As the Chinese classic The Book of Rites says, “It’s easy to have teachers who teach you knowledge, but it’s very difficult to find teachers who can be your role models.” The former are competent teachers whose primary goal is to share their knowledge with you. The latter, not necessarily owning a lot of knowledge, are teachers of good moral character. Their conduct and the ways they do things are something we can learn from for a long time to come. Confucius and Mencius are two great examples of our role models.

A Japanese farmer called Grandpa Mutson successfully developed a new way to grow organic apples. He had an interesting philosophy regarding life’s dreams. Grandpa Mutsun said that we should follow our dreams, at least once during a lifetime, even if others deem us foolish. Here in Taiwan we have Mr. Luke Lin who volunteers his time in the hope of sowing the seeds of compassion by teaching rural children. His free lessons, educational materials and educational endeavors reach beyond students, teachers and schools, impacting the whole community. It may seem counterproductive to many. Some may be critical and cynical. None of this bothers Luke, nor does it deter him in striving to meet his goals.

Luke founded a non-profit organization, My Culture Connect, several years after he began his volunteer work. My Culture Connect has many positive goals, one of which is to enrich the culture of Changhua County. This happens when people become voluntary teachers and encourage others to follow in their footsteps. The role modeling of these individuals promotes not only knowledge for its own sake, but moral character development as well.

We have become very interested in learning more about Luke and the work he and his friends and students are doing. Luke and My Culture Connect are becoming increasingly well known in Changhua and beyond. We know that he works with limited resources and, yet, is very successful in sowing the seeds of hope and accomplishment in so many young, and not so young, minds. English education, and the community at large, has a very good friend in this selfless man.

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One Man’s Dream: Luke Lin