Kindness in the world, translated…
I’d met a lot of people, and had a ton of friends too, but, I’d never, seen this sort of a freak.
His name is Tsong Du, born and raised in Hong Kong, later on, he’d gone to the U.S. to study. After he’d graduated, he’d worked on Wall Street, making a ton of money, lived on, prosperously.
Maybe, because the materialism couldn’t manage to satisfy him in the end, or maybe, there was that seed of kindness, planted deep inside of his heart, it’s just, that the seed hadn’t the chance to meet the sun, to sprout. Finally, one day, that sleepy seed got restless, started stretching itself out, sprouted up, and started growing, and all of a sudden, that tiny seed became a huge tree, took over his body and mind…
Packed Up His Belongings, Headed to the Areas that Were Hit the Hardest
One time when Tsong Du went back to Hong Kong for vacation from the States, he’d heard a friend mentioned, that there was an A.I.D.S. village in a farming town in Henan. Those ordinary farmers who contracted A.I.D.S. had falsely believed the words of the blood mules, that they could get rich, and were infected by unsterilized needles, and, they’d, passed the illness to their wives, and their offspring directly. And so, the families of farming fell, one by one, the husband and the wife died, leaving behind the child who’d lucky, or with the condition still in its dormant state, and these young kids, they couldn’t possibly live well, in the aloofness of their neighbors, or relatives.
Tsong Du couldn’t take it anymore, decided to pay the area a visit personally, to see this purgatory on earth himself.
And, just like so, he was, SHOCKED, by what he bore witness to in the A.I.D.S. village. He’d slowly, quitted his high-end job in New York, and, moved into the area, vowed, that he will do something, to help those orphaned children with their parents taken, by A.I.D.S.
We’d followed Tzong Du’s footsteps two years ago, and made a visit to this A.I.D.S. village.
After Tsong Du took off his black tie and suit, and put on loosely fitting winter clothes, and heavy rain boots, he’d turned into this older man instantaneously. He’d rode on the tractor only available in the farming areas, with cooking oil in his left hand, a casing of instant noodles in the other, walked, right into the households that were impacted. He’d spoken in the Cantonese dialect, and established connection with the elderly and the children in the households.
We’d felt it was unbelievable, because he’s not just into the show of being a man with a kind heart. He’s intelligent, and full of wisdom, he’d done his good deed, as if it were an international business affair, he’d set up everything, including a foundation, and raised funds from all over the places, woke the kindness in others, to get the specified resources needed, and handed the orphans scholarship moneys, encouraged them to study hard in school, that they must keep marching on, to break the cycles of what was originally, destined, to happen to them.
But, being around the badness of seeing those with A.I.D.S., Tsong Du had developed a case of posttraumatic stress. He was, on the verge of breaking, was overwhelmed with the depressed state of mind.
He’d often wake, in the middle of the nights, from nightmares, started crying, he’d realized, that there are, so many orphaned children and others who are in need, that he felt helpless, wanted to save them all, but just couldn’t, in the end, he had to watch them all die, helplessly……this, was one of the hardest trials facing Tsong Du, because if he couldn’t get through, he’ll surely, be taken under. But gladly, his good friend, the writer, Hsien-Yong Pai had given him a hand.
In his house in L.A., Pai told Tsong Du, that he’s not god, that even IF he has the big heart, he still must, take care of himself; so long as he’d done everything he knows of, then, he should feel at ease.
And, Tsong Du was able to, get through the trials, and, managed, to rise up above once more.
With a Polished Mirror Inside, He’d Let Go of His Pride
Tsong Du had led me into a building, in the factory areas of the suburbs in Shanghai. After we’d exited the delivery elevator, we’d followed the aromatic scent of baking cakes, and, we’d arrived, at a bakery. There was a group of orphaned children whose parents were taken by A.I.D.S. from Henan, they may not have gotten into colleges, but, Tsong Du had helped them opened up a new door to their futures, allowed them to learn a skill, baking breads and cakes.
On top of that, he’d even put the orphans who were talented to France, Paris to further their bakers’ training, after six months to a year’s time, those who were sent over came back, with their chef’s hats, and started, instructing the younger children. Tsong Du who is full of flair had hired a French chef, paying him a high salary, for him, to teach the kids in Shanghai, to help instill that sense of international view in them.
Tsong Du was full of flair, he’d recruited a ton of his fans to become his cheerleaders. For instance, there are, not-for-profit organizations in Canada and the U.S., that helped set up fundraisers on his behalf, to raise the funds, and, to get the foundation that he’d started to be known.
I’d once bore witness on how his able-bodied volunteers set up a fundraising dinner in Vancouver, and even though, Tsong Du couldn’t be there, because he was too busy, with another event, the party was still hot, and, there was, a lot of donations collected still.
Tsong Du is a passionate man. With a phone call, he’d agreed, to set aside time from his jam-packed schedule, and gotten involved with the “brightening up a life” program made possible by the Light Up television programs, went to the juvenile detentions, women’s prisons, as well as the regular prisons, to make speeches. He’d told his audience, that he felt inferior, because his parents were divorced when he was very young, and that he’d lost his confidence, because of the way he looked, that he’d worked hard, to get out for the shadows of his own past, and, in saving those orphaned children with A.I.D.S. parents, he’d found the goals in his own life.
Recently, I’d read Tsong Du’s words, he’d sighed, on how people are still using harsh words to hurt him, he couldn’t understand why. I’d guessed, that he must feel hurt again. And so, I’d set up a time, on my trip to Hong Kong, to meet up with him.
On the upstairs dining area of the Hong Kong High Speed Train Station, I’d met up with him, he was dragging along such a large suitcase, was on his way to Guanzhou. With a couple sips of tea, he’d started confessing. He said, that he wouldn’t mind, being judged and misunderstood by strangers, but, to this day, there were his close friends, who couldn’t understand why he was pouring his heart out, saving those children orphaned by A.I.D.S., and had even severely reprimanded him.
I’d told him, that the Buddhists believed, that “learning to take the insults” is a very important course of life, and once you’re misunderstood, and can’t explain yourself to others, then, you should just, maintain your silence. One day, those harsh-sounding words will fade away. More importantly, you know what it is you’re doing, and why, and, you can let it all go.
He’d nodded his head, seemed like he’d listened.
Time flew right by us, in just a few moments, I’m rushing off to catch my flight, he, to catch his ferry. As we’d walked out of the dining room, I’d realized, that his huge suitcase has a wheel missing, that he had to keep on, jolting it, to make it follow him. I’d laughed, asked him why he didn’t just get a new one? He’d smiled a bitter smile, without any words. I’m guessing, that it’s either that he couldn’t find the time, to go shop for one, or that he feels, that his money would be better spent on something else, perhaps?
Although he’d gotten too busy, to the point, that blood filled up the corneas of his eyes, but, without guessing, Tsong Du played the role of a fitting father to orphaned children whose parents died of A.I.D.S., so long as he’s able to give, he’d find the joys. With this sort of a friend, I seemed, to have, received his positive energy, that I can busy myself until I’d passed out, but I’d still smile about it!
And so, here, we have a man, who’d poured his heart AND soul out, to help orphaned children, because he felt empathetic toward their situation, because he realized, that he has a lot more than those kids, and, he wanted to give something back to the world, to make his share of difference, to help make this world a better place, and, he’s doing, just that.