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Shining World Hero Award: To Save One Life Is to Rescue Many Lives    
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Everywhere in the world, we can observe and be touched by acts of kindness. People from all walks of life, faiths, and cultures extend themselves beyond the call of duty to help others unconditionally. Through their noble deeds, humanity as a whole is elevated.

To commend virtuous actions and encourage more people to be inspired by their examples, Supreme Master Ching Hai has lovingly created a series of awards, including the Shining World Leadership Award, Shining World Compassion Award, Shining World Hero and Heroine Awards, Shining World Honesty Award, Shining World Protection Award, Shining World Intelligence Award, and Shining World Inventor Award, to recognize some of the most exemplary, generous, caring, and courageous people who walk amongst us.

On his way to work an extra shift, in part for his son’s Christmas presents, produce department supermarket employee Carlos Flores was waiting for a subway train in New York City, USA, when he saw a man suddenly faint and fall onto the tracks.

I was on my way to work, it was Sunday morning. I was on a platform waiting for the train. And some gentleman was exiting the train station. And as he’s exiting, he’s a little mad, I see, and I’m wondering why. And he is walking out, saying, “Oh, there’s a guy sleeping on the tracks, there’s a guy sleeping on tracks.” So it hit me. I said, “Can’t be nobody sleeping on the tracks.”

So I start walking towards the end of the platform and I see a gentleman yelling at a man on the platform, telling him, “Wake up! Wake up! The train is coming! The train is coming!” At first as I’m walking that way, I didn’t notice the guy on the tracks. And all of a sudden I hear him say, “Oh, I can’t! I can’t! Help!” So once I heard that, my reaction was just jump in. So I just jumped in and helped this guy out.

Wow, that’s amazing. What was going through your mind as you made that rescue? Were you afraid?

I was a little afraid. But then at the same time, I wanted to help the guy out. He was basically stuck on the tracks.

At first I saw the sign. There was a sign and it read, “3 minutes” till the next train. That’s when everything just happened. And it just happened so fast.

Mr. Flores quickly jumped down, pulled Mr. Thomas Grant off the tracks and helped hand the 6-feet tall man to another person on the platform before lifting himself up. The unconscious Mr. Grant, a carpenter who has epilepsy and had been going to volunteer at a soup kitchen at the time he fell, was transferred to the hospital but is doing well. Speaking of being rescued by Mr. Flores, he said, “My life could have ended just like that. I'm still here because someone cared enough to help.”

Would you do it again?

Yes, I would. Thank God I was there to help him.

Today you have your ten-year-old son Anthony with you. Anthony, what do you think about having a dad who is a hero?

It feels good. But at the same time I was kind of worried because if he would have got hit, I wouldn’t have anybody to play baseball with and practice.

I didn’t think of it as being something big. I just thought of it as, I had to get to work, let me help this guy. And all the feedback I’ve gotten back has been great. I got people who notice me in the street. And they’re all surprised, “Hey, you’re the Subway Hero!” And like, “Hey. I’m really happy what you did.” People hugging me, and you know, I really didn’t think it was that big. But it really plays a part in life. A lot of people really appreciate it.

For his selflessly brave deed, Supreme Master Ching Hai is honoring Carlos Flores with the Shining World Hero Award.

“…For your quick thinking and action, for your love and strength and for being a gallant and noble role model, we hereby applaud and celebrate the heroic deeds of New York subway hero, Mr. Carlos Flores. With great honor, love and blessings, Supreme Master Ching Hai”

Wow.

Here.

Thank you.

And here is the award.

Wow, thank you.

And then we have a couple of things here as a little gift for you. Some books by Supreme Master Ching Hai, some DVDs, (Wow.) and of course, a Hero T-shirt.

Wow!

Supreme Master Ching Hai who has honored your courageous deed with the award may be watching this program. Would you like to share some words with her?

Well, I would just like to say, thank you very much. I appreciate it. Everything you have done for me so far. And I’m really happy to know that a lot of people are really happy about what I did.

Is there anything you, any message you would like to give the world that’s watching?

All I would like to say is if you ever get the chance, you should try to do the same. It’s always good to help other people.

Our salute and thanks, Mr. Carlos Flores for being a hero – to your son, to New York, and the world. Wishing Mr. Grant safety and for both your families to be blessed with many warm and happy moments.

In the Jewish Talmud, it is said: “Whoever destroys a soul, it is considered as if he destroyed an entire world. And whoever saves a life, it is considered as if he saved an entire world.”

