In Offering Salvation to Others, Think of them Completely
(Clearwisdom.net) Is there any similarity between our effort to save
people and someone else's effort to save a drowning person?
When someone falls into the water, he is in an extremely dangerous situation, and everyone knows that if he is not quickly rescued, he will die. Therefore, he would never complain, "You held my hand too tight and hurt it," or "You scratched my face" after he was rescued.
In that life-and-death situation, if you took off your clothes before you saved the person, people might say you were clever; if you forgot to take off your clothes, people would say you were only thinking about saving a life. At that moment, all "imperfections" are praised and honored.
On the other hand, what we do today is not only saving people's lives but also offering salvation to sentient beings on a much broader scale. We are saving their [real] lives in a most fundamental sense. However, when we tell someone "we're saving you," even if the person doesn't say anything, he thinks that something is wrong with us. When someone listens to you with patience, he might think that he has good manners and is open-minded to different opinions.
Why? Because people don't realize that they are in an extremely dangerous situation, as this world is full of illusion. An ordinary human being is the weakest of beings. Often his true nature is lost; therefore, he doesn't want to believe us. When he cannot understand, he actually thinks that we are weird and hard to comprehend. We don't need ordinary people to acknowledge the fact that we are saving lives, because we follow the principles of cultivators. However, we must remove his barriers in order to offer salvation to him.
Under such circumstances, how can we better clarify the truth to people and better save them in this period of time so they won't be eliminated? I think Teacher told us the answer as early as July 22, 1999, "We are calling for all governments, international organizations, and people of goodwill worldwide to extend their support and assistance to us in order to resolve the present crisis that is taking place in China." ("A Brief Statement of Mine")
In Guiding the Voyage, "Teaching the Fa at the Western U.S. Fa Conference," Teacher said,
"I'd also like to take this opportunity to really thank the various levels of government in the United States and Canada for the honors they've bestowed upon us and upon me. Under this special circumstance, I can't thank them individually, but I will bring them a wonderful future. On the surface, we're seeking support for Dafa from the world's people. This is the thinking of the worldly human side, manifest in this human place. Yet it's reversed on the other side. Whoever supports Dafa or advocates for Dafa is establishing for himself his being's existence in the future and is laying a foundation for obtaining the Fa in the future."
Recently, Teacher also said, ("Fa-Lecture at the Conference in Florida, U.S.A.")
"So in other words, when we clarify the truth to save them, we need to tailor it to the mindsets modern people have. This is because the extent to which today's people believe in Gods is very limited, the minimal level of morality acceptable to them is also very low, and even when they know perfectly well that something is bad, they still do it. Of course, all the same, we'll save however many we can, and we'll do our best to clarify the truth. The reason is, in the future there still has to be Fa at this human level, and there still has to be beings at this level--it can't just end right here. Besides, since Dafa has spread widely in this world, the future humankind should be very blessed."
In order to really save people so they won't be eliminated at the end of this
period, we should completely give up our self-interest and think from their
perspective. We should use means understandable and acceptable to them to
clarify the truth with them. Right now, our most fundamental responsibility is
to help people to establish a positive view on Dafa. As for whether he believes in
God and Buddha and whether he changes his bad habits, we don't have to pay too
much attention to these matters. If he listens to us, we should offer some
advice. If he doesn't, we can let him alone for now.
Currently, if everyday people don't appreciate us and think that our ideas don't conform to their mindset, not only do we need to continue to treat them with sincerity and respect, we should also do our best to show them "Truth, Compassion, Forbearance" at their levels. I remember once a fellow practitioner clarified the truth in an Internet chat room. While other people were listening to him, one individual was hostile to Dafa, probably because he was influenced by the lies. He used rude language to interrupt the practitioner. This practitioner was not affected. While continuing clarifying the truth, he told the person calmly, "Could you control your temper please?" This way, he did not hurt that person's pride but reminded him of his incorrect opinion without too much detail.
This person may have thought that he could verbally abuse all Falun Gong practitioners, so he viciously kept on swearing. The practitioner then advised him, "Such a bad temper is not good for you or others. I told you this for your own good." A little surprised, the person did not carefully choose his words and said, "We deserve each other!" meaning that although he is not that polite, the practitioner was also that way. While still clarifying the truth to others, the practitioner commented, "Do you mean that a calm person deserves an angry person?" There was a long silence. Then the person asked politely, "How old are you?" The fellow practitioner smiled and answered friendly, "I'm at an age that doesn't get angry easily." By this time, the other person had automatically changed his opposing views and approved of the fellow practitioner's kindness and his action of truth clarification. This is an interesting example.
