In my youth when I achieved success, I began every day to spend money on luxury items, constantly drunk and flirting with girls. In communicating with the girls I did not even need to make an effort - they are like butterflies, constantly buzzing around me, there was no end of them. At that time, if you were even a little bit famous, you were sure to be invited to attend charity events. I once was asked, 'Jackie, the kids at the Children's hospital in Sandy Bay would very much like to see you'. I was invited several times, but I refused. Each evening I went out for a drink, and the next morning I could not get up. In the end, after numerous requests, I thought, okay, I will go once. I went in the evening, wearing sunglasses and not even knowing why I was going.
When I entered the hospital, I was shocked: I was very sick at heart at the sight of the sick kids. As soon as I arrived they rushed to hug me, surrounded me, touch me. They smelled strongly of drugs. At first I was a little scared, but eventually relented, I was so sorry for them. They said to me: "I like you so much! I adore you! I can touch you? ". I was very moved.
At this time, one of the hospital staff said: "Jackie did a lot of work yesterday. All night he worked on the set and did not have time to sleep, so he had to hide his eyes behind sunglasses so that you could not see how tired he was. Soon it will be time for Jackie to go back to shooting. Let us greet him warmly." Hearing these words, I wanted to sink into the ground. Yeah, of course, I did not have time to sleep, I thought. Just drinking all night. I was very ashamed.
The kids applauded and hospital officials added: "Jackie bought gifts for you!"
The children were delighted: "What kind of gifts?". I could not answer anything, because I have not bought any gifts yet my people did it for me. I felt guilty. And the children kept asking questions: "When you will come back to us."
I replied: "Perhaps at Christmas." After the visit, I was not myself for the next week, every day I was thinking of only one thing: why I'm such a bastard? That the same year, when Christmas came, I went to the hospital again, taking with me a mountain of gifts. The children were madly happy to see me. This time I knew without exception what all of the contents of the boxes were, which I had brought with me. I handed out the gifts and felt no less happy than those kids. Only on that day was I released remorse that had tormented me all the time since the first visit. Since then, I became involved in charity work.
I began to collect all the gifts that I sent by fans. I myself did not use them, and I donated them to nursing homes, in orphanages and other similar places. Once I wanted to decorate a huge outside wall to my office with paintings. I issued the call to my fans and asked them to draw and send me pictures. The main theme of which would be peace and love. Fans responded and began to send their works in a continuous flow. Then I proposed to build a school together. Some said that they are not as rich as I am. I thought that, even collecting one yuan at a time can slowly build a school. I again asked for help from the fans by offering to double the amount they donated. For example, if a fan donated one yuan - I added one more. A fan donated 1 million - I added another 1 million Then I began to receive money from all over the world in every different currency. Many sent money attached to A4 sheets - or in the form of a flower or some other beautiful appliqué or money attached to their drawings. It turned out to be very nice. I was sorry to take their money and spoil the drawings, so every dollar of those that are glued on paper, I began to replace their money, and then doubled the sum.
Those pictures, sent by the fans at my request, I stuck on the outside of the wall offices, and many have seen them. However, because of the rain patterns have been hit hard. I was very sorry, and I'm not going to stick them outside anymore, but instead I stick them on the walls of rooms or simply lay on the floor. Now in my museum, the JC Film Gallery and in my office, you can still see the pictures from the fans that I get and have carefully kept for many years.
Ever since I became seriously engaged in charity, this activity along with my experiences has taught me much and helped make it easier to look at a lot of things. Now I often wear the same clothes over and over again for different events and ceremonies, I stopped spending as much money on buying clothes as I did before. One day after attending a concert, I was dashing to the van, and someone said, "How is it that Jackie Chan was wearing the same clothes that he was wearing a year ago!" And I think it's better, it's all minor things, which do not need to be taken too seriously.
One day I went to Yunnan to help equip the region with water. There was no water, no food, no electricity, telephone did not work. But the children there looked happy, they are always smiling. On the way back I was thinking about what awaits them when it's cold. In the evening, during dinner with friends, someone began to complain that the food is tasteless, someone had insufficiently chilled soda, someone was going to change their car, or buy a new phone ... Residents of big cities can not live without luxuries; there is no shortage, and people are always dissatisfied with something. We have just enough and so, but our demands are constantly increasing. Residents of the city would have to visit, at least once, in the mountain areas and feel the "charm" of living there, maybe then they will learn to think and care for others. Moreover, all of these bandits, who are accustomed to stealing there, you need to send into exile on a desert island, as once upon a time they exiled criminals to Australia, and let them cultivate virgin land and build houses so that they had somewhere to direct their energies, that they idly spend in doing evil deeds.
Regarding charity, I have gained experience over time. One year when there was an earthquake in Yushu County I sent an aircraft laden humanitarian aid the next day, and I also went there, accompanied by my staff and the guys from the band "New Seven Little Fortunes". But when we arrived there, we just added people trouble. Military and rescue workers who were engaged in rescue of victims were forced to allocate people to me who would help me to distribute humanitarian aid, and the officials who supervised the rescue operation had to make time to meet me. The next day we put in the plane wounded who need to be transported for medical care, but at the last moment it turned out that the plane was overloaded and could not fly. Then I, along with my staff, got off the plane. While everyone was trying to stop me, I said: "On board the plane there will be no benefit to us, so we have to leave it." They objected that it was not known when the next flight would be. "This is nothing," I said, "We can wait, but the wounded cannot wait."
Since then, in the event of natural disasters, I first try to scout out the situation and make sure that I will not deliver further problems. Then after a time, when I am sure, I will go to the scene and deliver necessary humanitarian assistance. The last few years I am often abroad with charity work. Some accuse me that I am engaged in charity work in other countries when in my country so many people are in need of assistance. I have my own view on this issue. When I was a young man I found myself in the other countries, and there were always people who have helped me, in Thailand, and Japan, and in America. Love for people and good deeds have no national boundaries, and when I receive help, I want to respond in kind.
In addition, I consider charity as a way to establish diplomatic relations between the peoples of different countries. When something happens to you and someone comes from other countries to help you it's very impressive, is not it? Therefore, wherever there is a problem - whether it's tsunami in Indonesia, an earthquake in Japan or in China's Sichuan province - there is always going to be me. Let politicians deal with political issues, and let people forge relationships between people of other nations. Until now, many children from Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Japan, South Korea, Germany, Russia and other countries regularly send money for my foundation "Dragon's Heart" to help Chinese children.
Next to Indonesia, there is a country called East Timor. Once I was invited there as a peace ambassador, while there was a war between the two factions in the country. I wondered: "Is there any sense in my visit?" I was told, "We ourselves can not yet say for sure, but if you do not arrive, we definitely will not have any hope for peace." Six months later, their president has informed me in a letter that the war was over. I do not know whether it is my doing, but at least I did my part. In my youth, when I was making money, risking my life, I wanted to buy everything around, now that I am becoming older I would like to spend all my money on charity. Money is not the main thing in life; it is much more important to leave something behind in this world.
Sunday, March 6, 2016
Extract from Jackie's book "Growing Older, Never Growing Up" about charity. I have posted this extract because charity is so inimical to Jackie's character, you can't hope to understand him, without understanding why he does charity work.