Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation

Jul 29th
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Home Our Volunteers Stories The Art of Helping Others - Giving people what they need the most

The Art of Helping Others - Giving people what they need the most

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The Art of Helping Others
Giving people what they need the most
Treating the needy with respect and sincerity
Helping Others Is an Art
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Giving people what they need the most
What Lai has to deal with every day is far different from what she experienced in the well-to-do family where she grew up. Nevertheless, she remains firm in her resolve to care for the elderly, the sick and the poor, and people who have lost loved ones to natural disasters.

“The greater compassion one has when caring for the needy, the more courage one possesses,” said Lai. “The most important thing is sincerity. Only with sincerity can you truly care for the needy with Great Love and have the determination to help them improve their lives, no matter what difficulties you encounter.”

Lai recalled the first time she helped clean up the house of an elderly care recipient. The house was dark and dirty and smelled awful, and it was infested with cockroaches. When she opened the lid of a blackened, greasy pot, maggots crawled out onto her hand.

Lai and over ten other volunteers spent three days cleaning up that house. Lai was overwhelmed with inner joy when she saw the woman wearing clean clothes and eating her meals with the new utensils provided by Tzu Chi volunteers. At that moment, she came to realize the truth in something Master Cheng Yen once said: By paying home visits to the needy, one gets to see both hell- and heaven-like situations manifested on Earth.

Lai thinks it is very important to guide the needy to identify the root cause of their own suffering. Some suffer mentally, some financially, while some have difficulties getting along with others. The reasons are as varied as the number of care recipients. Therefore, the responsibility of the volunteers is to identify the source of a person’s suffering so that they can find the right way to help them.

Xu Rui-qiong (徐瑞瓊), a staff member at the Tzu Chi Taipei branch office, commended Lai for being a truly good leader: “No matter what difficulties she encounters, Sister Lai is never daunted or deterred. She always tries to find the best way to help and guide the needy.”

How, exactly, can one best help the needy? Lai observed that one has to be mindful when paying home visits to find out what’s really afflicting the needy. Experience is also important. It is essential to listen to Master Cheng Yen’s talks to learn from her wisdom, and to stay informed of relevant laws and regulations, as well as trends in society. Only then can one truly help the underserved.


" A person with a generous heart and compassion for all beings leads the most blessed life. "
Jing-Si Aphorism