A Few Thoughts on the Financial Hardships of Dafa Disciples Who have been Persecuted
(Clearwisdom.net) Recently, a number of Dafa disciples were released from forced labor camps and returned home. After their release, most of them are without financial resources, and have difficulties getting by. Because of long-term imprisonment, some were fired by their employers, some had their businesses occupied, some of them were forced to divorce, and in some cases both husband and wife were imprisoned. There are many cases like these in China.
Under the circumstances, some practitioners suggested that those practitioners apply for the minimum living stipend. However, some practitioners are hesitant to do this; they feel that Dafa practitioners should not apply for assistance and it seemed that if the government were to provide for us, we would lose our self-assurance when doing things. Some were afraid the government would again find a chance to persecute them and try to force them to write a "guarantee statement." Some practitioners who were not in the forced labor camps felt they should provide assistance to the practitioners that were suffering financial problems; but others believed that those practitioners who are in financial troubles should take care of the problem themselves, since it is their own tribulation. The following are my thoughts:
Foremost, we must make sure our own opinions and mentalities are positioned correctly. Because of the evil's long-term persecution, brainwashing, and the Party's ill-intentioned propaganda, some practitioners formed false ideas and lost the concept of protecting their own rights. We must understand that we were not punished because we did something wrong; in fact, we are persecuted illegally because we upheld the truth and our beliefs, exposed evil, and clarified the truth. Therefore, we have nothing to hide and we should be open and maintain dignity when we deal with anybody. We did not have any disorderly conduct. On the contrary, it is the people who persecuted us who have committed crimes. They are the real criminals; they are shameless. When we look at the issue from the perspective of Fa rectification and the evil's persecution of Dafa disciples, we will not be affected by our acquired notions, and we will not feel timid or ashamed.
Before the persecution, Dafa disciples were all employed, and they were in fact good employees in general. It is the persecution that caused Dafa practitioners' financial hardships. We are not attached to money, but we will not allow evils to persecute Dafa disciples. Therefore, if it is allowed by regulations, Dafa disciples should apply for assistance, whether it's an unemployment benefit or a minimum living stipend. Of course we need to do our best to find a job. As for the saying, "the government is paying our bills," it is a false statement derived from the propaganda of the Party. People are paying all the bills all the time, including the government's bill. The government has the responsibility to society. Dafa disciples are exercising their basic rights when they apply for assistance, a condition created by the illegal persecution. However, we have to position ourselves correctly during the application. There should be no added condition when applying for help. To add a "guarantee statement" to the application for assistance is an illegal act. We should not foster this mental burden of anticipating this type of persecution. As a cultivator, we do not think about personal gain or loss too much, and we are not attached to outcomes. The above discussion is focused on Dafa disciples.
Another important aspect is that we can clarify the truth on how Dafa disciples have been falsely accused and illegally persecuted by the government agencies and employees. Some of the Dafa practitioners who were released from the forced labor camps were "reformed" against their wills and have deficiencies in their understanding and mental state, therefore they should first study the Fa more to correct themselves. We should also recognize that the related government agencies were our targets to clarify the truth, and we do have the responsibility to let them know how evil the persecution is. As long as we have a common understanding, we can carry out the work case by case with our wisdom.
I know a Dafa disciple who was released from the labor camp recently. Her work unit moved her to the street committee with only 200 Yuan a month living stipend. She believed that her employer was persecuting her because she was a Falun Gong practitioner, and she decided not to accept it. She talked with her employer and told them that she met all the retirement requirements, and her forced labor sentence was an illegal persecution, and they should not disregard her contribution to the employer over the years. She requested her employer to process the proper paperwork for her retirement and pay her pension. Her employer was very rude and rejected her request. She did not give up. While continuing to communicate with her employer, she began to visit government agencies that have authority over her employer and the street committee office. She told them what happened and clarified the truth to them, especially how the law enforcement agency knowingly committed crimes and how she was brutally tortured and abused. Because the practitioner had no fear and a positive mentality, her employer processed her retirement paperwork and eventually began paying her pension. More importantly, many people heard the truth throughout this application process.
Dafa disciples are one body body. "The next person's things are your things, and your things are his things." ("Teaching the Fa at Washington, D.C. Fa Conference, 2002") It is appropriate to help those practitioners who have financial difficulties due to persecution, and the help is also a measure to fight the evil's persecution. The purpose of help is to let practitioners clarify the truth and cultivate, and it is also a huge mental support and encouragement. This is different than an example Master gave in 1999 East USA Experience Sharing Conference. In that example, practitioners continuously gave financial support to a practitioner who had temporary financial difficulty, which might lead the practitioner to give up cultivation. That was about an individual cultivation period, and the hardship was indeed to test the practitioner in his individual cultivation. But right now we are in the Fa-rectification period, and the persecution was forced on us by evil, and we refuse to accept it. "Except for newer students, from July 20 of 1999 on, Master hasn't created any personal cultivation tests for you, and that's because overall your personal cultivation has changed in every respect so that it's in the direction of saving sentient beings and validating Dafa." ("Explaining the Fa during the 2003 Lantern Festival at the U.S. West Fa Conference") We should not limit ourselves to the framework of individual cultivation when we look at the various situations in Fa-rectification, including persecution endured by practitioners. Rather, we should look at those issues from the perspective of validating the Fa, saving sentient beings, and breaking the evil's persecution. If we can do that, we are not individuals who have no connection, but particles of a whole body. We are closely connected, and together we have the responsibility of validating the Fa and saving sentient beings. We should help and take care of each other.
Dafa disciples are not attached to outcomes, "Do but pursue not-----Often stay in the Dao." (Hong Yin)
The above is my personal experience, please kindly point it out if you find anything that is inappropriate.
October 2, 2003