Wednesday, April 2, 2008
It is amazing to realize how greatly my mother has impacted my life. She's the kind of person who makes everyone around her smile and feel alive, the kind of mother who always has time for her child even while working five days a week and having to take care of my grandmother, and the kind of community leader that helped build a Thai Buddhist Temple in Raynham. Growing up with my mother, I came to love the excitement of learning something simply for the sake of knowing something new, but I also came to understand the idea of giving back to the community for a sense of happiness and accomplishment. My mother's strongest characteristics is wanting to learn new things. I was ten years old when I went to Thailand with my mother. Every night my mother would read to me stories about Buddha and his adventure through life and how he reached out to the people and helped cure diseases and feed the poor. Despite traveling with my grandmother who was sixty at the time and had trouble moving around from place to place because she would get tired easily, we managed to be at every different Buddhist Temple where they had statues of Buddha from two feet to one hundred feet long. I remember taking pictures of every ancient tablet and statue and meditating in famous places that even the king of Thailand once went to. Seven years later, I still look at pictures taken from time to time and cherish the moment what I have learned on these journeys about culture, history as well as my family and myself. While there has been many things my mother has opened me to, my life has been equally transformed by what she has shown me through her work at the Thai Buddhist Temple in Raynham. At the age of nine, I accompanied my mother to Wat Nawamin, the Thai Buddhist Temple, and watched as she helped the young children who went to the temple read and write Thai as weel as help donate food to the monks. While she attended meetings, I helped with the Sunday Schools by helping the children draw in their coloring books and help calm them down when they would go a little crazy. After, I began work as a volunteer with five and six year old children every Sunday to help teach them how to use computers. It is here where I first began heping in the community and providing help to those in need. In the seven years since I first went to Wat Nawamin I have learned not only the idea of giving to others, but also deriving from them a sense of spirit. The experiences I have had have been magnificent; I have learned to truly value them by watching my mother. She has filled my life with her passion, and changed it with her devotion to helping others. In her love of everything and everyone she has helped, I have seen a hope and life that is amazing. Next year, I will find a new home miles away. However, I know my mother will always be by my side.