Mother and Father of Love


In 1987, a 74-year old rickshaw puller by the name of Bai Fangli came back to his hometown planning to retire from his backbreaking job. There, he saw children working in the fields, because they were too poor to afford school fees.

Bai returned to Tianjin and went back to work as a rickshaw puller, taking a modest accommodation next to the railway station. He waited for clients 24 hours a day, ate simple food and wore discarded second-hand clothes he found. He gave all of his hard-earned earnings to support children who could not afford education.

In 2001, he drove his rickshaw to Tianjin YaoHua Middle School, to deliver his last installment of money. Nearly 90 years old, he told the students that he couldn’t work any more. All of the students and teachers were moved to tears.

In total, Bai had donated a total of 350,000 yuan to help more than 300 poor students continue with their studies. In 2005, Bai passed away leaving behind an inspiring legacy.

If a rickshaw-puller who wore used clothes and had no education can support 300 children to go to school, imagine what you and I can do with the resources we have to bring about positive change in our world!

It is beyond my wildest dream to be as giving as Bai Fangli. It is humbling to realize in comparison I am selfish. But I can become more giving and with inconsistent starts and stops I see myself becomes more so.

Practice giving things away, not just things you don’t care about, but things you do like. Remember, it is not the size of a gift, it is its quality and the amount of mental attachment you overcome that count. So don’t bankrupt yourself on a momentary positive impulse, only to regret it later. Give thought to giving. Give small things, carefully, and observe the mental processes going along with the act of releasing the little thing you liked. Robert Thurman

Once upon a time there was a little boy who grew up to be an introverted, inwardly troubled and unsettled man. Over time, life and intention taught him peace, openness and a sense of self that could only be learned through much heartache, grief and challenge. That man is deeply grateful and lives today with a sense of happiness beyond any he dared once imagine. I am grateful to know about him. I am that man.

Gratitude is the creative force,
the mother and father of love.
It is in gratitude that real love exists.
Love expands only when gratitude is there.
Limited love does not offer gratitude.
Limited love is immediately bound by something,
by constant desires or constant demands.
But when it is unlimited love, constant love,
then gratitude comes to the fore.
This love becomes all gratitude.
Sri Chinmoy