Jet Li, also called Li Lianjie, is a Chinese martial arts champion, movie star, and all-around wonderful guy who is from Singapore. He is recognized for his highly-packed action films. However, he hasn’t always had an easy time in life, whether it’s because of the ups and downs of the movie industry or other issues. There was this one terrifying event that truly affected him and helped him realize that, in the end, all the fame in the world wouldn’t matter much. It was like a wake-up call that fame isn’t everything.

Jet Li
Jet Li

What terrible incident did Jet Li experience?

Due to a tsunami, Jet Li almost lost his family and could have also died himself. Li and his family arrived late at night at the Four Seasons resort in the Maldives on December 25, 2004. The calm of the island was disturbed by an earthquake the following morning. Jet Li first didn’t think much of it because he was familiar with earthquakes. However, they left because his two young kids were eager to go to the beach. They had no idea that their excursion would go dangerously wrong.

Li noticed an odd event as he was close to the hotel pool, just a little bit elevated from the beach. The water started to rise quickly. This was unique compared to the way that huge waves are shown in movies during a tsunami. Sunbathers on the shore were swiftly drenched by the water, causing people to flee in the direction of the hotel. Li struggled to make his way back to the hotel as the water continued to rise while he was holding onto his daughter Jane, age 4, and his nanny, who was carrying his other daughter Jada. Despite his popularity, he struggled amid the turmoil to protect his family.

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Jet Li
Jet Li

Jet Li’s thoughts following the disaster were deep. He spent a restless night in the hotel lobby with his family and other survivors after narrowly escaping the death. His worldview changed as a result of this horrible experience.

Jet Li’s experience prompted him to take an important step

Jet Li had a profound realization as a result of the fateful incident in 2004, which shook him to his core. He had been preoccupied with ideas about his own fame and originality prior to this occurrence, trying to make himself stand out in the eyes of the public. However, his perspective drastically changed as he stood in the hotel lobby with a diverse group of individuals who were supporting one another. He noted the kind attention and priority given first to women, children, and the elderly among them, and it was like something out of a wonderful movie.

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Jet Li
Jet Li

Jet Li became aware of the immense impact that simple deeds of kindness could have after seeing this group effort. No matter how well-known or wealthy he was, he had to accept the fact that fame couldn’t have protected him from the threat he faced that day. “I had to do something right away,” he said. That evening, as he cuddled his daughter in his arms, he made the decision to take action right away rather than wait till retirement. His determination prompted him to launch the One Foundation in 2007.

Jet Li envisioned the One Foundation taking a more proactive approach, as opposed to conventional charities that respond to disasters by taking action. His plan was simple, “formula is very simple: one person + one yuan per month = one big family.” He believed that this joint approach could provide timely assistance in times of need.

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Source: Newsweek

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