Yesterday was the tenth anniversary since my most favorite music composer/writer, Trịnh Công Sơn, passed away. When he was gone, I was still a kid and did not feel anything. Now after ten years, his music becomes a great comfort to my soul. I know in this life existed at least one person who felt that much lonely and disconnected with the surroundings, but the only thing left on his mind was an unconditional love for our life and human beings. His songs express exactly all feelings and thoughts of mine whenever I hit the bottom rock of unreasoning desperation. Those are the times everything is upside down and I do not know what I have lived for. The worst thing is the obscure reasons for my sadness, if there is any. The feelings are just real, and I do not know how to get rid of them. All I can do is listen and read Trịnh’s again and again. He understands how weak I feel when observing the chaos in front of my eyes, how much I love this life accompanied with the poor human beings, and how often I want to cry and pray for them.
Some weeks ago when reading Zen-related materials, I happened to watch a video of Thích Nhất Hạnh, a Zen Master, talking about Trịnh in Trịnh's funeral. Thought to be in no favor of the Communist party during the Vietnam War, Trịnh used to be sentenced by the new government to “retraining” in a labor camp and many of his songs were not allowed to be performed in public. Thích Nhất Hạnh disagreed on this decision, pointing out that Trịnh had no fault in showing no support for either the Communists or the Americans. All Trịnh wanted was the end of the war, because whatever the winner was the war surely caused lots of deaths and losses. He was definitely against the motto “kill all” of both parties. He believed that even when the Communists wanted to save Vietnamese, they had no right to kill all other people on the opposite. That is just not right.
Besides, I’ve recently got to think more about some of my ethical beliefs. Two days ago I was confronted by one of my peer and her friends when we got into discussion. I felt a bit of anger because they actually did not have enough to defend her ideas and did not want to listen to other sides, but I knew I ought to stop at the moment my mate turned our talk into argument. I told her that I would not say bad things back to her and left the talk. I felt only sad after that. The statement that being more grown up means getting hurt less easily seems not true. However, I feel calm again today. It is good to remind myself of not getting back at people, of coming to discussions with the only desire for learning, and of knowing when to stop.