The Diligence Camp held on August 5 at the Jing Si Hall in Quezon City gathered more than 300 Tzu Chi volunteers from across Metro Manila. The whole-day seminar emphasized the importance of doing charity as well as striving to grow in wisdom every day.
Tzu Chi volunteers from across Metro Manila once again gathered on August 5 for the monthly Diligence Camp at the Jing Si Hall in Quezon City. More than 300 volunteers were in attendance for the whole day seminar, which was facilitated by Tzu Chi volunteers and staff from Taiwan.
In their talks, said facilitators emphasized on the root of Tzu Chi Foundation, which is the Mission of Charity. Taiwan-based volunteer and staff Kuan-Pei Li underscored the concept of “Everyone doing home visits.” This principle follows Tzu Chi founder Master Cheng Yen’s example in the early days of the organization. The Master personally went to visit families in their homes to see their living condition and find out the assistance they need.
According to Kuan-Pei, every volunteer must go deep in the communities as well and take care of the needy. She also enumerated the six principles in conducting home visits. These are: respecting the beneficiary and family, having empathy, taking care of the relationship with beneficiary, prioritizing the good of the beneficiary, placing importance in task delegation, and wearing complete uniform.
Volunteer Peter Pan, also from Taiwan, meanwhile, reminded the volunteers that compassion and wisdom should go hand in hand in doing Tzu Chi works.
In a recorded video talk, Master Cheng Yen urged everyone to be diligent not only in doing charity works but also in growing their wisdom.
Friends Qin Ya Zhen and Li Ming Chen attentively listen from the talks. The tourists from Fujian, China were in the Philippines for a vacation. One of their friends, who happen to be a Tzu Chi volunteer, encourage them to spare a day to attend the seminar.
Both were glad they did.
“I feel happy and grateful for this chance to join and know more about Tzu Chi. I saw that the Tzu Chi volunteers look all happy and their faces are bright,” noted Qin.
“I know a lot of Buddhist groups but I couldn’t bring myself to join any. Tzu Chi is different however, I feel that its principle is something that I can relate to so I feel happy to be here and to have learned a lot from attending this event,” shared Li.
Starting them young
Lin-Tsai Ting, a Tzu Chi commissioner from Taoyuan, Taiwan, shared about her recent loss.
Her eldest son had succumbed to mouth cancer in May this year. It was a long, painful battle for the whole family.
Lin-Tsai is admittedly a rebellious daughter in her younger years. She picked up ill vices like drinking and gambling when she was only 13 years old. At 16, she married a 47-year-old man and they had two children. Lin-Tsai’s vices continued even after her marriage. It was only when her husband fell gravely ill that she had an awakening. She bargained to the Buddhas, offering 12 years of her life to extend her husband’s life. She made vows like, if her husband survives his illness she would spend her life doing good and benefitting people. She joined Tzu Chi as a volunteer.
Her husband eventually passed away, but Lin-Tsai had not stopped doing good works. However, caught up in doing Tzu Chi works, Lin-Tsai had unconsciously neglected her son. As a result, he grew up rebellious. He adopted ill vices and disrespectful toward his mother.
In his 40s, Lin-Tsai’s son was diagnosed with cancer. As he withered away in the hospital, Lin-Tsai patiently took care of him despite how much he kept pushing her away. In time, his heart softened for his mother and before he left the world, they had a better relationship. Lin-Tsai also managed to guide him in accepting his lot in life and repenting his past mistakes.
Lin-Tsai’s story left many attendees in tears. Among them is volunteer Cai Yan Yi from Valenzuela City.
As a mother, her greatest fear is for her children to grow up unfilial. Learning from the story of fellow volunteer Lin-Tsai, she said, “I want to encourage my kids to join Tzu Chi so that they will learn a lot including love and respect toward their parents.”
The same message was shared by Kerwin Cai, 6, and Julianna Liu, 10, who are among the youngest Tzu Chi volunteers in the Philippines.
Julianna had taken part in several disaster relief distributions around Metro Manila. “When you got home after your first relief distribution, what did you do?” a volunteer asked Julianna.
“I started saving donations in a coin bank to help the needy,” the little girl answered.
Kerwin, on the other hand, regularly volunteers at the Jing Si Books and Café in Manila, helping the grownup volunteers to sell Jing Si products and not forgetting to thank the buyers. When asked what he enjoyed doing the most, he quickly answered “Volunteering for Tzu Chi!”
Ending their sharing, the ‘little bodhisattvas’, as they are fondly called, told the camp attendees: “Uncles and Aunties, bring your children and grandchildren to Tzu Chi!”
By starting them young, we will have more wise and compassionate volunteers in the future.