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Tuesday, 01 November 2016 00:00

Sibling Commissioners Vowed to Carry Out Master’s Missions

Written by  Siow Lee Kien, Taiwan / Translated by Tan Heang Shin

Lee Siow Si shared that her brother has changed to an easy-going person from a hot-tempered person. [Photograph by Ang Cheng Peng]

“He used to be hot-tempered but is now easy-going.” “She used to be brand-conscious but prefers the Tzu Chi brand now.” Lee Siow Si of 27 and her elder brother, Lee Kia How of 33 were both teasing each other.


Three years ago, Lee Kia How invited Tzu Chi to his company for a tea party to find out more about the Foundation. In December the same year, he brought his younger sister Lee Siow Si to participate in the Year-end Blessing Ceremony.

His innate compassion was evoked upon watching the video screening of “Tzu Chi 20 Years in Review” which reported volunteers’ selflessness in relieving others’ sufferings. The younger sister was moved by the dignified sign language performance of volunteers elegantly dressed in cheongsam. Although she was touched, she felt volunteerism was something to be done at an old age.

A few days after the Year-end Blessing Ceremony, she received an invitation from the Entrepreneur Group Leader, Tong Siew Bee to attend the morning Dharma talks by Master Cheng Yen. As she has always been keen to learn the Dharma since young, she agreed to try out for three days. After this, entrepreneur Lim Haw Sek exclaimed, “You have joined us for three days, it’s wonderful! It would be great if you could come for another week!”

Since then, Siow Si has made it a habit every morning. The “burning house” parable was a wake-up call for her not to idle her good blessings away. It inspired her to continue with the Dharma talks and perhaps even participate in the recycling mission.

Kia How, on the other hand, joined some entrepreneurs for a camp in Taiwan in March 2014. During the event, he was inspired by a volunteer from Melaka, Tan Teck Siang’s comment that one should always do one’s best in everything. He became actively involved in many of the Tzu Chi’s missions, from recycling to Tzu Chi teenagers’ activities.

After two years of volunteers’ training, he felt he could manage and relate to people better. His motto was, “One who constantly looks down on others reveals his lack of moral cultivation”, a Jing Si Aphorism.

Go vegetarian to respect lives

Since her body developed an allergy to meat, Siow Si has reverted to a plant-based diet and came to realize that all lives are equal. She also responded to Master’s call, not to be materialistic by giving away her branded handbags.

Kia How went vegetarian for three months on a vow made at a Tzu Chi fellowship held at his company. But after attending a sharing session by Tzu Chi volunteer Dr Eddie Chan, he decided to adopt a green diet for good. He even stopped drinking and nightlife, which won praise and encouragement from his wife.

Aimed to inspire more youngsters

Siow Si became more diligent and firm in carrying out Tzu Chi’s missions after attending the Tzu Chi’s Global Entrepreneurs’ Camp in March 2015. Her friends would show their disbelief at her early rising as she would occasionally reply to their messages at 4 am before the morning Dharma talks. Her response was that it was painful to see them still awake and messaging away at 2 am!

She decided not to heed her friends’ advice that Tzu Chi was meant only for the elderly as she felt this was more out of ignorance than understanding. Instead, it strengthened her resolve to learn more about the Dharma so as to help her inspire the young generation. She was determined not to live her life aimlessly when she used to indulge in gluttony, shopping and parties.

To Kia How, his certification motivated him to put in more effort to catch up with all the other Tzu Chi Commissioners. This was a new beginning and a new height in his life. To Siow Si, she would remain steadfast in the recycling mission and hoped that this would spur her on her journey in Tzu Chi.

 

Photo shows Lee Siow Si attending Master’s Dharma talk with other volunteers every morning. [Photograph by Kiew Li Wen]   Lee Kia How learnt be a better person through involvement in various Tzu Chi activities and trainings over the last two years. [Photograph by Kevin Tan Kok Sieong]

Photo shows Lee Siow Si attending Master’s Dharma talk with other volunteers every morning. [Photograph by Kiew Li Wen]
 
Lee Kia How learnt be a better person through involvement in various Tzu Chi activities and trainings over the last two years. [Photograph by Kevin Tan Kok Sieong]
 
As her body developed an allergy to meat at 16 years old, Lee Siow Si has since adopted a vegetarian diet. [Photograph by Thin Ket Yong]   To Lee Kia How, certification as commissioners is just a beginning. He hopes to turn pressure into motivation to spur him on. [Photograph by Ang Cheng Peng]

As her body developed an allergy to meat at 16 years old, Lee Siow Si has since adopted a vegetarian diet. [Photograph by Thin Ket Yong]
 
 
To Lee Kia How, certification as commissioners is just a beginning. He hopes to turn pressure into motivation to spur him on. [Photograph by Ang Cheng Peng]
 
Lee Siow Si (middle) pledged to carry on with the recycling mission as it would serve as a reminder to her not to slack off. [Photograph by Ang Cheng Peng]  

Lee Siow Si (middle) pledged to carry on with the recycling mission as it would serve as a reminder to her not to slack off. [Photograph by Ang Cheng Peng]