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Last updateWed, 11 Nov 2015 11am

Sunday, 06 September 2015 16:23

Grateful for Our Own Blessings after Witnessing Suffering of Others

Written by  Lim Hui Chu & Loo Chia Chia, Melaka / Translated by Ong Mooi Lin

Student Liu Yun Yu offered the granny a massage. [Photograph by Tan Yen Pack]

Parent-child Bonding Class in Melaka organized home visits with the hope of inspiring compassion and kindness within the children and parents. By serving and witnessing the suffering of others, it is also hoped that they will learn to be grateful and contented with what they have, and thereafter, lead a frugal lifestyle and be generous to others.


 
On September 6, 2015, Melaka’s Parent-child Bonding Class arranged a special trip for 20 parents and 29 children from Bandar Melaka, and 10 parents and 10 children from Bacang respectively. Divided into groups, they were led by volunteers from the Charity Team to visit Tzu Chi care recipients.
 
Before departing, volunteers briefed the participants on the care recipients’ backgrounds and some friendly reminders so that they could better interact with the care recipients during the home visit.
 
Warm the hearts of lonely elderly
 
Student Hou Yong Jun thoughtfully prepared his favourite artwork to share with the care recipient. After seeing his painstakingly-designed card, another student followed suit and started making his drawing. They said in unison, “We hope that the care recipient will be happy receiving them for they are our gifts of love.” The organizer had also arranged for the parents and children to make sandwiches and raisin desserts to share with the care recipient.
 
Equipped with cleaning and weeding tools, the group of 12 people arrived at 80-year-old Luo Jin Fu’s house. Granpa Luo, who lives alone, suffers from hypertension and diabetes, and is slow in his movements. Hence, arrangements were made for the participants to help clean up his house and surroundings.
 
At the yard, Grandpa Luo was laughing heartily at the children who hit the hoes hard on the ground, looking more like digging than weeding. Worried that the children would injure themselves, volunteers then asked them to put on gloves and help pull out the vines that grew along the fence. Touched by the children who worked seriously, Grandpa Luo hauled a large trash bag along so that they could conveniently drop the weeds and vines into it. Such lovely and heart-warming interaction between Grandpa Luo and the children caught the eyes and touched the hearts of everyone.
 
In the living room, some were cleaning the floor and everyone paid special attention to the dust in the tiny gaps between the tiles. At the other side, student Lin Shi Da was seen mopping the floor, with his eyes locked on the mop plate. He explained, “The mop plate is broken, but it’s still useable. I just need to bend a little lower while mopping.” Although more taxing than usual, he took it as a chance to train his patience. The parents, on the other hand, helped clean the fans and tidy up the cabinets; and at the same time, checked and carefully reminded Grandpa Luo on the expiry dates of the food stock.
 
After cleaning, the children had the sandwiches and desserts together with Grandpa Luo. The latter recalled his younger days during the war, when he often skipped a meal and had sweet potatoes most of the time. Whilst listening to Grandpa Luo’s childhood, the children were able to feel how fortunate they were.
 
Immersed in the joy of giving
 
Koo Hee Ching, who participated in the home visit together with her two children said, “I’ve known for a long time about Tzu Chi’s charitable work, however, experiencing it for myself is a totally different feeling.” The living environment of Grandpa Luo was beyond her imagination. She felt that it was a great experience for the children to learn to treasure what they have and understand that life is not always smooth sailing.
 
Her daughter, Deng Ze En helped in the sweeping and weeding. She said joyfully, “Grandpa Luo is 80 years old and does not have the stamina for these tasks, therefore we should help him.” Her younger brother, Hao Yuan shared, “I don’t usually extend a helping hand when others need assistance. It is tiring today but it made me realize that I could actually derive a lot joy in helping others.” Hearing the sharing of her children, Hee Ching was overwhelmed and moved to tears.
 
A student in another group, Ou Jia Wen, visited Granny Zeng Yu Mei. The poor condition of Granny Zeng’s house, which would leak on rainy days, making it a breeding ground for mosquitoes, was not what she had envisioned as a home. She shared, “I am so blessed! I’ll treasure what I have and be grateful to my parents for all that they have given me. I brought happiness to Granny Zeng and I shared the joy too.”
 
