An Anesthetist Who Refuses to Collect Extra Money in Red Envelopes
(Clearwisdom.net) In Mainland China, if you go to the hospital for an operation, there are usually two people to whom you must give extra money in red envelopes. One is the surgeon who will perform the operation, and the other is the anesthetist. It is unknown from what time this practice began, but quite often the money in the red envelopes has become their main source of income. Though the amount of money in the red envelope varies from person to person, according to my younger sister who works as an anesthetist in the hospital, an ordinary anesthetist like her would receive between seven or eight thousand to ten thousand Yuan per month [500 Yuan is the average monthly pay for an urban worker in China]. In contrast, a doctor's monthly salary is about one to two thousand Yuan.
Another source of "extra" income is kickbacks from drug companies for prescribing expensive medicine. Though it cannot be compared to the amount of money in red envelopes, which is also quite sizeable.
After practicing Falun Gong, my younger sister, who is an anesthetist working in a hospital, stopped taking the red envelopes and kickbacks for prescribing certain drugs.
My younger sister attained the Fa relatively late. Before April 25, 1999, her mother-in-law practiced Falun Gong, and her father-in-law also practiced for a while. However at that time, she did not know much about Falun Gong, and took it as an exercise for healing illness and keeping fit. She did not know that Falun Gong was true cultivation. Since July 20, 1999, her mother-in-law gave up practicing Falun Gong under the overwhelming pressure. My sister tried her best to persuade her mother-in-law, "Mom, if you feel it is good, then you should keep practicing it. Why should you care about what the media says? I feel it is good for you to practice this Qigong because it has made you healthy." However, this old lady who had experienced political movements so many times was scared to death. She did not dare to continue to practice.
At one point, I learned from my younger sister that she was disappointed with the deterioration of the human morality, the coldness between human beings, and the social reality of competition and people's efforts to take advantage of others. She felt puzzled over the human existence. She felt really empty, lonely and depressed. She even felt despaired for the future and said, "I will not come back to be a human being in my future life. I hope I will turn out to be a little stone." Hearing this, I thought suddenly of what Master said in the Fa-lectures, that it was not easy to have a human body. If you happen to be a stone, you cannot come out after so many years, especially if a stone does not break or become weathered away. One is fortunate to have a human body when the Fa is spreading all over the human world.
I talked to her over the phone about Dafa, and soon she began to practice. Two days later, I received her phone call. She said, "Hello, elder sister, I have read Zhuan Falun." I asked, "How do you feel?" She replied, "It is so great! I have decided not to take money in the red envelopes any more!" Her voice was full of excitement. "Is that true? You are so quick in upgrading your xinxing (mind-nature)." I was so happy from the bottom of my heart.
Immediately, she continued to talk in a flow of eloquence. She said she finally understood the meaning of life, understood why human beings were living in this world, and also understood the value of life. She said she did not feel confused any more. After a period of time, she told me over the phone that ever since she cultivated Dafa, she felt a completely new sense of enrichment and tranquility of her soul. She did not feel anxious, empty, or depressed any more. She also felt that she received a new strength for actively moving ahead in life, finding a new meaning to her life.
Later on, all kinds of propaganda attacking Dafa came out, becoming more and more irresponsible, slanderous and deceptive. It was a truly terrifying environment. Facing all of this, I was put in a state of confusion. Everyday, my mind was full of thoughts for the current events, and I did not have the mind to see how she was doing. For a long period of time, she also had similar problems. Occasionally, she called to tell me about how she felt. I learned that she did not have a very good state of mind, and did not study the Fa for a long period of time, and neither did she practice the exercises. She was agonized and could not understand why such a good Dafa would be subjected to defamation and attack! She could not believe how a government, in order to persecute a group of good people, could disregard the facts and make up all kinds of lies to deceive the people. She started to jog early in the morning. However every morning, she heard people talking about Falun Gong in the park. Some old ladies sighed, looking at the garbage on the ground: "Oh, when the Falun Gong practitioners practiced the exercises here, it was so clean. You see now how dirty it is." She felt the yearning in people's hearts for Dafa from their sighs.
During that period of time, though my younger sister stopped studying the Fa and doing the exercises, she never forgot the benevolent Teacher's principles and refused to collect any money in the red envelopes from the patients and did not accept any kickbacks.
After I thought about the current situation with Teacher's words in mind, "Follow Teacher closely, steadfastly cultivating Dafa," I decided to catch up with the Fa-rectification process and help my younger sister to come back to the Fa-rectification path. Since she cultivated her inner self seriously and made efforts in upgrading her xinxing (mind-nature), she made very big progress. When she met those patients who did not feel comfortable when she refused their money, she would take the money first and after the operation, she would return the money to the patients. In her work, she didn't complain about her assignments, jockey for position with others, or worry about personal gain and loss. She gained the respect of her peers. She used her wisdom to clarify the truth and spread the Fa to the patients and colleagues. The thing she feels most badly about is that during campaign of persecution, she has to be selective about clarifying the truth.
I hope and believe that some day in the future, she can tell everyone and at any time that it is because of practicing Falun Gong that she became a doctor of high virtue.
Footnote 1: As funding for medical care is scarce, many doctors and surgeons in Mainland China have come to expect and take for granted extra money provided by the patient or the patient's family, in order to ensure that the patient receives the proper care and medical treatment.