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Society newlight on 22 May 2008 07:07 pm

A few drops of water

I’ve never been a person afraid of numbers. But I am now. From last Monday, 8000, 12000, 19000, 22000, and now 40000. My heart sank every time I heard the number had increased yet again. I tried to resist imagining what the number means as individual persons and families. I couldn’t. Watching TV news became an emotional ride every time. More than once, I burst into tears in public when I read the newspaper report.

Since last Wednesday, I’ve been helping to build the Sichuan Earthquake Update website. This is to update the public with latest information about the earthquake, its aftermath, and the rescue, relief and recovering process. It is not a news website; rather, it is focus on personal stories, direct experiences, and volunteers’ action and requests. A small team of volunteers are keeping contact with the front line, collecting news and stories, and translating messages from Chinese to English. The website is a joint efforts by charity Mother Bridge of Love (MBL), LinkChinese UK, and Chinese Young Professionals in Edinburgh. We also asked the public to donate money to MBL, who will use the fund to help children affected by the quake.

The website went alive on last Wednesday, quickly attracted about 400 daily visitors from the UK, but also from China, US, Singapore, Hong Kong and other places. In one week time, MBL’s online donation page has collected over 15,000 pounds. Reading the comments left by the donors is heart-warming. The sympathy and support shown by the public and fellow Chinese are tremendous.

I was reading this tale the other day, which has its origin in Buddhism literature. A mountain is on fire. A bird dives into a lake, then flies over the fire. The bird fluffs its feather to spread a few drops of water towards the fire. The God sees this and says to the bird, “Do you really think you can put out the fire with a few drops of water on your feather?” “No,” answers the bird, “but I once lived here. I must do something.”

Yes, we must do something.

5 Responses to “A few drops of water”

  1. on 23 May 2008 at 08:16 1.karen said …

    Thanks for sharing, touching and thought provoking-a great articles!

  2. on 11 May 2009 at 19:05 2.桃花坞 » 一年 said …

    [...] 天天守在电视前关心灾情的时候,开始和朋友们商量能为救灾做点什么。做了这个 Sichuan Earthquake Update 网站,让英华园和母爱桥联手号召捐款。很快就有一批朋友参加进来义务更新网站,又有更多的朋友开始用支票、网站、捐物义卖、义演、上街捐款等等活动为灾区捐款。通过 Justgiving 网站的捐款,第一天就超过了预订目标,我们实在是低估了英国华人、还有世界各地关心灾民的人士,在惨痛的灾情面前爆发出的力量。虽然和在救灾前线的解放局官兵和志愿者们相比,我们所作的微不足道,但至少让我们感觉到我们在做什么--许多参与捐款、拿着捐款箱上街、印发传单、组织义卖、更新网站的朋友心中,相信都有这种“我一定要做点什么”的强烈感觉。 [...]

  3. on 18 May 2009 at 18:49 3.吕品专栏 » 一年 said …

    [...] 天天守在电视前关心灾情的时候,开始和朋友们商量能为救灾做点什么。做了这个 Sichuan Earthquake Update 网站,让英华园和母爱桥联手号召捐款。很快就有一批朋友参加进来义务更新网站,又有更多的朋友开始用支票、网站、捐物义卖、义演、上街捐款等等活动为灾区捐款。通过 Justgiving 网站的捐款,第一天就超过了预订目标,我们实在是低估了英国华人、还有世界各地关心灾民的人士,在惨痛的灾情面前爆发出的力量。虽然和在救灾前线的解放局官兵和志愿者们相比,我们所作的微不足道,但至少让我们感觉到我们在做什么--许多参与捐款、拿着捐款箱上街、印发传单、组织义卖、更新网站的朋友心中,相信都有这种“我一定要做点什么”的强烈感觉。 [...]

  4. on 19 May 2009 at 07:16 4.Water Ink » One year on said …

    [...] It was about this time last year, when the news kept coming. The casualty number kept increasing, and there were still places not accessible to the rescuers, many of whom were ill-equipped soldiers and volunteers trying to get through the mountainous roads destroyed by landslide. The whole nation of China was in deep shock and mourning. It touched everyone. I remembered that when reading Tania Branigan’s report from Dujiangyan on the street, I struggled to contain my emotion. Then there was the great determination shown by the rescuers coming from all parts of the country and overseas to save as many lives as possible. And for us who were thousand miles away, all we could say was we must do something. [...]

  5. on 30 May 2017 at 04:50 5.rd summit 2017 said …

    rd summit 2017…

    Water Ink » A few drops of water…

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