Sunday, May 09

“Find your Why” To Change the World

June 09, 2019 | Jonas Trinidad

A Tzu Ching (Tzu Chi Youth) gives her volunteer guardian a parting hug. But this definitely won't be the last time they'll meet, as now they'll be working together in helping people in need.【Photo by Jonas Trinidad】

Story Highlights

  • With a powerful “why” or purpose, an equally powerful “what” or action can be realized. This is the takeaway from the account of a Tzu Chi volunteer in the U.S. who saw Tzu Chi as more than just a mere activity.


Regan Wang is a Tzu Chi youth (Tzu-Ching) from Texas. He joined this year’s camp and shared his own Tzu Chi experience with the rest of the young participants. Like most of the newcomers to Tzu Chi, there was a time he also questioned his existence in the foundation. For him, joining Tzu Chi youth was just an extracurricular activity for him. he cannot seem to find the answer to the “Why?” he is in this foundation until he starts attending Tzu Chi sessions that he gradually got the answers to his “Why?”  which comes with a “What” which needs to be answered first.

 “A ‘what without why’ is only doing something. But a ‘what with why’ can lead to a purposeful direction,” shared Wang, who manages a small volunteer group at the University of Texas at Austin in the U.S.

As an example, he applies this ideal to Master Cheng Yen’s story. Tzu Chi is her “what,” which was realized because her “why,” the pool of blood she saw, left a strong impression on her life. By the end of his lecture on the last day of the Still Thoughts Camp, he urged the youth to “find their why” and create a future they want to see.

“I think a lot of people are lost without a sense of purpose on what they want to do in their lives and so the purpose of [the lecture] today was not to say, “Hey go find that right tomorrow.” But the idea is to start thinking about it now and start thinking about it always, so you’ll be closer to knowing your purpose,” Wang said in an interview.

For this new generation of Tzu Chi Youth, the task of managing the world will eventually fall in their hands. Over the course of three days, Tzu Chi volunteers have shared their wisdom with the youths in the hope of preparing them for the rigors of tomorrow’s world.

One of the most basic tasks the youths were assigned to was to clean their own rooms.Through this menial task, newly-certified Tzu Ching Camille Carrasco learned how to fold blankets the Tzu Chi way. More than that, however, she has learned the importance of working with others as a team. “It’s great to learn new things. I also learned that teamwork is important, as well as camaraderie,” said Carrasco.

Before the closing of the camp, the new batch of Tzu Ching were surprised to find their parents waiting for them in the newly renovated Jing-Si Hall of Sta. Mesa. The letters they wrote to their parents during the camp were presented to their parents and some of the parents were so touched by the outpouring of love that they have never experience from their wards. This new batch of Tzu Chi Youth also bid goodbye to their volunteer guardians, but they promised to meet up more often in the near future for these youths are still searching for their “Why” and “What” which their guardians in the Tzu Chi world are more than willing to answer.

  • Donning their brand new Tzu Ching uniforms, the camp attendees start the third and final day of the Still Thoughts Camp.【Photo by Jonas Trinidad】

  • The youth were tasked to clean their own rooms. 【Photo by Jonas Trinidad】

  • With a fellow Tzu Ching's help, Camille Carrasco (far right) learns how to fold blankets in the Tzu Chi way. 【Photo by Jonas Trinidad】

  • Tzu Chi volunteer Regan Wang from the U.S. talks about "finding your why," namely finding one's reason for joining Tzu Chi. 【Photo by Jonas Trinidad】

  • The Tzu Chi youth write their vows to do better in the future and hang them on a tree branch. 【Photo by Jonas Trinidad】

  • Participants wrote letters to their parents the night before & some parents were overwelmed by the outpouring of love their wards sent to them. 【Photo by Jonas Trinidad】

  • Family poses for a family picture. 【Photo by Jonas Trinidad】