Respect Life, Cherish Yourself
All babies in the world are fortunate, regardless of what kind of family they are born into. This is because they have an opportunity to be born as human beings in order to learn and gain experiences. However, due to various reasons, many unborn babies are aborted by their mothers. They don’t even have an opportunity to take a breath of fresh air; although their lives have taken form, they lost their rights to live.
When a mosquito bites you, what is your first reaction? Many people slap the mosquito, in an attempt to kill it. A mosquito only bites us out of hunger, and we immediately react with anger and a wish to strike back. How about the innocent fetuses that are aborted? What they lost are their rights to live. Accordingly, their anger and vengeance surpass our imagination.
Given the societal trend towards laxity and the emphasis on eugenics, the abortion issue is becoming graver day by day. Can abortion really solve social problems? Can abortion lead to improvements of the human species? Actually, only by not transgressing what is right, can social problems be solved. As for excellence of the human species, it depends on the state of our minds and our actions, and not on our race or physical condition.
In the past, people chose abortion as a necessary last resort; maybe they couldn’t support another child financially, or they were afraid to have a child out of wedlock. However, now social customs have deteriorated to the point that even gynecologists are shaking their heads, because many young women think having an abortion is not a big deal. Some even have several abortions in a single year. This trend is really worrisome. Another difference between the past and the present attitude is that these days, there are fewer and fewer young women who would cry their hearts out in abortion clinics. Rather, they act as if they don’t even care. In addition, most people consider having an abortion as nothing unusual. Such changes in social norm are sad and heartbreaking!
An eminent Chinese monk who moved to America, the Venerable Master Hsuan Hua had clearly seen how the negative retribution resulting from abortion is increasing in its intensity day by day. Out of pity for people who engage in untoward actions because they don’t understand the principle of cause and effect, he repeatedly instructed everyone with the upmost sincerity, and alerted us to the seriousness of abortion. For example, the Venerable Master said, “Everyone think about it, if you kill a child even before he or she has a chance to be born, would you say the retribution for such conduct is severe or not?” He further advised that, “It is better to prevent problems from happening, rather than feeling regret afterwards. Before you get married, don’t take birth control pills, and don’t engage in sexual intercourse....”
An abortion not only extinguishes a life, it also harms the couple. This is because an abortion not only leaves scars on the woman’s body and mind, it also causes the man to share undeniable responsibility, which may result in a lifetime of shame and guilt. It can even cause disharmony in a family. Many who had an abortion hide this fact, not daring to talk about their experience, or having no one to talk to. To counter the feeling of shame or remorse, the Venerable Master instructed that, “No wholesome deed is greater than correcting one's own faults;” and “Do more virtuous and meritorious deeds, do more repentance and reform, and recite the Buddha's name more often.” In other words, it is never too late to make up for one’s mistakes, such as doing something wholesome on behalf of the life that was lost, and thereby giving oneself a new start in life.
By publishing the “Innocent Little Ghosts,” we hope everyone can view abortion with the proper perspective, reflect and understand the issues surrounding abortion, and truly comprehend the principle of cause and effect. We definitely should not treat others’ lives lightly. Rather, we should treasure life and cherish the affinity between the unborn child and us. We also hope that the entire world will address this issue properly and understand the importance of teaching children about ethics and morality, thereby guiding the next generation onto the correct path. Finally, parents should set good examples for their children by their own behavior. Don’t make earning money as the priority, and let computers and T.V.s be the children’s companions as they grow up. Rather, parents should treat educating their children as their most important responsibility.