This is the most honored occasion in my
life. Unfortunately, I am unable to witness personally the magnificence of
this awards presentation and to extend my sincere gratitude to all who have
shown their love and kindness to me. However, even though I am in Taiwan, I
can feel the care and concern extended to me by the Ramon Magsaysay Award
Foundation and the encouragement given to me by all the distinguished guests
at this awards ceremony. Your support and well wishes make me more aware of
The ancient sages and worthy monks of China have said that no great event
under heaven can be achieved by a single person alone in a single moment;
instead, it is accomplished by collective efforts—from one person to
another, from one generation to the next. The achievements that have
resulted from the twenty-seven years of work of the Tz'u Chi (Compassion and
Mercy) Buddhist Contribution Society must be directly attributed to all the
Buddhist disciples, the Tz'u Chi committee and members, as well as all the
kind-hearted lay people of our Society. Although this award is presented to
me today, the actual honor and glory should belong to each member of the
Tz'u Chi Buddhist Contribution Society.
Caring for others and providing relief to the poor and the sick symbolize
the radiance of humanity and illumine man's benevolent nature. This nature
is evidenced in our daily life when we see many successful people among us
who are unhesitatingly helping others. It is these people who are taking
practical action to create tangible benefits to improve our society
materially and spiritually, thus elevating the people's quality of life. It
is our hope that we can gather all goodhearted people to lead and guide our
society—in a spirit of universal love—toward friendliness and harmony. In
this way, we can purify our human nature by living in a land of "common
wealth." I believe everyone assembled here for this significant ceremony
must share similar high aspirations with me.
I am very grateful to those who have given me this honor today. There are a
lot of people who are suffering in this world and are in need of assistance.
Therefore, I would like to donate half of the award stipend given me to the
government of the Philippines for the victims of the Mount Pinatubo volcanic
eruptions. The other half will be given to the Tz'u Chi Buddhist
Contribution Society for its relief purposes.
I would like to express my deepest gratitude to the Magsaysay Foundation for
the award given me, which symbolizes the highest honor for a social worker.
The Philippines is a beautiful country, and her people are friendly and
sincere. Regretfully, I am unable to visit this beautiful land due to
personal reasons. However, as the Chinese saying goes, "Good friends feel
close together even though they are actually far apart." And opportunities
for us to meet will certainly arise.
Peace and good health to everyone, and prosperity to the great Filipino