Shining World Hero Award: Clayton Williams, a Brave-hearted Superboy's Kitten Rescue   
 
Shining World Hero Award: Clayton Williams, a Brave-hearted Superboy's Kitten Rescue  
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.

Tender-hearted, nine-year-old Clayton Williams of Texas, USA risked his own life to save the life of a neighbor’s kitten. The story begins when Clayton heard the cries of the young cat stuck high in a backyard tree. And although the kitten was precariously perched on a limb some 35 feet or 10 meters above the ground, Clayton did not hesitate to try rescuing her.

When I saw the cat, I climbed up a different tree to see if I could reach her from that tree. But I couldn’t. So I climbed back down and climbed up the tree she was in. I got to the limb, (but she) kept going to the back of the limb. I did not want to go anywhere else. I wanted to stay right there.

While reaching for the kitten, Clayton suddenly began to lose his grip on the limb.

My left arm had slipped. I was only holding on with my right arm. I kept trying to reach her. But (I had) to reach up and grab, because this hand was slipping. But before I could, that’s when I fell.

The cat had gone to the very end of the limb and he was reaching for her as she backed off the limb and fell. And then he turned to see where she was at, and his hand slipped off. And he was trying to grab back on. And the other hand ended up slipping too and he ended up falling backwards from the tree.

He fell feet first on his left side. When he hit the ground, he fell backwards. So, that’s how he broke his ribs and his shoulder blades falling backwards. And he apparently didn’t hit any of the limbs on the way down, which was a miracle in itself because it could have caused head and neck injuries.

Although severely injured, Clayton was conscious and heroically struggled to get the kitten to his house.

He picked the cat up in his mouth because he could only move his right arm, because his arm was broken so badly. (I couldn’t use it.) He army-crawled on his right side with the cat in his mouth. And I was like shocked that that he had put the cat in his mouth to come home.

Clayton’s mother, who was tidying up the house, had been unaware of the desperate situation outside.

I really didn’t know he was even outside when he fell, because I was dealing with the household, trying to get it cleaned up. I had actually thought it was the dog at the front door whining.

When I opened the door, Clayton was at the bottom of the steps.

Despite just having undergone a highly traumatic event, Clayton’s first concern was still the kitten’s well-being.

I went to stand him up and the whole time he was yelling, “I want to take the cat to the vet. I want to take the cat to the vet.” So I picked up the kitten and put her in a safe part of the yard and told him, “Right now the kitten is okay. We’re going to take you to the hospital.”

After being reassured that the precious kitten was safe, Clayton was finally willing to have his own injuries treated.

I could see that something was wrong. And it didn’t register in my mind how bad everything was. It just was my baby did not look like my baby.

So, I drove to the hospital and I carried him because by that time he was going in and out of consciousness.

The brave little nine-year old then underwent major surgery for eight-and-a-half hours.

He came out of the surgery, everything was fine. We got to his room and he refused pain medications, he wouldn’t take them.

After a long hospital stay, Clayton finally returned home. And despite his own condition, Clayton’s first concern was finding out how the kitten was doing. What made Clayton so determined to save a cat who lived in a neighbor’s house?

Because she was a baby. And I got to pet her on the back steps. She was a little nice cat.

Clayton’s father is a Native American or member of a people indigenous to the United States, and his respect and love for animals has deeply influenced his family.

We think that the animals are souls, they have spirits. And everybody on Earth and everything on Earth is tied together. And so we treat the animals the way we want to be treated. Each one of us has a purpose and a point to be here on Earth. And the animals are our friends. They are here to make us feel better. Because, Lord knows, we may come back then maybe as a cat or a dog.

I see a house full of animals; you have dogs and cats (Yes, sir.) and birds. (Yes, sir.) Alright. Can you talk a little bit about your relationship with the animals around?

What do you think about having all these animals? Do you like it?

It’s very fun to play with them and stuff.

