March 10, 2019, was the recognition ceremony of the annual National Pu Ren Award. This is the 9th anniversary of Pu Ren Award with over 6700 recipients. We’d like to express our gratitude to all the school principals, teachers, Dharmapala Committee of Ling Jiou Mountain, the review panel, volunteers, and scholarship sponsors. With the collective effort, we were able to identify outstanding sunshine (students) with virtuous qualities. This reward is also an expression of generating and fulfilling bodhicitta, as well as the spirit of selfless dedication.
Out of 997 candidates, 60 were selected as the National Pu Ren Sunshines. Your life is radiating with warmth. Such positive energy is exactly what society lacks and needs the most. You know how to reciprocate the kindness of parents with gratitude; face adversities with positive, encouragement, and optimism. You’ve been a great help to parents and are filial towards seniors. At school, you are reliable members to teachers and classmates. Such virtuous behavior is extremely precious.
Among the recipients, let me share with you a story of “a bowl of noodle” in Zhushan, Nantou County. Thirteen years ago, a woman with five children developed cancer. Their household wasn’t stable financially. While she was hospitalized, a nurse would take the children to have some wonton noodle soup. The kids would only have the soup and the noodle, leaving the wontons. When asked why they left the wontons, they said, “Dad and mom haven’t had any yet. We’re packing these up for them.”
Unfortunately, the mother passed away not long after. Five siblings stayed strong and supported each other. They are all adults now. In appreciating the help their mother had received, two siblings have devoted to the work of long-term caregiving. Dr. Chou, the physician who treated their mother had kept the promise to look after the five siblings so they can stay on track. He’s very glad to see how they’ve turned out today. They’ve all worked hard for a living.
In an inspiring story like this, we can see five elements of virtue, “positivity, encouragement, optimism, love, and determination”. These children have demonstrated great filial piety. As they had received help from others before, they’ve now become contributive members of the society. The education on life and virtuous qualities have no end. It is the core of the Pu Ren Award. Seeing how many people are desperate for help, including our suffering planet Earth, we are developing the’ve established the University for Life and Peace in Myanmar. It is an educational institute based on “love”. Let’s cultivate great virtues with education. Life education isn’t limited to mankind, but also to our planet. Earth is our home, our mother. We can’t bear for her to suffer. That’s why we’re pushing for this institute to be contributive for Earth and people.
Scholarship recipients have been the sunshine that brightens up others. Keep up the good work. It’d also be great to practice Dharma and learn about the compassion of the Buddha. Let the rays of sunshine warm up this world.