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Saturday, 19 December 2015 00:00

Tzu Shao Members Inspired to Share Their Love

Written by  Chang Jia Xin & Lim Hui Jing, Kluang / Translated byChong Pei Fen

The eight Tzu Shao members, who were to embark on a new journey, posed for a group photo with a Tzu Chi volunteer, who has been caring for them. [Photograph by Chee Kok Hong]

On December 19, 2015, more than 50 members of Tzu Chi Teenagers’ Group (Tzu Shao) from Kluang gathered at the Liaison Office to participate in the 13th Tzu Shao’s Programme Completion Camp, themed “Beneficial Conduct”. It is hoped that the 2-Day-1-Night camp that has a Jing Si Aphorism, “Compassion is inspired from within; blessing is created through action”, incorporated into its programme, could engender kindness in the teenagers and enable them to learn through giving.


On the first day, the teenagers visited 14 children at the Damo Children Home in the company of their seniors. The latter presented a sign language interpretation of the song, “Spread Out the Love”, and explained its meaning to the children, majority of whom are Indians. The teenagers and their seniors also played some games with the children to break the language and race barriers. Then, led by the seniors, the teenagers interacted with the children to learn more about their lives, thereby instilling a sense of empathy and compassion. They also served the children homemade sandwich sushi rolls.

It is more blessed to give than to receive

After the visit, each Tzu Shao member was given a long paper tube, and was requested to slip it over his/her left hand and eat a bun without using the right hand. Initially, the teenagers were helpless with their restricted mobility. But soon, they managed to figure out a way – help each other by feeding the peer sitting next to them. With team spirit, they was able to overcome the challenges. They also realized that it is more blessed to give than to receive; and that in helping others, one is also helping oneself to break free from one’s mental block and move forward.

“I faced a few challenges in this activity. It was awkward to feed each other, what’s more we could not move our hands freely. We had to adjust and help each other before we could finally accomplish the task successfully,” shared Wang Hui Xin, who learnt that as we help others, we are also benefitting ourselves. It is indeed a beautiful cycle of love.

During the group discussion, the Diligence Group concluded that one should not be afraid to seek help because this will allow the group members to understand the plights of one another and find the best solutions together. The Wisdom Cultivation Group shared that however much we hope to help others, we should be more mindful and put ourselves in the shoes of others so that our kind intention will not become a burden to others.

Simple yet meaningful performance

After more than two months of planning, the Programme Completion Ceremony was finally held on the evening of December 20. Like previous years, parents of the Tzu Shao members were invited to attend the ceremony and witness the growth of their children.

In order to give their best performance, the Tzu Shao members had, since November, started practising the sign language gestures and drama every week without fail. The Courage Group presented the song, “My Name is Bravery” to convey the message that with a broad mind, one can overcome any obstacles in life and will not take offence; and with confidence, perseverance and courage, one can accomplish anything successfully.

Following that, the Right Mindfulness Group staged a sign language interpretation of the song, “Be Grateful for Each Day” to express their appreciation for their parents, teachers and elders, who have been offering them guidance untiringly. Then, the Great Love Group presented “Spread Out the Love”, which passed on the message that with love in one’s heart, one will not be overcome with fear and darkness wherever one goes, because love can light the hearts of others and oneself.

Lastly, the Perseverance Group presented the song, “Sunshine after the Storm”, which reminded everyone to hang on and be optimistic in times of adversity because every cloud has a silver lining.

Each of the performances was wonderfully touching, manifesting emotional connections that have been fostered through time. It was no different in education. It takes time and love to nurture the children, to help them grow and progress on the right path confidently.

A great lesson on interpersonal skills

Wang Pei Zhi, who attended Tzu Chi’s Parent-child Bonding Class and has now completed the Tzu Shao’s programme, has learnt to shoulder responsibilities and communicate with others through his 11 years of participation in the educational programmes. He said, “I have seen how people worked together without distinction in every Tzu Shao’s activity. It helped improve my communication skills.”

To Pei Zhi, the most unforgettable experience was his participation in the “Dharma as Water” sutra adaptation performance, which was staged at Putra Indoor Stadium, Bukit Jalil, in July 2015. Despite his busy school work, he was determined to join the Dharma assembly along with 2,000 performers. The hectic schedules from rehearsal till the day of performance had, in fact, enabled him to manage his time better. He was also impressed with the selfless contributions of all the crew members to make the event a success.

Chen Wei Qian, who considered himself a little stubborn, shared at the ceremony, “I could not thank my group members and ‘dui fu mama’ (volunteer mentor) enough for tolerating my temper. I am striving hard to improve myself and I hope I won’t disappoint you!” Thanks to the care and love showered on him throughout the four years in Tzu Shao, and the wise words of Master Cheng Yen through Jing Si Aphorisms, Wei Qian has learnt to reflect on himself, be more tolerant and understanding, and is determined to change for the better. He also took part in disaster relief, such as, the flood relief in the East Coast in early 2015.

The programme completion ceremony marked a transition for the eight Tzu Shao, who will (hopefully) carry on the energy of love and kindness as they embark on their new journey of life, till the end of time.

 

Tzu Shao members prepared sandwich sushi rolls for the orphans at the Damo Children Home. [Photograph by Lau Poh Ling]   Tzu Shao members interacted with the children in simple English and Malay language. [Photograph by Lau Poh Ling]

Tzu Shao members prepared sandwich sushi rolls for the orphans at the Damo Children Home. [Photograph by Lau Poh Ling]
 
Tzu Shao members interacted with the children in simple English and Malay language. [Photograph by Lau Poh Ling]
 
Tzu Shao members fed each other food to better appreciate the Jing Si Aphorism, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” [Photograph by Chee Kok Hong]   Wang Pei Zhi, who portrayed the emperor, learnt to manage his time better through his 11 years of participation in Tzu Chi’s educational programmes. [Photograph by Tan Kui Long]

Tzu Shao members fed each other food to better appreciate the Jing Si Aphorism, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” [Photograph by Chee Kok Hong]
 
 
Wang Pei Zhi, who portrayed the emperor, learnt to manage his time better through his 11 years of participation in Tzu Chi’s educational programmes. [Photograph by Tan Kui Long]
 
Inspired by Jing Si Aphorisms, Chen Wei Qian (left) learnt to accept the shortcomings of others. [Photograph by Tan Kui Long]   Memories captured at the end of the 13th Tzu Shao’s Programme Completion Ceremony. [Photograph by Chee Kok Hong]

Inspired by Jing Si Aphorisms, Chen Wei Qian (left) learnt to accept the shortcomings of others. [Photograph by Tan Kui Long]
 
 
Memories captured at the end of the 13th Tzu Shao’s Programme Completion Ceremony. [Photograph by Chee Kok Hong]