北加州中文學校聯合會為慶祝母親節，由中華航空公司資助所舉辦的徵文比賽，成績揭曉。萬佛聖城「培德中學」男校學生蔡宗達得 A 組（十三歲以上）第一名，高健陞得佳作獎。以下為蔡宗達得獎作。
In order to celebrate Mother's Day, the Chinese Schools of Northern California conducted a Chinese Essay Contest sponsored by China Airlines. When the winners of the contest were announced, Jim Tsai of Developing Virtue Boys School at the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas won the first prize of group A (from 13 years of age and above). Gao Jianshen was a runner-up. What follows is the prize-winning composition written by Jim Tsai.
It is said, "The kind mother is like the great earth, the stern father is like the all-encompassing heaven; one covers from above; the other supports from below, The kindness of parents is such that they know no hatred or anger toward their offspring, and are not displeased, even if the child is born crippled. After the mother carries the child in her womb and gives birth to it, the parents care for and protect it together until the end of their days."
I am already 16, not naive anymore. Now looking at myself in the mirror I can see how much I have changed, a change for the better. Before I was like a little sprout; Mom, you were like the earth giving me all the nutrients. Father was like the sun shining on me. Therefore I have grown into a tall tree to become a pillar for my country.
In distant memories, I recall a wonderful childhood. Our family was not rich and father had to work from early morning until late at night in order to support the family. Mom, you always sat by the window in the breeze, mending our clothes. And you held my little hand as we walked through the bright green bamboo to the little creek along the small path. We became one with nature.
I have a dad who is upright, humorous and sometimes stern. He showed me two qualities: to be thrifty and straightforward.
In order to make more money, dad took a job in mainland China and so, you had two roles, the stern father and the kind mother. Dad was a lucky man to have such faithful companion like you. Dad was sometimes depressed when his job wasn't going too well.You shared both his happiness and his sorrow. Father was very fortunate when he had to leave the country, because you were such a wonderful wife and he didn't have to worry about us. Thus dad could work single-mindedly on both his ideas and career.
Mom, you are a dedicated actress. When you wear your overcoat, carrying your briefcase and riding your motor scooter to work, you are truly a good company employee. You share the family burden with Dad. When you arrive home, you dust off your coat and transform yourself into a homemaker. Whenever you work in the kitchen you transform yourself into a wonderful chef as you prepare a tableful of delicacies for the whole family. Mother, when you don your precept robe and recite Buddhist sutras you suddenly become a pious Buddhist, praying for world peace.
It is also said, "Originally she had a pretty face and a beautiful body, her spirit was strong and vibrant. Her eyebrows were like fresh green willows. And her complexion would have put a red rose to shame. But her kindness is so deep she will forgo a beautiful face, although washing away the baby's filth injures her constitution, the kind mother acts solely for the sake of her sons and daughters. And willingly allows her beauty to fade."
Sixteen years have gone by in the wink of an eye. Age has left its mark on your face. The wrinkles on your forehead seem to tell a story of joy, anger, happiness, and sorrow. I will never forget the picture of you seated at the sewing machine under the soft light of a lamp. It seems you were using you wonderful skills to weave your heart and our hearts together. You were toiling and burning yourself away to nurture us with your loving care. We are a fortunate generation because we are able to grow up under your devotion and care. We are a lucky lot because we have caring parents. There is an old saying which goes like this, "Even though the mother grows to be one hundred years old, she still always worries about her eighty-year-old son. If you want to know when she will stop worrying that will be when she is on her death bed.” Is that not a perfect description of you, mom?
It is true that the parents shower great loving kindness on their children, and it is very difficult for children to repay that kindness. The parents are willing to bear the sufferings of their children. And they are never at ease when they see their children toil and labor to earn a living. Parental love is as high as a mountain and as deep as the ocean. We can never fully repay it with words, actions or money. Even the crow knows to feed the old crows that can no longer fend for themselves. And the baby goat kneels to drink its mother's milk. If we don't know how to show filial piety, we are worse than animals. It is indeed difficult for a tree to stay still when the wind blows. Likewise it is difficult for the children who long to take care of their parents when their parents are no longer in the world. Therefore we must waste no time in fulfilling our filial piety while we still have the chance.
Mom, I wish to say thank you. Even though I often make you angry, anxious to the point that you cannot enjoy meals and even have sleepless nights. Dear Mom, I just want to say, "I want to repay your kindness." I seldom help out with chores around the, home, rather I spend the whole day playing basketball. And to make matters worse, I don't have good academic results to show you. Above all, I want to say, "Mom, I LOVE YOU." I want to always be with and take care of you for the rest of my life.