It has been a year since my first Buddhist retreat.
Recently, I recalled a lesson that Thich Nhat Nanh taught us.
Firstly, Thich asked us to imagine what are the things that we are proud of that are inherited from our parents.
I inherited my height and mathematical mind from my dad.
I inherited (learnt) patience and kindness from my mum.
I am grateful towards my parents.
Then, he told us to think deeper about the qualities that we inherited from our grandparents.
I have never met my maternal grandfather.
I started to think about my maternal grandmother who passed away when I was 8 years old.
I started to cry when I thought of the hardship that my maternal grandmother had to go through. She single-handedly raised 4 young children in a foreign land (She came from China), as my grandfather (an alcoholic) died when my mother was young. She never remarry and learned from scratch to run her own small business. She was very thrifty (in fact, stingy towards herself), and would rather spend money on her children. She made many sacrifices to raise her 4 kids, but she passed away before she could enjoy life.
I cried as I felt that Life was unfair.
Despite making so much sacrifices and enduring so much hardship,
she did not enjoy the fruit of her labor.
She was a very strong and determined lady.
Then, Thich said that all our forefathers are with us now.
Look inside of ourselves.
They are inside our DNA and Genes.
I took comfort that she is living inside of me as long as my blood is flowing.
I am bringing her with me when I was traveling the world.
I just hope that I could be as strong and as resilient as her.
By living a good life, I am honoring her.
We should be grateful towards all our forefathers.
Whenever we think that we are great,
think of the qualities that we inherited from them.
Let's be Grateful.