was in the fifth floor balcony, feeling that we truly need to seize the moment. Over half century ago, a thought came to me, and I founded Tzu Chi. It has not been an easy path since we went through a lot of challenges. That is why I keep on saying that we have to pave a smooth path for others to walk on.
For all these years, I am grateful to Tzu Chi commissioners and Tzu Chengs for their devotion and efforts of pulling their strength bit by bit to keep on inspiring others to join Tzu Chi, and setting good examples for younger volunteers. For over half a century, Tzu Chi volunteers have carried out a charity mission in 100 countries and regions across the world.
A medical mission has been established for 33 years. The Hualien Tzu Chi Hospital celebrated its 33rd anniversary. Take Professor Yang for example, when he was 60, he retired from the National Taiwan University Hospital and came to Hualien to help me and Tzu Chi. At that time, Dr. Yang Sze-Piao, Dr. Tu Shih-mien, and Dr. Tseng Wen-ping, who were the superintendent and assistant superintendents of the National Taiwan University Hospital, joined Tzu Chi.
They helped me plan how to establish a hospital, and select the design and the architect In the architectural design competition. They help me through the whole process. Professor Yang is 100 years old now. Two days ago, he attended the celebration. He kept saying that he did not see me. Yes, I was upstairs, waving at him. I kept waving at him. It wasn’t until I went downstairs and he was leaving that we met at the lobby in front of the sutra lecture hall.
He is 100 years old, and I’m in my 80s. The age gap between us will always remain the same. It’s not the case that he grows old while I get younger. As time passes, he ages by a year, and I also age by a year. Such is life. All in all, I am grateful to those people who helped me in those early days. So, we must seize our time and life.
We saw the celebration of the 30th anniversary of Tzu Chi education mission. Confucius said, at fifteen, I had my mind bent on learning. At age 15, one should know and understand clearly the events happening around the world. This is also a time to go amongst and interact with people. Then, at the age of 30, one should have established himself.
From middle school, high school to medical college, I am very grateful to the 12 years I was in Tzu Chi schools. They taught me one very important thing, which was to help people. I visited the elderly in tribes and those in nursing homes, hoping to bring them some happiness. Doing this also gave me motivation to move forward.
We also saw a student expressing her gratitude.
When I was in college, my Tzu Chi Dad, did one thing that really touched me, Which I didn’t know at the time. My grandpa was very ill and was hospitalized. After Papa Minlang found out, he visited my grandpa at the hospital often without letting me know. After my grandpa passed away, Papa Minlang even contacted a funeral home for us. Because of this, I feel that Papa Minlang’s Love is very selfless.
I don‘t have children but really wanted children. I joined Tzu Chi, and became a Tzu Chi Mom to eight sweet children. When my husband passed away, all eight of them were by his side. During the funeral, they all asked to wear the mourning dress, paid respect to him like he was their father, and even took part in the bone collection ritual. Since then, they would come visit me monthly. My husband gave of himself selflessly, and received so much love in return.
Mr. Zheng did not have any children, but eight students from Tzu Chi University attended his funeral as if they were his children. It takes time to build a good relationship; truly, let us cherish time and nurture our enlightened love. We can love children who are not related to us, and open our home to the big family of the world, and see all the children in the world as our own.
To do that is truly not easy. Such are the moments of Tzu Chi volunteers and the preciousness of life; I can go on and on. Though now it takes a lot of my strength to talk, I seem to carry on and on; that’s because there is truly so much I want to say about someone or some people in the past.
Everyone, as you are carrying out my wishes, Please cherish the person who accompanied you as well as those who serve with you, and those who created and paved our path. I hope we have gratitude and respect for everyone. We have walked on this path together, so, we have established the missions of education, medicine, and culture.
I see everyone is inspiring love and using their strengths to serve society, and that students continue to make achievements in their fields, as well as seeing the efforts to pass on Tzu Chi’s spirit from generation to generation. I am totally comforted, and I am grateful for everyone‘s power of love.