Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation

Oct 20th
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Home Our Volunteers Stories Rekinding Their Love - New insights

Rekinding Their Love - New insights

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Rekinding Their Love
A miserable marriage
A transformation
New insights
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 New insights
After Harper was diagnosed with prostate cancer, he and Lin came to realize how impermanent life could be. They realized they should make the best use of their time to do good. This is what prompted them to dedicate themselves to volunteer services, such as recycling. Just as their small yard is piled high with recyclables, so are their hearts full of joy.

However, their children still cause them quite a lot of worry and concern. Every week, Lin writes three letters to her second son. He is still in prison serving a sentence for drugs. She hopes that he can use his time in jail to reflect and improve himself. “I include lines from Jing Si Aphorisms in my letters to him, hoping that someday he will absorb those wholesome messages.”

Harper also changed his ways of interacting with his children. After reflection, he decided he was too autocratic. He didn’t know how to listen to his children and respect their thoughts. In a loving move, he decided to try all he could to support them in starting their lives anew, no matter how difficult it might be. He resolved that henceforth he would not make any decision for them. Instead, he would be at their side, sharing his life experiences with them.

Harper is also grateful to his wife for being a good model for him. “Seeing how much my wife has changed and the more meaningful life she now leads truly has had an impact on me.” He has confidence that his children will also change for the better.

Harper now works at a prison. Influenced by Tzu Chi, he no longer believes in the autocratic way of management he used to uphold. Tzu Chi has taught him the importance of compassion. Now he believes that only when people are willing to communicate, trust, and forgive one another can they work toward harmony and greater efficiency.

The couple is now involved in a project that works to guide and care for youths that have run away from home. After work, Harper and Lin help provide hot meals for these youths. They also show support by being attentive listeners when they pour out their hearts. They love and care for these run-away youths with the same hope they have toward their own children. Their hope is that the wayward youth they counsel will find the right path in life and never go astray again.

As the sun set, the clear sky glowed red and purple. Lin steered her van through a bustling neighborhood and stopped beside a dumpster behind a local supermarket. The evening wind was a bit chilly. Lin swiftly picked up a few flattened cardboard boxes, piled them into her van, and then headed for another place to collect more.

At the same time, Harper was in another part of the city driving his old surplus military vehicle around. He too was collecting used cardboard boxes. Wearing a camouflage hat, casual clothes, and work apron, he cut open the cardboard boxes one after another with his pocket knife. Whenever he runs into Tzu Chi volunteers he knows, he greets them with a big grin on his face.

After more than 30 years of unhappy marriage, this couple has finally found new meaning in life through their involvement with Tzu Chi. Despite differences in culture, education and language, their hearts have grown closer again and they now understand each other better than ever before. Sharing the same firm resolve, they vow to walk hand in hand into the future on the Tzu Chi Path.

Translated by Evelyn Yi-chih Sung
Photographs by Yan Lin-zhao


" A refined disposition is naturally expressed in the way a person walks, lives, sits, and sleeps. "
Jing-Si Aphorism