【Life Education】Mainland University Student Learned to Appreciate the Preciousness of Lives through Animals

(Note: Mainland university students bear remarkable significance on national social development. The reflection below was from Yuen, a student of social work, participated in The CEO Foundation’s 2017 Luoning Internship Program. He learned not only how animal-assisted therapy supported the disadvantaged children in China but also learned to appreciate the preciousness and noble meaning of his own life and that of the others.)

CEO rabbit
One of the rabbits at the CEO Activity Centre.

When I joined The CEO Foundation, I realized that “Life Education” was one of the leading programs launched by the organization. I became curious about the program. Having been briefed by Uncle Joe (CEO Co-Founder), I had a superficial understanding that it was a scheme fostering children’s compassion through their care for little animals. Children would eventually learn to appreciate the meaning of life.

Later, we interns worked shifts to take care of little rabbits and doggie, Doe-doe. I still had a limited perception that that was all about “Life Education.” Later, we met a professional social worker from Hong Kong. She spent an afternoon explaining a newly emerging method in social work education: animal-assisted therapy. The idea of “Doctor Canines” made me understand why Uncle Joe subjected Doe-doe to intensive training. A statement from the social worker from HK impressed me most: training Doctor Canines, taking care of little rabbits and other animals will ultimately help us do what humans cannot, especially concerning children with special education needs. We may not be able to enter these children’s minds, but the little animals can. We can bank on these children’s fondness for the small animals to stimulate their perseverance in studies and daily living. In the process of caring for little animals, the program awakens compassion in children. They learn that each life is precious and unique, and they learn to treasure the life of everybody. They then come to respect and cherish their own life, which ultimately internalizes into an attitude of loving and reverencing life. As such, they will not waste their time and squander their life. Instead, they will aspire to make their life meaningful.

“Life Education” is about lives touching lives and lives influencing lives. The CEO Foundation integrates everyday life into education and education into everyday life. Now I have a better knowledge of the preciousness and meaning of life. I am challenged to treasure every minute of my living and studying to live out a meaningful life.