In addition, if people tell us that we are not kind and gentle enough, then we should try our best to be kinder and gentler. If we did anything that deviated from Dafa, then we should apologize and tell people that it was our personal fault. If we have done all these things to rectify our errors, then what else can they say? Master pointed out in "How to Provide Assistance" in Essentials for Further Advancement,
"Then how can we do the assistant job well? First off, you should treat yourself as one of the students instead of considering yourself above them. If there is something that you do not know in your work, you should humbly discuss it with others. If you have done something wrong, you should sincerely tell the students, "I, too, am a cultivator just as you are, so it's inevitable that I'll make mistakes in my work. Now that I've made a mistake, let's do what's right." If you sincerely want to have all practitioners collaborate to get things done, what results will you get? No one will say that you are good for nothing. Instead, they will think that you have learned the Fa well and are open-minded."
However, any apology must not be made from the perspective of Dafa which owes no apologies to any one. Also, we should not apologize for our effort in Fa-rectification and truth-clarification, because what we are doing is out of our most magnificent compassion. We can say completely from an individual's perspective that, "I'm only a cultivator, and my xinxing level is still not up to the requirement of the Fa. I have developed a competitive mentality (or other attachments), and I feel regret for not cultivating well and not meeting the requirement of Dafa. At the same time, I would like to apologize to you for the impurity in my words or mentality. On the other hand, since you have never cultivated Dafa, you have some misunderstandings. The fact is..."
If we handle the situation this way, what would be everyday people's opinion of us? They would think, "Look at those Dafa practitioners, they really have class and manners." This way, we have manifested through ourselves fine qualities (wisdom and compassion) and tolerance. Their prejudice of Dafa will dissolve in an atmosphere of pure serenity.
We cannot require everyday people to behave this way or that way simply because we have learned the profound principles. When talking to people, we should conform to their situation to the maximum degree and explain Dafa principles at their levels based on their abilities to comprehend. We should never be aloof and arrogant, because that can only keep people away from us and make them miss the opportunity of being saved.
A friend of mine started up a company and he hoped that I could join it. When our topic turned to Dafa, he suggested that I should look out for my personal welfare. In his words, "Society is very corrupt, but your individual efforts will not change anything." I told him, "As the owner of a company, you would first concern about your long-term interest, and secondly, how to maximize your profits. You are fully aware that society is degenerating, and it is in a very dangerous stage. Come to think of it, if the nation is going to collapse, what is the outlook for your company's long-term interest? It's true we sacrifice a lot. Your idea of "caring for my personal welfare" means you are going to sit and wait for the outcome. This is similar to the situation where I want to eat the peaches on a tree, I shouldn't mind the hardship of climbing the tree. If I just lie on the ground and wait for the peaches to drop, then the ones that eventually drop are already rotten. So, for the long-term interest of your business, you can't remain indifferent to the human rights abuses in your country. For your company's long term prosperity, you must make sacrifices for justice."
Everything was created by the Fa. When clarifying the truth to people, no matter what subjects keep them interested, we can always start a conversation from that angle. Based on their xinxing level, we can talk about the Fa principles manifested at their level so they can accept these principles as something everyone should follow.
While I was illegally detained, I met a young man around 20 years old. He told me how he and a girl fell in love. But he had a bad temper. Once he lost his temper and threw a cup of hot water in her face. The girl left him. He was bitter and angry. I told him, "You don't really love her. If she were your true love, you would not hate her simply because she no longer loves you, nor should you think of revenge. To build a happy relationship, one must give to and truly care for the other person. ... When you become so broad-minded that you care for all people, then it is no longer love, it is compassion. Then, you become a good person to all. This is the requirement for Dafa practitioners, and we are doing just that." That was the first time we met. Our discussion lasted until past midnight.
The moral values of those criminal inmates were very low. But whenever I sensed a slight sign of kindness in them, I always felt deeply touched and expressed my appreciation to them. One morning the above-mentioned young man told me, "I saw the Buddha in my dream last night. I thought, Buddha really exists, I must ask so-and-so (my name) to teach me about Falun Gong."
In reality, we are not only "doing our very best to conform to the everyday people in our cultivation," (including doing our best to conform to everyday people in clarifying the truth), and we are not only trying to safeguard the living environment created by Dafa for everyday people at the lowest level. What we are doing today is in fact rectifying this environment under the guidance of the Fa, and creating a new living environment and establishing new guiding principles for the new humanity.