Helping Others with Our Heart and Wisdom

So one day I was at lower pierce and saw some insects skimming along the surface of the water.  All was fine until I saw an insect struggling in the water.  Being kind and selfless, I reach out to save it.  Ok, it was probably not so heroic.  I just thought it was drowning and merely tried to fish it out … hehe

Photo I took of the mayfly scuttling around in the water.

I’ve dished out plenty of ants, houseflies, bees, tiny wasps from basins, toilet bowls, and yes mugs of water, so I was no stranger to insect rescue operations.  As I waited for the insect to recover, do some cleanup, I looked at it closely.

A picture from the internet of the insect that was resting on my finger.  Not taken by me … hahaha … This is more or less how it looked like, except that it’s wings was slum over my fingers and it didn’t look like it was in a rush to do cleanup.

Hmmm … … after a few seconds, something struck me.  It was like one of those Hollywood movies where the main character has a suddenly realisation of what actually happened!

I was not rescuing the fly.  It was quite happy cruising along, and as I discovered, it being a mayfly, it would breed in the water.  It was not drowning and didn’t require any rescue from me.  -.-”

That morning I learn something.  I learnt that we can sometimes make mistakes in our assessment of a situation and conclude wrongly that people need help.

Just as on the surface, the insect really looked like it was struggling, sometimes we may think that others have a problem and we have or are the solution.  The truth cannot be further from it.

When it struck me what was happening, I quickly put the mayfly back into the water and it didn’t drown.  I continued to buzz along, in the world of its own.

Sometimes when we go overseas to do humanitarian work, we hear of projects to build a modern toilet, to build this and that.  Is this an example of us looking at others as struggling in the water, when in fact they are doing just fine?

I’m not suggesting that we should stop our humanitarian works, but instead we should continue doing them, just to give more thought to them and not presume that we always have all the answer, or as a friend commented “What makes us think that transplanting our system to their country will help them when we ourselves are not necessarily happier?”.

Reminds me of the saying “A mud Bodhisattva crossing the stream cannot save oneself” … much less others.


A lesson in Perseverance and Team Spirit

Tell me you didn’t clap in the end!!  *clap* *clap* *clap*

It was too muffled to hear what they were saying, nor hear what the teacher told him.
But we can see that
1) No one jeered when he failed.  There was just silence.
2) No one made any false pretense of positive encouragements that the failed attempts were good.
3) Cheering came each time towards the point of execution
4) The peer encouragement seemed to be initiated by the students themselves.
The boy was crying, but no one appeared worried that he was getting hurt. There is no need to be so overly worried about self-esteem the way our society has become.
To become emotionally resilient, we need to learn to face failures, starting from small ones. To face setbacks. And when we do stupid things, to expect to be told off that we did stupid things.
Gambatte kudasai!!

Happy Vesak 2016

A short Vesak interview with Nanyang Girls High a couple of years ago, played during their Vesak celebration this year. ^_^

“… when the Buddha discovered the truth about life, about suffering, its cause, and how it can be put to an end, it is not simply for Buddhist, it applies to all of us! … ”