20210826慈心關愛造善因Promoting Mutual Support in the Community
In life, being with our loved ones brings us joy while parting always makes us sad. How can we not be sad when our loved ones or our family have to leave? While our dearest children leave for studies or work, we, (living alone), will be getting on in years.
Recently, when I have meeting with members of Tzu Chi's charity or medical mission, we always talk about long-term care for the elderly. Nowadays, many young people leave their hometown even if they are filial to their parents. Whatever the reason for their departure, eventually, their parents will become advanced in age, yet they won't be by their parents' side. What can we do?
I hope we can guide people in communities to care for one another and that borough heads can bring people together to help and care for the needy, for as a saying goes, a near neighbor is better than a distant cousin. Now, we need more organizations to bring love to communities and we must call on people in communities to love and support one another. As we can see, governmental organizations, social worker groups, and charities have initiated care services in many communities.
Our Tzu Chi members are truly dedicated to community care. In many places, we see how they serve with utmost sincerity and mindfulness. In Hualien (and other places), we've been encouraging indigenous people to drink tea instead of wine, for many of them have fallen ill because of alcoholism. Even the elderly living alone, the ill, and the disabled can't quit drinking. Who can take care of these people? Who can take care of these people?
Our Department of Charity Mission Development is very mindful. Members of the department give talks in many tribes and care for the people there with genuine sincerity, hoping to give them confidence, bring peace to their hearts and minds, and improve their health. I hope their will be more charities to encourage and support the elderly and the disabled in their communities.
I often hear how people refuse aid from kind-hearted people. Oftentimes, those who are offered aid will say: "Is the offer a scam?" Not daring to accept the aid, they'll give a cold shoulder to the kind-hearted people, and the kind-hearted people then need to spend much time interacting with them and giving explanations. As the distance between people has become larger, we must be more mindful so as to reach out to those truly in need of aid. As there are many people in need, instead of being indifferent, we must keep serving with enthusiasm.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we've been required to wear a face mask on many occasions. While we've been covering our mouth, have we reflected on ourselves and kept our unwholesome thoughts in check? We humans often cannot control our greed and anger or dispel our ignorance. If we can do that, (we can ease the pandemic.) Then, we don't have to wear a face mask and we can see each other's faces.
Every day, I call on all to go vegetarian. Yet, we all know that it's hard for people to curb their desire for meat. (The pandemic will ease) if more people can go vegetarian. This indicates that they've understood the pandemic occurred as a result of people eating animals. As people eat animals, the virus has been spreading far and wide and more and more people have been infected.
With more and more animals being killed for food, the hatred of the animals has been accumulating and we humans have been suffering from karmic retributions. The only way to dissolve the hatred is for us humans to awaken. If we truly understand that it's wrong to kill animals and decide to change our ways, naturally the animals will forgive us and the pandemic can be eased.
I hope we can all understand that if we do not eat meat, animals can follow the natural cycle of birth and death instead of being raised for food. The Buddha spoke of the five or six realms of existence. Animals are born as animals as they'd created bad karma in their past lives. Yet, it doesn't mean we can kill them for food. We must let them follow the natural cycle of birth and death rather than kill them and thus created bad karma.
If we kill animals and create bad karma, we will have to repay karmic debts and (might be born as animals and) be killed in our next life. Recently, I've often said that if we eat meat, we'll be indebted to animals and have to pay the debt and even its interest. Eating animals truly brings about a cycle of retaliation.