Kindness In Every Word

Buddhism wasn’t a calling for me, it was IN me. I remembered vividly when I was young that images of enlightenment would capture my attention very much! From Buddha statues to books with line drawings, wall murals and you know what, joss stick wrappers with chinky chong(a pseudo I use back home referring to the colorful Chinese culture) Buddhas printed on them. Yes, I grew up in a community of gentle people who were not predominantly Buddhist but were pretty much open to the religion as my family was predominantly ancestor worshippers

Life did take a toll on me when my dad came under the spell of cancer. He was diagnosed with liver cancer andcirrhosis, a term used to describe the hardening of the liver. It was three months of pain for the family when he started to take his treatment. When it started, it seemed like a downhill ride for his entire life. It was for the first time I felt for my dad. We didn’t have a close bond at home as he was always out for work and spends his evenings drinking .

But it was a good three golden months for my family. We broke down and made the best out of each situation. I love my parents because I saw the dedication they had for each other. Yes, dad screwed up by not sharing his sickness with mom but mom stood by him nonetheless. She gave him her all in those three months and she gave us her all after dad passed on.

It was during this period which I found myself deeply soaked within my passion for Dharma. Prior to dad being sick, I was already active with Dharma activities via the school’s Buddhist Society and it just escalated further. Time waits for no one, so does death and it brings me to understand the need to help other people. When a person is hopeless and in need of help, all we can do for them is just to leave everything which we are doing and just attend to them.

This is not foreign for me as I found it to be the right thing to do. Setting up a fellowship here is a way we can reach out to people who are plagued with the need to be helped and we will help everyone all the way. I cannot leave one single person who is in dire need of help to be left unattended. Even a simple gift of encouragement for the other person will go a long way!

When we have received the kindness of others, we owe it to them to repay it onto them or others. Why? Kindness cannot be measured by monetary means but is definitely TANGIBLE! Think that the reason we are here today, we already have reasons to be grateful and bring life into a new frontier for ourselves by just giving help.

JJ Chong

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