The 1st Edition of The International Caring of Life Awards 2007

Dharma Drum Mountain's The First Edition of The International Caring of Life Awards (ICLA) in 2007 goes to the Teacher Chang Foundation and Chief Executive Officer of the Shepherd Life Association, Ms. Wu Meili.

The Dharma Drum Mountain Foundation for Humanities Society hosted the award ceremony at The Sherwood Taipei Hotel on the afternoon of 9 September, 2007.

After a lengthy but careful screening of applications, the Teacher Chang Foundation was honored with DDM's ICLA for their long-standing contributions on suicide prevention and spiritual counseling for the youth. Ms. Wu Meili, who has wholeheartedly committed herself to the challenge of suicide prevention in society, received the award for individual contribution.

Venerable Master Sheng Yen, Legislative Yuan's Speaker Mr. Wang Jin-Pyng, and the Abbot President of DDM, Venerable Guo Dong, were invited to present the prizes and to offer their warmest encouragements.

Venerable Master Sheng Yen said in his opening speech that Dharma Drum Mountain has been actively propagating the idea of "uplifting the character of humanity and building a pure land on earth", which aims to show people how to view life in a positive and healthy perspective.

Suicide is an irresponsible act, lacking compassion and wisdom. In the face of difficulties in life, Venerable Master Sheng Yen encourages people to "face it, accept it, deal with it, let go of it" and, in the process, find other ways out.

The Abbot President, Venerable Guo Dong, also delivered a speech, saying that all activities hosted by DDM encompass the spheres of education and compassion, and that through hosting the Loving Life Award, DDM wanted to convey a positive view of life to the people of Taiwan.

Legislative Yuan's Speaker, Mr. Wang Jin-Pyng, acknowledged that suicide prevention is an arduous and immediate challenge in Taiwan. Mr. Wang pointed out that many lives could be changed if people merely spent two more minutes thinking before committing suicide; as stated by the Master's meaningful slogan, "With two more minutes of consideration, you don't need to commit suicide."

Ms. Wu Meili shared her experiences, commenting that the reasons for committing suicide were complicated. She suggested how we can help those who want to commit suicide; by truly accompanying them and showing them the utmost sympathy, as if we feel the anguish they feel, thus helping them to grasp the positive energy within themselves to move forward together.

The chief executive officer of the Teacher Chang Foundation, Mr. Chiu Dercai, agreed that life was precious, and yet so many people seem to give up on life with a range of excuses. "This is wrong. We really need to open our heart and offer the warmest compassion to every plea for help."

The award ceremony was a great success and ended in an atmosphere of inspiration and gratitude.

(translated by Jin Yang/edited by DDM Australia Editing Team)

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