2011/7/28 – 7/31 US TCCA Leadership Conference – After Thoughts by Judy Chang (UC Davis Tzu Ching)
There was so much that I learned from the conference. And instead of going into so many details of each class/lecture. I want to express how I felt about the whole experience. I really liked that we questioned the things we do. It also helped that there were SG and SB there to help us understand the reasons as to why and how we do each different etiquette. It’s funny how I never questioned them and when asked why we do these things, I would possibly shrug and say ‘Everyone else is doing it, that’s why I’m doing it.’ It wasn’t until during the conference that I realized, I should have wondered why do we need uniforms, why are there so many rules. In a way I would have been considered one of those ignorant person a lecturer talked about in the conference, because I didn’t even know the answers to some stranger’s questions as to what I’m wearing. Before coming to the conference, I never fully understood the meaning of Tzu Chi/Tzu Ching uniforms.
Let me tell you the story of how I got my uniform. At first I was only a volunteer in Tzu Chi in Davis because I like volunteering. And the only reason why I know about Tzu Chi is because my mother volunteers for Tzu Chi. I decided to look for the TCCA in Davis to also be a part of something, to meet and connect with other people. After joining the club I find out that they don’t just volunteer but they also have different missions. I was very surprised and it also made me love Tzu Chi even more. It showed that our hearts are so big that we contribute so much to the world and for others, our thoughts and prayers are always for others.
In my first year as a Tzu Chi volunteer, I was actually asked to be a historian by the president during the middle of the school year. Secretly I think she only asked me because I was an active volunteer. Then the next thing I know, I had a uniform to wear. I was not told why or what the uniform was for, but I assumed it was an outfit to let others know I am a part of Tzu Chi or that only officers wore them. Truth be told, I did not like the uniform. The reason is because when I was younger I had to wear uniform for school. Wearing a uniform just made me felt like my younger school years. And people also tend to look at me differently because I stood out more. But after coming to the conference, I feel like I now understand fully why we wear our uniforms and it makes me want to wear my uniform proudly. I will now be able to explain to others why we wear the uniform. I’m really glad that I came to the conference. It was a new experience and I had fun in the process. I was able to meet so many people from different places and make an unforgettable bond with them. I will cherish this experience forever.