Extending helping hands without fear
 
“Boys and girls, we’re going to visit a kidney dialysis patient. Despite having to undergo dialysis thrice a week, his whole family is still very optimistic. Four members of this family are Tzu Chi donating members, who help those who are less fortunate,” briefed a volunteer.
 
Arriving at Chen Zhao Qing’s house in Bacang, student Liu Yun Yu observed quietly – in this simple home, lives a dialysis patient, a family member with bandage on the feet and another with exceptionally slow movements.
 
When volunteer encouraged the students to offer a massage to the elderly, Yun Yu took action willingly and without hesitation. Her father, Liu Cun Han said gladly, “She could get close to them without fear or resistance. That was something she didn’t learn from a textbook; and more importantly, she learnt what appreciation is all about.”
 
Spontaneous education to assume responsibility
 
At the home of care recipient, Chen Jia Chun, the young visitors were told, “Girls, could you please ask Uncle Jia Chun where to put these medications?” Students, Wen Yi Jie and Wu Mei Xuan, were seen tidying up the living room with plastic bags in their hands soon after they arrived, while Yi Jie’s parents, Lin Hui Lin and Wen Yao Ren, helped sweep the floor and clean the table and sofa set.
 
Jia Chun’s 17-year-old son, Vincent, is a slow learner. Even though he understands that his father is unable to handle the house chores due to reduced mobility, he is unable to handle the tasks without proper guidance. As a result, the floor was dirty and their furniture was covered with thick layers of dust.
 
Volunteers and parents took this opportunity to guide Vincent to work together with them. Hui Lin and Yao Ren then advised him, “Vincent, you are very blessed to have a shelter. Remember, this is a home and not merely a house, therefore, you have the responsibility to take care of it.” Hui Lin felt comforted when her daughter, Yi Jie conveyed her appreciation to her parents for giving her a warm home.
 
Lesson on impermanence and gratitude
 
“Happy Mid-Autumn Festival!” was the greeting accorded to bedridden and paralysed care recipient, Liang Pi Zhen from Bacang, who smiled brightly as she received the mooncakes with both hands. Pi Zhen has been ill and bedridden for a long time, and she feels lonely without anyone to talk to. Thus, she is always overjoyed whenever volunteers paid her a visit. 
 
Pi Zhen, who could not walk after an operation informed, “Doctor said that I’ll be a cripple if I don’t walk at all.” Lin Pi Ming, who joined Tzu Chi’s home visit for the first time together with her daughter, Xie Yi Ying sighed deeply, “A person who is bedridden is unable to move and make a living. I am thankful for my health.”
 
 
After the home visits, each group shared about their experiences at the community centre. Besides the contributions of materials and time, through interactions during the home visits, the parents and children also learnt a true lesson of “counting one’s own blessings through witnessing the sufferings of others.”
 
 
Before departing, volunteers briefed the participants on the care recipients’ backgrounds. [Photograph by Lee Kin Chee]   Children of Parent-child Bonding Class helping Grandpa Luo Jin Fu to clean up his house and surrounding.
[Photograph by Lee Kin Chee]

Before departing, volunteers briefed the participants on the care recipients’ backgrounds. [Photograph by Lee Kin Chee]
 
Children of Parent-child Bonding Class helping Grandpa Luo Jin Fu to clean up his house and surrounding. [Photograph by Lee Kin Chee]
 
After cleaning, the children shared sandwiches and desserts with Grandpa Luo Jin Fu, while listening to his story. [Photograph by Lee Kin Chee]   Lin Hui Ling (right), shared that it was comforting to hear her daughter, Wen Yi Jie expressing gratitude to her parents for providing her with a warm and caring home. [Photograph by Quek Kah Hoon]

After cleaning, the children shared sandwiches and desserts with Grandpa Luo Jin Fu, while listening to his story. [Photograph by Lee Kin Chee]
 
Lin Hui Ling (right), shared that it was comforting to hear her daughter, Wen Yi Jie expressing gratitude to her parents for providing her with a warm and caring home. [Photograph by Quek Kah Hoon]