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 20170616保護國土誠濟世 Protecting the Land to Save the World

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發表主題: 20170616保護國土誠濟世 Protecting the Land to Save the World    周一 6月 26, 2017 9:47 pm

20170616保護國土誠濟世 Protecting the Land to Save the World

When will there be peace everywhere in the world at all times? There is always so much to worry about, and many things on the international news are quite terrifying. For example, an apartment building in London was suddenly engulfed in fire two days ago. The fire burned for thirty hours. Imagine how worried the locals must have been during those thirty hours. Seconds must have felt like hours.

Furthermore, Nature’s four elements are out of balance. We can see that in so many countries, the land has been damaged by natural disasters and people are suffering. Looking at Taiwan, the Weather Bureau has forecasted heavy rains in the next several days, which makes me worried about the mountainous areas. We have seen how fragile the land can be.

After the rain hit, the whole mountainside collapsed and crumbled like a piece of tofu. Even large trees were uprooted and came down with rocks and mud. This had made roads in the mountains very dangerous. We also see crew working on a major road in Nantou because many people travel on this road.

This road is also very dangerous. Because it is beside a steep rock face, landslides happen frequently. It is truly frightening to watch the workers repair the road with landslide occurring. It is also very frightening to see vehicles drive by the landslide.

However, people living in mountainous areas depend in this road even though it is very dangerous. This is truly frightening to see. I hope that everyone can be well and live in a safe place.

As long as people live in the mountains, damage will be done to the mountainsides because, in order to make a living, they have to turn the mountainside into farmland, which is not a good thing. Thus, now is the time to restore and protect our mountains. We should start planting more trees to preserve the mountains for the future.

We also see that recent heavy rains caused flooding in Baozhong Township in Yunlin County. A kindergarten in the township was flooded due to the heavy rains. Fortunately, all the children there are safe.

All in all, whenever I hear that weather forecast say that torrential rains are expected to come, I can’t help but worry for those who live in or near the mountainous areas. Yet, on top of being worried, I don’t know what we can do to help them.

We also see news from Haiti, a country suffering from poverty. When a strong quake hit Haiti in 2010, Tzu Chi volunteers went there to provide aid. Since then, volunteers have continuously provided help to this country. Last month, Mr. James Chen, a Tzu Chi volunteer in the U.S. who has been caring for people in Haiti, came to visit me.

He showed me a photo and I asked him, “Why is everyone raising their hand?” He replied, “They are holding their shoes in their hands.” I then asked, “Why are they holding their shoes in their hands instead of wearing them on their feet?” He said, “They regard their shoes as a very valuable possession. Since they found the shoes somewhere, these shoes usually do not fit their feet.

However, even though the shoes don’t fit they just want to have a pair of shoes. Since the shoes don’t really fit, they are afraid that walking amongst a crowd, their shoes won’t stay on. That’s why, when walking in a crowd, they would rather take off their shoes and hold it in their hands”.

Seeing people in Haiti treat their shoes as something very precious, a Taiwanese businessman in the Dominican Republic donated 10,000 pairs of shoes to Tzu Chi to help these people. When the shipping container with the shoes arrived, a local priest called upon students to unload the boxes of shoes to storage to be distributed later.

After the shoes were distributed to the local people, we see that everyone was very happy that they have shoes to wear even if the shoes did not fit. They are truly excited and happy.

“Master, thank you for the rice. Our family now has rice to eat and shoes to wear. Thank you. Thank you very much.”

“I couldn’t even dream of having new shoes to wear. I’ll wear it to church and show them to my relatives and friends.”

We see that it is difficult for some people in Haiti to obtain even one pair of shoes in their life. We also see that many people in Haiti walk around barefoot. It is rare for them to have shoes, and the children there are very happy.

When buying shoes for children in Taiwan, they want shoes from famous brands. Life is not fair. Why does this happen? It is out of their control. Their karmic affinities determine what country and family that they were born into. Thus, we should be grateful that we are blessed to live in a good society and family and have good parents so that we can lead a comfortable life. These circumstances are not easy to come by.        

We also see that TIMA eye doctors provided free eye operations for people in Bohol Island of the Philippines. We see an elderly man who had been blind in both eyes for several decades. He was able to regain vision in one of his eyes after doctors performed surgery on him.

After the operation, the elderly man sat up and broke into a smile. We see that when he saw the doctors who helped him, he thanked him heartily. The doctors were happy for him too.

“Losing my eye sight is nothing different from being dead because I can’t move and do the things I want to do. I feel so worthless.”

“I have been always praying to have my eyesight back. But thinking that I would be operated seemed only a dream. I am grateful to Tzu Chi.”  

The lives of these people have been transformed, and they are happy now. I am truly grateful toward our TIMA doctors, for they traveled a long way to Bohol Island to provide free eye operations to those in need. They performed eye operations one hundreds of people a day and restored their eyesight. There are so many touching stories.

All in all, as we walk on the Bodhisattva Path and help others, we can feel a kind of happiness that cannot be described by words. The peace of mind, tranquility, delight, joy, and calmness can indeed make us very happy.  
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