With most of the media channels focusing on readership and advertising dollars, it will make sense to put more sensational, entertaining and “gossipy” news and this often depicts cases of negative and even criminal behaviour in our society.
Thus, I usually find a dearth of heartwarming news about acts of kindness and good.
Venerable Jing Yuan has talked about Master Ri-Chang’s method of 观功念恩 (Observing Merits and Appreciate Kindness or OMAK) and how it can help in our practice:
“Observing Merits and Appreciate Kindness (OMAK) is a method used not only to observe others’ good qualities/merits, but to rejoice with our own virtuous deeds as well, thereby heightening our spirit in Dharma learning.”
So, let’s start having stories of kindness and compassion in this forum.
I will start with this video done up by the Bliss & Wisdom group accounting some of their members’ efforts in providing medical help to the needy in Mongolia
There is this article about a man who gave a generous tip to a waitress who was going through a hard time. What he said was a good reminder - “We have two hands, one is to work hard and the other is to help others.”
Our current Speaker of Parlilament, Mr Tan Chuan-Jin, showing the way in volunteering at the Hospice.
One of the comments said it well, “It was heart warming and inspiring to know …in Singapore there are many selfless people who CARE.”
I was driving home one of those days and was caught in a traffic jam.
My mind started drifting off and I happened to notice this young man walking along the pavement a distance away. He was attired in sports gear. Probably just finished a game of football.
Then, I saw him stumble. Did he trip on something?
He bent over to look and picked up something gingerly and carried it over to the grass patch.
With much care, he placed that object away from the concrete pavement.
And that was when I realised that he had probably picked up a snail or a small living thing and had wanted to save it from being trampled upon by pedestrians - as he would have surely did if he had not seen it in time.
To say I was impressed will be an understatement. Such compassion is very much around us!
The 12 boys who were trapped in a flooded cave system in northern Thailand said at a press conference that they are considering becoming novice monks as a tribute to Saman Kunan, the 38-year-old former Thai Navy Seal who died during rescue efforts.
Banphot Konkum, father of 13-year-old Duangpetch Promthep, one of the team members, said all the Wild Boars will enter monkhood to honor Kunan.
In Theravada Buddhism, ordaining as a monk is a holy act. Those who ordain are believed to acquire a great deal of merit because they are devoting themselves to studying the teachings of the Buddha. In Buddhism, merit is understood as the value created by performing a wholesome activity, such as meditating. Many Buddhists practice “dedicating merit” to others (see an explanation and instruction from Lama Palden Drolma). If the boys become novice monks, they will donate their gained merit to Kunan’s memory.