Date: October 26th, 2010 (Tuesday)
Lecturer: Master Zheng-Yan
Subject: Reaching Out to Those in Need with Selfless Great Love 平順即福秉戒慎
It’s been 5 days since Typhoon Megi triggered mudslides on the coastal highway in Yilan, northeastern Taiwan and the rescue work is still underway.
There are 20 plus people still missing, most of whom are tourists form China.
The families of these Chinese tourists have come to Taiwan to see them, dead or alive.
We can understand how they feel and what they must be going through.
At the same time, the rescuers have been doing all they can to search on land, at sea, and from the air.
My heart really goes out to them all.
In the past few days, the rescuers have found remains of the bus as well as some items of clothing, etc which need to be identified by the families of the missing.
However, seeing what has been found, the families must be even more grieved because before seeing these things, there would’ve still been a glimmer of hope that their loved ones could still be alive.
But seeing the remains of the bus and the belongings of the missing, their pain and sorrow must be unbearable.
Nevertheless, everyone is doing their best.
Similar disasters keep occurring again and again.
I remember that in October 1998, Taiwan was affected by two consecutive typhoons within two weeks.
The first typhoon, Zeb, brushed past Taiwan in mid-October, and on Oct. 26, a land warning was issued again for the second typhoon, Babs.
Zeb once intensified to become a super typhoon while Babs was a Catetory 4 typhoon.
Neither of these two typhoons made landfall in Taiwan, just like Typhoon Megi this time.
They were just very close to Taiwan, but see how much damage they had caused---Keelung, Xizhi of Taipei, Yilan, and Hualien had all been devastated by mudslides and flooding.
That time, I happened to be traveling around Taiwan.
So, I rushed to Taipei to coordinate the relief efforts.
I saw how everyone mobilized and did everything they could to bring aid to those affected.
Thinking back to that year, I remember how hard Tzu Chi volunteers worked to bring relief to people.
Even those in central Taiwan was mobilized.
During that time, Tzu Chi volunteers truly worked tirelessly every day without rest every day from mid-October to November 9.
Seeing the devastation brought by disasters truly makes us feel how fragile the land is.
So, that was what happened around this time 12 years ago.
We truly must be on guard at all times as life is impermanent and unpredictable.
See how much damage typhoons can bring without even making landfall.
As another typhoon has formed over the sea now, we truly must heighten our vigilance.
The disaster back in 1998 was very similar to what happened this time.
It’s just that, this time, it is Suao in Yilan that was hit the hardest.
For the past three days, over 3,000 volunteers have mobilized to take part in the cleanup efforts.
Every volunteer brought their own cleaning tools and assembled at the train stations early in the morning.
To avoid disrupting other passengers, our volunteers took whatever spare seats that were available or got standing tickets.
That is how thoughtful everyone was as they waited patiently to get on the train.
I am also very grateful to the Taiwan Railway Administration.
Knowing that we were going to provide aid the affected areas, they put in additional carriages to accommodate us
For that, I am very grateful.
I must also thank our volunteers in charge of booking tickets.
It’s truly hard work.
For the cleanup efforts over the past three days, I am truly very grateful to Tzu Chi volunteers from Taipei and Hualien as well as those in Suao.
Some of the homes of our volunteers in Suao were also flooded.
But after doing a simple cleanup of their homes with the help of other volunteers, they immediately joined the relief team in giving comfort, distributing relief goods and helping to clean up the homes of others.
See how our local volunteers in Suao reach out to those affected with love and help to restore their lives first.
This is the love of Tzu Chi volunteers.
We also see that in Nanfangao, Yilan there was a young man who responded very quickly when he saw and heard the slopes of the mountain buckling and starting to slide down.
A resident of Nanfangao, Lin Yu-mei said:
“It was my neighbor who yelled to us to run.”
A resident of Nanfangao, Li Yu-Jheng said:
“He is such a nice guy. He helped carry the kids and the elderly on his back to safety.”
A resident of Nanfangao, Jhuang Huei-Fong said:
“At the time, I didn’t think about myself at all. I just tried to save as many lives as possible. One life lost means one less neighbor.”
What he did was very admirable.
The way he gave of himself selflessly with love is indeed praiseworthy.
So, for every moment we live, we must seize that moment to do what is right.
Life is short and fleeting.
With disasters occurring one after another, the land will be scarred by destruction without end.
So, for the sake of our future generations, every one of us must work to cherish this land.
That is why in times of peace, we must first take care of our minds as only then can the actions we take bring about favorable conditions in Nature, which will also be favorable for people’s wellbeing.
Such favorable conditions are a blessing.
When we are able to live in peace and safety, we are indeed very blessed.
That is why we must seize every moment to do what is right and sow blessings.
After the volunteers’ morning assembly yesterday, I had a videoconferencing session with our volunteers who are currently in Pakistan.
I’m very grateful to the Taiwanese businessmen there and other locals for supporting our relief efforts.
Through the videoconferencing yesterday, what I saw from their reports truly broke my heart.
Apart from the flooding since July and the resulting outbreaks of diseases, what’s even more worrying is the social instability due to ongoing conflicts within the country.
It truly is very worrying to see.
Nevertheless, we must still pray with sincere piety our team of volunteers there can influence and inspire more people can influence and inspire more people with their love so that such violence and conflict can be eased.
With so many things happening every day, we must seize the time we have to do what is right.
(Source: Da Ai TV 人間菩提)