|Tapping into the Wellspring Within|
|Looking after our minds|
|Everyone is a sutra to learn from|
|Understanding the karma we create|
Sri Lanka has for centuries been known for its rich ability to produce rice, earning it the nickname of “The Pearl of the Indian Ocean.” Sadly, the civil war exacted a heavy toll on the island nation. Tens of thousands of people died and hundreds of thousands more were forced from their homes. Moreover, the instability from the civil war caused people to lose the drive to work hard; with an uncertain future, they felt that at any moment everything they had could be destroyed. As a result, farmlands were left idle and the nation’s economy suffered tremendously. Although the civil war is now over, the road to recovery for those who have lost family members or their homes will be slow and arduous.
Why do such wars come about? At the bottom of it all is human greed. A lust for political and economic power and influence leads a small minority of individuals to wage war on others, which in turn kills countless innocents and spoils the wealth and productivity of a nation. Just look at the frightening consequences that ensue when people have unwholesome thoughts.
Yet, if people have wholesome thoughts, they can do a lot of good and bring happiness and peace to the world. On December 26, 2004, the Indian Ocean tsunami hit Sri Lanka with a force unparalleled in recorded history, claiming over 30,000 lives within just a few minutes. Tzu Chi volunteers mobilized and responded quickly, flying to Sri Lanka and helping survivors in heavily damaged Hambantota City. They provided free clinics for the injured, built a school and a Great Love Village for people who had lost their homes, and helped survivors to gradually heal from the disaster. Through their acts of love, they also inspired local people to treat others with love. In this way, seeds of love started to be sown.
Today, the Great Love Village is thriving. The families in the village keep their living environment clean and beautiful by working together for their community, recycling, and maintaining lovely gardens and yards. The beauty of the community extends beyond the physical to the spiritual environment. Through mutual respect and understanding, even followers of different religions live together peacefully and harmoniously in the village.
The neat and wonderful living conditions in the Great Love Village make manifest thoughts of goodness and love. Similarly, I believe the world could be a better place to live if more people nurture wholesome thoughts.