慈濟傳播人文志業基金會
Words From Master Cheng Yen--Act Together With Love

Everyone in this world lives under the same sky and on the same earth. However, under that same sky and on that same earth, people live in very different circumstances. Some live in peace and prosperity, some in areas frequently hit by natural disasters, and some in places where people’s misguided pursuits have led them astray and resulted in man-made disasters. Where can people living in areas ravaged by turmoil and instability find a place to live in safety and peace?

I heard the other day that government forces in Syria launched a chemical attack, killing dozens of people with poison gas. Many of the injured and killed were young children. Calls for help and cries of pain could be heard everywhere. When will the man-made catastrophe in this country ever come to an end? Millions of people have had to abandon their homes and flee for their lives to other countries. Even there, they are subject to unfair treatment and must endure many hardships. They don’t know where to call home or what tomorrow holds. Their situation is truly worrisome.

For some time, our foundation has helped refugees in countries including Turkey, Jordan, Serbia, and Malaysia. We provide assistance in livelihood, healthcare, and education. In Turkey alone, the Tzu Chi El Menahil school has helped over 3,000 Syrian children receive an education. In addition to helping the kids, we have also provided financial aid or daily supplies to their families to help get them through this difficult time. Over the years, we have aided tens of thousands of Syrian refugees in that country.

Not long ago, Tzu Chi took part in a meeting convened by the United Nations High Commis- sioner for Refugees. In addition to the rising number of Syrian refugees, a large number of Rohingya people who have fled the destruction of their homes and persecution in Myanmar are also badly in need of help. Humanitarian organizations are trying to do what they can for these people. While providing long-term material aid for refugees, we in Tzu Chi feel that it is even more important to address their emotional needs because we know that all suffering originates in the mind. If we nurture kindness, love, and gratitude in the hearts of the children, hatred and antagonism will not have room to grow.

As a charity organization, Tzu Chi doesn’t focus on helping the needy alone—we believe it is even more important to inspire goodness in people’s hearts and motivate everyone to bring about a better world. Our TV station, Da Ai TV, was established for that purpose. Iib Syarief Hidayatulloh, a teacher of Islam in Indonesia, found programming produced by our DAAI TV Indonesia inspirational. He includes some of its contents in his teaching materials to promote the spirit of Great Love. Since most people in Indonesia practice Islam and we are a Buddhist group, some have raised doubts and criticisms about his approach. Despite that, he believes in what he does because he feels that people should embrace Great Love and not distinguish between religions or nationalities. Over the past 20 years, our foundation has built schools and mosques for Indonesia when the country was hit by natural disasters. We too believe in giving to all without consideration of religion, race, or nationality. Religion itself is meant to bring about peace and help all people live in harmony. We shouldn’t discriminate against any person or group and should instead treat everyone with love.

I always urge my followers to take the Buddha’s teachings to heart and practice them in their daily lives. The Dharma will guide us in the right direction. When we internalize wholesome principles and put them into action, we will be able to inspire more people to join us in doing good. None of us can relive a single second. Time does not stand still for us. If we allow our minds to be clouded by unwholesome thoughts and afflictions and stop moving forward on the right path, we are not only letting time go by in vain but also adding to the spiritual turbidity in the world. Let’s all make the best of our time by doing our best to live out the Dharma and benefit society. Let’s all harbor kindness, perform acts of compassion, and help bring peace and harmony to the world.

Tzu Chi helped establish El Menahil school to give Syrian refugee children a chance to receive an education.

 

 

July 2018