The Christmas Eve of 2018 coincided with the Birthday of Maitreya Bodhisattva. To celebrate the special day, children and volunteers from Guan Yin Citta Buddhist Charity Foundation walked through the busiest streets of Central London to show kindness to people they never know. They gave free Christmas gifts and cards to strangers in person, including homeless people who were greatly moved with tears during the freezing winter of Christmas Eve.
Guan Yin Citta UK has been committed to spreading traditional Chinese culture and core values of Buddhism, including the Four Immeasurables: loving-kindness, compassion, empathetic joy, and equanimity. The non-profit organization has organized many activities to benefit the society and spread positive energy. The Christmas Eve activity aims at encouraging the children to help others feel happy by sharing with them, and experiencing the joy of giving. And it is in the wisdom of Buddhism that giving serves as a way to eliminate one’s greed and ill-will. It is also a good opportunity to make children feel compassion when they see others suffering, and stimulate their inner aspiration to give.
Among the volunteers, the youngest one was only 5 years old, accompanied by his parents.
One of the young volunteers told us, one day, when she decided to buy herself some new toys with the pocket money she saved, she paused and started thinking: “How many toys have I owned at home? On the other hand, how many people are starving out there on the streets and have no warm place to stay during Christmas Eve?” Instead of selfishly buying toys for herself, she chose to give and share the joy with others.
What the children learned from the activity is the most precious gifts they received from Christmas. The true values of the activity lies in the initiatives, and the virtue of giving will benefit the children in the long run. The Guan Yin Citta Buddhist Charity Foundation demonstrates a social responsibility, and will continue to strengthen the harmony and stability of society with the support of the development of humanity.