A Spirit of Gratitude, Respect, and Love
The attitude we bring to our interactions with others can make a world of difference. Discover the spirit of Tzu Chi.
Accomplishing the Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation’s humanitarian mission depends on the work of millions of volunteers and commissioners around the world, each offering their service with sincerity of heart and dedication.
Whatever personal differences may exist between them – whether of gender, age, where they come from, or what profession, career success, or educational background they may have – fade when they don their Tzu Chi uniform. And, actually, this visual homogeneity is just the surface, as at a deeper level, it is further underpinned by a unity of view and spirit:
The Tzu Chi spirit is founded on “Gratitude, Respect, and Love.”
This spirit can initially ignite through heartfelt gratitude – for one’s life and its blessings, especially the capacity to be of service to others – then blossom into genuine respect and love for each and every person encountered on the path.
In fact, an approach infused with these principles can lead to harmony within any group working together towards a common goal, and it’s imperative given the scope of Tzu Chi’s activities globally.
Dharma Master Cheng Yen often gives this advice to Tzu Chi members and supporters:
Master Cheng Yen counsels how when confronted with interpersonal conflicts while engaging in mundane activities, one should strive to transcend them by taking a spiritual view, recognizing the inherent blessing and opportunity in such challenges:
In a way, it is the last of Tzu Chi’s three guiding principles of gratitude, respect, and love, that is the most important, since with love in our heart, respect for others will naturally arise alongside gratitude for the ability to help relieve their suffering, if need be.
Within the world of Tzu Chi, such love is understood as being “great love” or “universal love.”
Master Cheng Yen’s message to all of us is that we should do our best to awaken our innate goodness, or Buddha Nature. And then, just imagine the infinite amount of good we could accomplish, together.