This profound saying has been interpreted a number of ways. Could Mr. Flores’ rescue of a man’s life somehow have led to the saving of other lives further along the road? Our next Shining World Hero Award recipient also has been saving many lives, but in a different way. Mr. Jacek Bozek, first of all, has been a caring vegetarian for over 30 years. He is also the founder and president of the Poland-based non-profit organization Gaia Club, which endeavors to advance human and animal rights as well as better the environment.

Mr. Bozek is also director of the Gaia Club in the UK and president of the Gaia Club in the Netherlands. The first Gaia Club started in Poland and has its roots in lessons that Jacek Bozek learned from surviving a nearly fatal childhood illness. It was this deeply challenging experience that led him to have a profound realization about life.

Life is worth living. Life is something most precious. We, animals, the world, do not have anything more precious than life.

On October 18, 2009, Mr. Bozek attended the premiere of European language editions of Supreme Master Ching Hai’s #1 international bestselling book, “The Birds in My Life,” in Frankfurt, Germany. There, he gave a presentation about the Gaia Club’s work.

We have organized and led many social campaigns, and in our campaigns we use unconventional methods and many forms of artistic expression. We try to help people, animals, and nature, directly. We teach and give examples of how our consumer choices not only contribute to climate change, but can also directly impact the diminution and disappearance of biodiversity, as well as how our choices can have an immediate influence on the well-being of animals.

I am filled with hope for the future when I see people and organizations whose work fulfills this mission and help others to understand the interconnected fate of animals, nature and ourselves. Thank you.

Thank you very much. Thank you.

The highly active group has collaborated with the United Nations, the Polish government, and international non-governmental organizations. From devoting hours to a river cleanup; to getting 60,000 people to plant nearly 74,000 trees; to speaking out about animal cruelty, the Gaia Club has been diligently furthering causes that matter.

Through their nationwide initiative “An Animal is not a Thing,” Gaia Club collected over 600,000 signatures from fellow Poles, resulting in the enactment of a major national animal protection law.

Before, 20, 30 or 100 people took part in our projects and now hundreds of thousands participate in them. And we get feedback from them that they have noticed their yard, they have noticed their river, and that they have changed their diet. And ecology, animal rights slowly have started entering the mainstream, becoming something very important in business, in the economy, in politics.

Fifteen or 20 years ago, we did not have any contacts with businesses. Now businesses come to us and say, "Do something with us. We also want to change our attitudes." We were just the first ones in many activities in Poland. We were undoubtedly the first. And now it bears fruit.

For a steadfast commitment to advancing animal welfare and encouraging green and compassionate living, Supreme Master Ching Hai honored the Gaia Club with the Shining World Hero Award and gifts along with US$10,000 to further its good works. The award ceremony was held during a cordial gathering of Gaia Club members. An excerpt from Supreme Master Ching Hai’s letter of appreciation reads:

“Dear Mr. Bozek, It is with much pleasure and gratitude that we present to you and the Gaia Club the “Shining World Hero Award.” This Award is presented in recognition of your gallant endeavours to save precious lives and for advancing animal and human rights and protecting the environment. Your noble and inspired vision of a world with more love, understanding, and peace is making a positive difference towards uplifting the consciousness of Earth…

For your outstanding efforts to elevate humanity, for your wisdom, compassion and courage to voice the truth, and for being a noble role model, we hereby applaud and celebrate the heroic deeds of Mr. Jacek Bozek – Valiant eco-warrior! With Great Honour, Love and Blessings, Supreme Master Ching Hai”

Sometimes situations happen in your life that make you feel surprised. None of us, neither I nor the organization, expected that we would get an award to begin with. So it is even more nice and pleasant. And when someone notices you and tells you: “What you do makes sense,” it gives you strength.

A great number of people come to us for help. As people we help people, but we also help these people to find out how they can do something good for animals. Usually we do not have money for this. And this takes a lot of time, oftentimes the work of lawyers, buying out these animals, this is a huge work. This money will be very useful for this.

In addition to receiving the award plaque, appreciation letter, and US$10,000 donation, Mr. Bozek accepted many gifts, including a bright Hero jacket and Supreme Master Ching Hai’s books, such as her #1 international bestseller, “The Dogs in My Life.”

Be Veg, Go Green 2 Save the Planet!

Be Veg, Go Green 2 Save the Planet! And also I wish... I wish to say some short information to Master, that I saw her in my dream, and thank you very much.

Our appreciation Mr. Jacek Bozek and the kind-hearted members of Gaia Club for devoting so much time and efforts to protecting animals and the environment. Wishing you great success in all your noble endeavors.

For more information on the Gaia Club, please visit

Thank you for joining us on today’s program. Coming up next is Words of Wisdom after Noteworthy News. May all beings co-exist in peace and harmony.
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