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Last updateWed, 11 Nov 2015 11am

Tuesday, 30 June 2015 10:51

Rebellious Youth Steered His Life onto Right Track

Written by  Beh Chin Ming & Loh Siew Chien, Melaka / Translated by Chew Chiau Ping

By participating in sutra adaption, Neoh Hoe Keat learnt the true meaning of verses. He repented for his ignorance and unwholesome behaviour in the past which often hurt the feelings of his loved ones. [Photograph by Quek Kah Hoon]

Since participating in the Dharma as Water sutra adaptation performance, 22-year old Neoh Hoe Keat, who was once a rebellious youth, repented for the unwholesome karma created in the past. Each verse is like water that helps purified his mind and cleansed his defilements. He vowed to cultivate good affinity and to diligently tread the Bodhisattva Path.


 
On March 2, 2015, Neoh Hoe Keat, a student of Melaka Universiti Teknikal Malaysia (UTeM) bumped into Tzu Chi volunteers when he was dining in a vegetarian restaurant. He happily donated when he found out the volunteers were raising fund for the East Coast flood victims. Volunteers then invited him to join the Dharma as Water sutra adaptation, to which he promptly agreed.
 
Since then, his affinity with Tzu Chi began. When his understanding of the verses went deeper, he started to repent for his unwholesome past. In the younger days, he was ignorant and often turned a deaf ear to his parents. Not only did his harsh word hurt their feelings, his bad temper also kept his classmates at bay.
 
Whilst in the boarding schools during his secondary days, at night, he would climb over the fence and lingered at places such as internet café. When he ran out of money, he would borrow from his classmates.
 
One night, he was caught going out again and the school promptly informed his parents. As his parents stay in Melaka, his grandfather who resides in Penang, came to school on their behalf. After the grandpa slapped him on his face, Hoe Keat was sad yet oblivious of his wrong doings. A year later when he joined his family in Melaka, he became even more rebellious and often lied to skip school.
 
In the new school, he often quarrelled with his classmates. He responded harshly to their jokes which often resulted in heated argument, and sometimes even turned into a fight. His parents were deeply saddened by the countless troubles he created at school.
 
Go amongst the people and do good
 
Fortunately his family did not give up on him. While studying in Form 3, he managed to eradicate the unwholesome behaviour with the guidance and advice from kind teachers and classmates. The loving and warm environment had indirectly influenced his personality, where he learnt to get along with friends. His interpersonal relationship had since improved.
 
Completely immersed in the chanting of the verses during the Dharma assembly, Hoe Keat realized that it has helped him eradicated his troubles and obstacles. Filled with gratitude for his parents, grandfather, teachers, classmates and those who care for him, Hoe Keat had the opportunity to correct his past misconduct and learn to build good affinity with others.
 
Volunteer Chua Yih Tan noticed Hoe Keat’s transformation and said, “Now he is a humble person who speaks softly.” Hoe Kiat started to volunteer in activities such as recycling, home visits and so on. Being part of Tzu Chi Collegiate Youth Association*, he was tasked to lead the team and put the teachings into practice. Yih Tan added, “Hoe Keat has learnt to listen to others and accept their suggestion. Now he’s a well-rounded and confident person who often offers to help.”
 
Hoe Keat was able to note some synchronization challenges while rehearsing for the sutra adaptation. He said, “If no one set the tone to synchronize this, a seemingly minor mistake could disrupt the solemnity of the whole assembly.” Seeing this, he volunteered to play a role. At each practice session, Hoe Keat would utter loudly the precise movement and gestures required, when to turn, to kneel or walk. With this, the movements were more synchronized and it kept everyone in high spirit.
 
On the day of the performances, the participants recited the verses loudly to propagate the wondrous Dharma to all. Seeing everyone immersed in the performance, Hoe Keat realized that the Dharma assembly would only succeed if everyone unite their hearts and present it as a team.
 
Time passes without a pause
Worries come with bouts of wind and rain
Enmity and grudges often develop into disasters
From ignorance and delusion, waves of turmoil arise
 
Reciting the verses from the “Closing & Dedications”, Hoe Keat felt the verses seem to describe his past where countless karmic obstacles gave rise to unwholesome behaviour. Through the understanding the Law of Karma, he vowed to correct his past mistakes and do more good deeds.
 
He was grateful for the opportunity to participate in this Dharma assembly which purified the minds. He also encouraged the youth to cultivate a wholesome mind, build good affinity with others, and not to fall into the wrong path like he used to.
 
 
* Tzu Chi Collegiate Youth Association comprises youths from various colleges and universities. They uphold the same belief and direction in life, and become “a stream of pure water” on campus – creating hope for future society.
 
 
Volunteer accompanied Neoh Hoe Keat (in white) during sign language practices to keep him on track with others. [Photograph by Chua Yih Tan]   Neoh Hoe Keat often volunteered in activities such as recycling and home visits. He is seen here raising funds for the victims of the Nepal earthquake. [Photograph by Chua Yih Tan]

Volunteer accompanied Neoh Hoe Keat (in white) during sign language practices to keep him on track with others. [Photograph by Chua Yih Tan]
 
Neoh Hoe Keat often volunteered in activities such as recycling and home visits. He is seen here raising funds for the victims of the Nepal earthquake. [Photograph by Chua Yih Tan]