Upon Entering the Dabies
Upon entering the Dabie Mountains, you will be entranced by the wonders of its scenery. With its luscious vegetation, pristine lakes, and beautiful mountains, a sense of tranquility will enter your heart, calming the minds and bodies of the souls who enter this mountain range. A prime example of heaven on Earth, portraying the true power of Mother Nature, it is a sight that is revered and never forgotten. Yet within the Dabie Mountains lies a village riddled with misfortunes, a paradox to the beauty surrounding it.
The village in Dabie is impoverished, the children unhappy. The children of this village have almost never met their parents, who are often away for work, finding any job to support their children. As such, most of the children in this village are raised without the loving care a mother or father can provide, starved of support and love. The affection given by their grandparents are barely enough to satiate the children’s hunger for love, which they are constantly deprived of. Not only this, but the village has barely just enough to feed themselves, and nothing more. The children here have no experience with fun, enjoyment, and happiness. They have spent their whole lives farming. The chance to learn is a joyous occasion, and the chance to learn the majesty of the fine arts even rarer.
It was with this thought that my sister, Ms. Dong, being the good, and kind soul that she is, had in mind when she went to the village of Dabie to teach the children there how to play the Guzhen, an instrument well-known in China. She had visited previously, and had brought the joy and wonders of music to the village, entrancing the children, and filling the heavens with music that would eventually fill the hearts of the village children. My sister, upon seeing the happiness radiating out from each villager, decided to make a fateful decision and teach some of the children how to play the Guzhen, to produce the music the village so desperately needed, to bring about changes in the village.
Ms. Dong had bought thirty practice Guzhen’s to teach the children. Taking in thirty young children, she began to teach lessons each week. As each week passed, the village atmosphere changed, as joy and happiness began filling the empty spaces that once filled the village of Dabie.
The children looked forward to class every day, as not only was my sister a mentor, but a mother figure to the children who had gone long without paternal love. The joy spread throughout the village, and the once bleak village was now a whole rainbow of emotion and happiness.
There were two children in particular, in which the music changed their lives for the better. One was a 4th grader girl, older than most of the students she would take in. Her mother had been severely affected with bipolar disorder, and was bed-ridden most of the time. Her father was old and senile, whom her mother was forced to marry. Her mother had wanted desperately to leave the village her whole life. It was her dream to enter college and leave her desolate life in the village. Yet, when she failed the college entrance exam, half a point away from success, her dreams dissipated only to be replaced by nightmares. As such, her daughter, the young girl mentioned previously, was mature beyond her years, and like so many others, starved for love. My sister remembers, that she loved receiving hugs, and tears would trickle down the girl’s face every time she received such a simple gesture of affection from anyone. The young girl, who lived in a small hut, windowless, dirty, and decrepit, was truly affected when music had entered her life. The once sad, miserable child was now filled with joy as music changed her life. Mature beyond her years, she soon became the leader of her music class, and played the guzhen well.
Another child, a boy suffering from autism, had his life dramatically altered when music entered his life. Initially, the boy didn’t talk, he didn’t meet the eyes of anyone, nor did he ever smile or laugh. But, as the magic of music worked in his heart, the boy soon began to communicate more, he laughed and smiled, he was happy, he was healthy. The boy, once mute, was now the shining star of the class, singing the loudest, smiling the widest, laughing the most. Upon the mention of music, and the Guzhen, the boy’s eyes would lit up, and he would begin talking fervently about his love of music. As if like magic, the music had brought wonders to the little boy’s world.
Another incident, during a village festival, was when the whole class played for the village. It was like a switch had been flicked. The people’s faces lit up with joy, smiles, and laughter, as the music entranced every person, penetrating the hearts of every villager, leaving no one behind. It was a magical sight to be seen, and it truly portrays the magic of music. The village, once a gray and gloomy place, was now changed. As music brought happiness to the villagers, and love to the children, the atmosphere was changed for the better, healing the broken spirit of the village.
It was villages like these that inspired us to create Aspiration Foundation. A non-profit foundation to help people around the world, and bring joy, happiness, and meaning to their everyday lives. Not only do we want to gift music, but we want to bring other fine arts, such as theater, art, etc., to the lives of the people. We want to heal the spirits of the villages, to make the world a joyous place. Most importantly, we want to bring happiness to humanity, to those that have not the resources to create such joy. Already, the team at Aspiration Foundation has donated to these poor villages, donating money, supplies, etc., to villages like Dabie Mountain Village. Our goal is to be able to work around the world in order to bring happiness and joy throughout the Earth.