Supreme Master Ching Hai was touched to tears upon hearing of Clayton’s selfless deed, and honored him with the Shining World Hero Award, along with toys for the kitten and US$4,000 to help Clayton in whatever way he needs. She also conveyed her many hugs and kisses for Clayton, saying that she loves him so much and is so proud of him too. Our local Association members presented the Award and gifts to Clayton on behalf of Supreme Master Ching Hai. Supreme Master Ching Hai also sent Clayton the following lovely letter.

Dear Clayton, It is with much pleasure and gratitude that we present to you the “Shining World Hero Award.” This Award is presented in recognition of your extraordinary courage and fearless outlook on life, enabling you to achieve what others can only dream. Your daring feat of rescue and remarkable selflessness has inspired humanity to greater heights. Who would have thought a nine year-old boy and feline could cause so much sensation!

Yet that’s exactly what you have done, Clayton. When you heard piteous meows coming from a kitten in a tree, crying for a knight to save her, you did not hesitate to climb up to comfort the distressed feline. Once on the limb however, you and the kitten fell to the ground. Although you had broken more than a dozen bones, you were still focused solely on saving the little cat, who you noticed was not moving.

With great nurturing concern, holding the kitten in your mouth, you army-crawled some 35 feet to the house and told your mom you wanted to take the kitten to the vet. Realizing the severity of your injuries, mom immediately took you to the hospital. There it was discovered that not only had you broken your arm, but also 16 other bones on the left side of your body.

Even after surgery, you refused pain medication, and thankfully are now at home, recovering with kitty. Clayton, we are touched by your selfless actions and devotion to the tiny feline, and amazed how your love for another being could take you beyond the limitations of the human body. May you soon be restored to vibrant good health through your love for all of God’s creations.

For your outstanding bravery and act of sacrifice, for your exemplary display of love in action, and for being a dedicated and compassionate role model, we hereby applaud and celebrate the heroic deeds of brave-hearted Superboy. You’ve got a new name. Superboy! This is Clayton Williams, right over here. Let’s give him a hand!

He was telling his teacher, and his teacher came up to me and she goes, “I heard Clayton’s getting a superhero award.” I was like, “No! No, no, no, no. It’s an award for what he did this summer.” She’s like, “That’s a superhero to me.”

So Clayton, we’d like to give you this check for US$4,000. Thank you.

Among the other gifts the “Superboy” received was a beautiful, crystal Shining World Hero plaque, Supreme Master Ching Hai’s #1 international bestsellers, “The Birds In My Life,” “The Dogs In My Life” and the “Noble Wilds,” a special t-shirt with the word “HERO” emblazoned on the front, and some of Supreme Master Ching Hai’s DVDs and CDs.

And we also have some books here. (Look at that one.) This one is “The Noble Wilds.”

Oh, how pretty, look.

All the ducks. I’ll hold this.

And here’s the Award. Thank you. (There you go).

How does Clayton’s mother feel about her son’s extraordinary courage in rescuing the little kitten?

I am very, very proud of him. Not many people would save a stray cat and especially go to those lengths. And my son is the most special little boy I’ve ever met. And I am very, very lucky to be his mom.

Is there anything you want to say to Master Ching Hai?

I am grateful. I am so thankful for all the wonderful gifts she has shown my son. And all the wonderful things that she has given my child and my family. And for somebody else to tell me they are proud of my son for what my son did, it makes me very, very grateful. I am very grateful that she actually showed the thoughtfulness that she showed. I am glad somebody else realizes what a special child I have. Thank you.

Clayton Williams, we sincerely thank you for providing the world with a wonderful example of altruism in risking your own life to safeguard a helpless kitten. May you swiftly regain full, vibrant health and continue to be a noble protector of animals. Marvelous viewers, thank you for your company on today’s program. Enlightening Entertainment is up next after Noteworthy News. May courage and wisdom always guide our lives.
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