Wednesday, Aug 23rd

Last updateWed, 11 Nov 2015 11am

Tuesday, 02 June 2015 15:47

Walking Hand-in-Hand with Love

Written by  Gan Chian Nee, KL & Selangor / Translated by Tan Heang Shin

Lim Zi Ren has lived up to the expectations of his coaches. His mother warmly embraced him and everyone could feel their determination in grasping the Dharma. [Photograph by Choo Kok Choi]

When the song “Perfect and Radiant Buddha Nature” was played, Lim Zi Ren, who was standing on the mock stage, slowly extended his right hand, turned his body around and then raised both hands to draw a circle. Volunteer Ang Cheng Peng held back her tears while Mrs Lim gave a comforting smile. At this moment, everyone started to applaud.


 
On April 25, 2015, Lin Chia Hua, leader of the planning team for Dharma as Water sutra adaptation performance, invited Lim Zi Ren to demonstrate the sign language with music. All eyes were on him to see if he could follow the tempo.
 
When the song “Perfect and Radiant Buddha Nature” was played, and with his back facing the audience, Zi Ren slowly raised his right hand and turned his body around. Volunteer Ang Cheng Peng, who was standing in front of the stage, felt nervous and performed the sign language together with him.
 
Meanwhile, Mrs Lim was standing at a corner, witnessing her child’s effort being recognized by all. When the music stopped, Zi Ren walked down the stage and went straight to hug his mother! Using Zi Ren as a good example, Chia Hua motivated all participants not to give up hope on mentally-challenged children.
 
“Although Zi Ren takes more time in his learning, he is much more earnest than many of us. This child needs more attention and patience from us, besides his mother’s hard work!” Chia Hua holds high regard for Zi Ren and hopes that everyone can encourage and assist him more to make the sutra performance a success. This is also what Mrs Lim and Zi Ren have been working hard for.
 
Spark interest with love
 
Sixty-two-year-old Mrs Lim decided to bring Zi Ren into the world 42 years ago even though there was a high risk of complications with late pregnancy. True enough, Zi Ren was born with Down syndrome, which affected his growth besides having cognitive disability, visual problem and hearing impairment.
 
At 20 years of age, Zi Ren, has a distinct facial appearance. He can hear with a hearing aid but his biggest challenge is speech dysfluency. Mrs Lim shared, “He would learn and then forget what he had learnt. He cannot focus well on studies too.” 
 
Mrs Lim would bring him to hospital, special school, public places and so on, to let him adapt to the crowd and grow up in a healthy environment. When she learnt about the sutra adaptation performance from volunteers, she immediately registered her son for it.
 
Accompany with sincere care
 
“Do you like sign language? Do you want to come again?” asked a volunteer. Zi Ren immediately replied, “I like it. I want to come again!”
 
Besides Mrs Lim, Cheng Peng has guided Zi Ren conscientiously. Mrs Lim’s original intent was for her son to learn the sign language, but she later found out that the sutra adaptation performance is a team act.
 
Fearing that Zi Ren might not be able to keep pace with the rest, some volunteers had requested Cheng Peng to discourage the mother and son. But when Cheng Peng heard Zi Ren singing with a slurred speech, she was deeply touched.
 
During practice, and to enable Zi Ren to familiarize with his positions, she would snap photos of the landmarks and show them to Zi Ren repeatedly. “It would take him a long time to remember his position at number 15, and a long time to locate the landmarks,” said Cheng Peng.
 
Realizing his own shortcomings, Zi Ren had thus put in extra efforts, and this had deeply moved Cheng Peng. She told herself to accompany this young man throughout the journey, so as to fulfil his, as well as, his mother’s wish.
 
When he found out that he would go on stage, Zi Ren began to practise diligently at home every day since he is a forgetful person. Mrs Lim would look on and swiftly remind him of any incorrect moves. “He is very keen in learning, and would watch the video from the beginning till the end the whole day. I have great admiration for him,” expressed Mrs Lim.
 
Zi Ren’s parents felt relieved seeing his enthusiasm. Mr Lim praised his son’s zest for learning and felt there is still room for improvement. Since Zi Ren’s participation in the sutra adaptation performance, his concentration has improved. In terms of interpersonal skills, he has learnt to listen before expressing his views.
 
Sincere care, guidance and encouragement have spurred him on to practise. Indeed no one should be left out, as long as he has a strong will, success is definitely within reach. A stone that is fit for a wall should not be left on the highway.
 
 

 
During practice, Ang Cheng Peng would guide Lim Zi Ren in recognizing the positions. [Photograph by Choo Kok Choi]   Hearing Lim Zi Ren singing with a slurred speech, Ang Cheng Peng was touched and vowed to help him fulfil his wishes. [Photograph by Lim Yen Kuan]

During practice, Ang Cheng Peng would guide Lim Zi Ren in recognizing the positions. [Photograph by Choo Kok Choi]
 
Hearing Lim Zi Ren singing with a slurred speech, Ang Cheng Peng was touched and vowed to help him fulfil his wishes. [Photograph by Lim Yen Kuan]
 
Ang Cheng Peng (left) would stand behind Lim Zi Ren to ensure he keeps pace with the rest during practice. [Photograph by Choo Kok Choi]   Practising at home has become Lim Zi Ren’s daily homework. His parents would look on during his practice. [Photograph by Lim Yen Kuan]

Ang Cheng Peng (left) would stand behind Lim Zi Ren to ensure he keeps pace with the rest during practice. [Photograph by Choo Kok Choi]
 
 
Practising at home has become Lim Zi Ren’s daily homework. His parents would look on during his practice. [Photograph by Lim Yen Kuan]
 
Mrs Lim (right) has practised the sign language together with her son; she is prepared to step in if her son could not cope. [Photograph by Choo Kok Choi]   Lin Chia Hua, leader of the planning team, invited Lim Zi Ren to demonstrate the sign language with music. [Photograph by Choo Kok Choi]

Mrs Lim (right) has practised the sign language together with her son; she is prepared to step in if her son could not cope. [Photograph by Choo Kok Choi]
 
 
Lin Chia Hua, leader of the planning team, invited Lim Zi Ren to demonstrate the sign language with music. [Photograph by Choo Kok Choi]
 
Lim Zi Ren was given a big round of applause, as well as, compliments and encouragement by Lin Chia Hua. [Photograph by Choo Kok Choi]    

Lim Zi Ren was given a big round of applause, as well as, compliments and encouragement by Lin Chia Hua. [Photograph by Choo Kok Choi]