Wednesday, December 01, 2004

TRANSLATION: Walk towards the World with a Sunny Smile

We heard from Mrs. Deborah Phalen one week ago that they had invited their American friend named Charlynn Johns to visit them the next week. At that time, we only knew that she was a volunteer of an organization for cripple people. She is from Texas in USA , and has three children: the oldest daughter is 23 years old; the second son is 19 years old; the youngest son is 17 years old . This year she is just 44 years old. Eight years ago she took part as a volunteer of a charity organization. In these eight years she covered more 10 countries, and visited lots of orphans and cripple people including old people, women and children there.

In that morning she came - a woman with golden hair and blue eyes. She seems much younger than her age with all smiles on her face. When Mrs. Phalen introduced her to us, she screamed with smile constantly. Mrs. Phalen asked us whether or not we still remember which state she comes from (Texas), she screamed again. We could know that she felt she was being praised from her screaming. Mrs. Phalen is a very careful professor with her work, and her classes are very interesting, and popular with students. This time she gave most of the time to Ms. Charlynn. First of all, Ms Charlynn gave us a short time speech, and then waited for our questions with interest. She constantly made encouraging gestures with her hands, facing these shy Chinese doctors.

Then we asked: Why does she take up Charity career? Do her family support her career? How does her fund come from? What difficulties did she meet at the beginning? How does she communicate with cripple people in different countries? She listened quietly and then answered questions warmly sometimes with exaggerated gestures. The answer to those questions are very simple: Because of love; Because she loves these things. Her family supports her career very much, and her children are proud that they have a great mother. Charlynn also said: “ If you give more, you will get more.” She has gotten grateful smile from these cripple people. This is the third time for her to come to China, she has been to HangZhou, Jinan and Tai’an orphanages. She said that when she went to Tai’an orphanage last year her clown face scared some of the cripple children, but later they were attracted by her. When she left, many children felt very sad, embraced her tightly and waved to her constantly. She said that she never could forget that.

Charlynn learned how to put on make-up from a professional “Clown School”. The process of putting on make up is pretty complicated, but watched her putting on all of her makeup. Actually, putting on make up is secret, but this time was an exception for our Chinese students.

At the beginning, we didn’t know what she would do. We felt that she maybe just taught us some reasons like other people did when they visited our university. In general, that’s one kind of feeling of facing camera, sitting seriously. At first, Charlynn also did like that, but she was putting on make up. She put on powder on her face first, and then put on colorful oil on it. She explained the reasons while making up, and also appraised by herself, making us open our eyes widely to see what on earth she would make her up like.

Soon she became a happy clown. Her first performance is to take out three strings of different lengths. She let us observe carefully. She said: “Look, these three strings don’t have the same length; it’s like our life. We all want to be just the same as others. How could we make one end of each string together with the rest? However, these three strings changed suddenly, unto all the same length! When she showed us after turning her hand around, we all felt so surprised by that, and asked how she made that. Surely, that’s just magic! When Charlynn told us how the trick worked, we laughed. That was such a simple method, which magicians’ use that cheats our eyes in performance. She told us we must be careful when we observe exterior things; don’t be overconfident with your eyes and your brain. What is critical is to use your mind. Probably we are not the same with others, cripple or something else, but don’t worry about that. If you concern yourself with others, you will find that we actually also can do things well as others do. At that time, we came to know that Charlynn was using an interesting performance to implicate and teach us something else, which is one person can’t be always the same with others, but don’t be obsessed by that; if you use your heart you will be able to know we always can find we have something in common with others from our bottoms of the heart. It seems like cheating by us, but it is used often in our life, especially for those cripple people who are in great need of concern.