Benjamin Ceary is an English teacher at North China Institute of Aerospace Engineering
There is no fear in love. When love is complete, fear is removed. It is hard to sleep when fear creeps into the mind. Images of doctors in masks trying to help suffering patients fill our thoughts. Terrible questions tease us as we lay in bed: “Will I get sick?”? “Will my family get sick?? “What will happen to the country?”? Students and teachers alike both suffer from these fears. That is why it is so important to encourage each other.
We need to give more than facemasks to fight the sickness; we must also protect the heart. We are all human, and we all feel fear in the face of uncertainty.
I was in Hefei when the epidemic was first announced. As a newly married foreigner with a Chinese wife, this was the first time for me to celebrate the Spring Festival in China with my new Chinese family. But, a cloud of gloom hung over our celebration as we watched the news coming in from Wuhan. My American father and mother, who lives in America, called me to know if my wife and I were safe. I could hear the fear in their voices. I told my parents that there is no fear in love. I have lived in China for eight years. I have seen what the Chinese people can do when they work together. I told my family, “Don’t worry. The Chinese people will beat this sickness with the power of love.”
I knew that I was not the only one suffering from the vision of a grim future. I began contacting my students on WeChat once I had arrived at North China Institute of Aerospace Engineering . I made video calls, wrote messages, sent smiling emojis and reminded my students that we must all work together to fight this sickness, we must not fear the virus, but we must learn how to fight the fear with love.? Many students thanked me. I knew I was not the only one sharing this message. I saw many Circle of Friends on WeChat filled with encouraging words for China. The Chinese people and foreign friends were fighting together with love for one another.
In order to make my American friends and family more aware of China’s brave fight in the middle of the epidemic, my wife and I translated and compiled several news videos that recorded the beautiful and touching love stories that happened in Wuhan. She translated the video into English, and we emailed it to a family in the United States. They posted the video on Facebook and it is now circulating throughout the United States. In the video, a couple, a young nurse’s boyfriend came to visit, they were crying in tears as they looked at each other from the other side of a glass door. Kissing and hugging through the cold glass, wearing masks, they promised each other that the first thing they would do after this epidemic was over was to register for marriage. There was another couple, a pair of doctors, who happened to meet in the corridor of the hospital. They had not seen each other for a few days and hugged each other while still wearing their protective clothing. Then they immediately returned to their respective positions at the hospital. The last part of the video shows an old woman in the hospital, writing a letter to her husband in ICU isolation every day to encourage him and to tell him not to give up. The video moved our American friends and family to tears. The beauty of standing strong in depths of adversity and stories of those ordinary people who love in extraordinary ways is powerfully moving. We are all ordinary people. We are not without fear, but we understand that love is greater than fear and suffering.?
Family members are still sharing these moving love stories with friends. American friends started asking me, “What can we do to help China?”
I told them, “Love China and pray for her.”
——There is no fear in love.
Benjamin, USA, English Teacher at North China Institute of Aerospace Engineering