Young Practitioners Then and Now
(Clearwisdom.net) Before July 20, 1999, during the winter and summer holidays we usually held ten-day camps for children to study Fa and do the exercises together. Once several thousand children participated, and we had to board in different locations since no single place was able to house everyone. The accommodation that we normally used for instruction and exercise housed more than 600 children. Living with these children day and night contributed to changing my behavior a great deal.
Even while enduring humiliation, Xiaoshang was always thoughtful of others
Xiaoshang is eleven-years old and attends a boarding school. He excels in school. One time, a student with poor grades urinated in Xiaoshang's drinking glass. Xiaoshang woke up around midnight and drank half of it before realizing what was in the glass. For the next three days he kept vomiting. The student who played this practical joke laughed at him without sympathy.
When his mother came to bring Xiaoshang home on Saturday, she saw that his complexion was not quite right. When she asked him what was wrong, he told her about drinking the urine. His mother was upset and wanted to tell the teacher. Xiaoshang grabbed her and said, "He did such a bad thing, so he must be feeling pretty bad already. Don't tell the teacher. I will reason with him when I have a chance. As a practitioner, would you not tolerate such a little thing?"
On another occasion, Xiaoshang and his friend were playing with a syringe, and the needle accidentally pierced his palm. Hearing the children crying, his mother ran from the house and saw her son bleeding. She screamed in shock. Xiaoshang endured the pain and pulled out the needle using his other hand. He said, "Mom, lower your voice or you'll scare my friends." Xiaoshang's mother often said, "On the path of cultivation, Xiaoshang would often remind me of the right course of action."
After July 20, 1999, Xiaoshang's mother went to Beijing to validate Dafa. Several times the police beat her unconscious. Once a policeman came to Xiaoshang's home at midnight while his parents were out. They used a knife to pry open the window and climb into the house, and then asked for his parents' whereabouts. When Xiaoshang didn't answer, they grabbed his head and knocked it against the wall, giving him a concussion. Later, his mother was sent to a forced labor camp and his father was illegally imprisoned. For many nights, Xiaoshang was living at home alone. Enduring his headache and loneliness, he longed for his parents' return. Later, Xiaoshang was forced to stop attending school.
Xiaoqiu was illegally sentenced to four years in prison
Xiaoqiu was seventeen when he started attending a youth Fa-study class in 1999. Being an older student, he always helped younger students whenever he could. After July 20, 1999, Xiaoqiu worked with his mother to validate Dafa. In 2002, while making truth-clarifying posters with other practitioners, police came and arrested Xiaoqiu. He was sentenced to four years in prison. He was brutally tortured and when his grandmother visited him, she found him to be emaciated. Even under these circumstances, he told her, "Grandma, how I wish to be home to take care of you." Before his arrest, Xiaoqiu had always taken great care of his grandmother, and was known for his kind heart.
A young girl learns to use the computer to save people
Juanzi was 12 and lived in the countryside. She worked very hard to study the Fa and practice the exercises, and memorized many of Teacher articles. Once, she was hit by a motorcycle and thrown quite a distance. She got up and the first thing she did was to help the rider calm down, who was very scared, thinking that she could have been killed.
That same year, Juanzi attended the youth Fa-study class. This was the first time that she had visited a city. Other children gave her some snacks to eat, but Juanzi refused to take them. Later, I asked her whether she had the urge to eat those snacks. She replied, "When I saw the snacks, I did feel an urge to eat them. But one cannot be careless in cultivation. I need to control myself and let the urge go." When other children saw that Juanzi wasn't greedy, they put away their snacks and didn't bring them out again throughout the session, later giving them back to their parents at the end of the class. Their parents were very surprised.
Juanzi is not yet 18 years old. In order to save sentient beings, she learned to use a computer. She and her parents were arrested three months ago at a Dafa material production site. Juanzi was released, but her parents are still imprisoned and may be illegally sentenced to a jail term. Currently Juanzi is by herself at home and caring for her little brother. Although their lives are difficult, Juanzi persists in clarifying the truth about Dafa.
Lanlan said, "If one is not ill, why stay in bed?"
Lanlan was seven when she started Dafa cultivation. Before the New Year of 1999, she attended the youth Fa-study class. On the fourth day, she and other students developed karma-elimination symptoms such as fever and coughing, and they couldn't sleep all night. Before the five am exercises, an assistant said to them, "Do you want to get up and exercise? Don't get up if you don't want to. You can stay in bed a little longer." They heard this and got up. Lanlan said, "If one is not ill, why stay in bed?" They all went out and did the exercises. As the day went on they got better, and at suppertime, they had all recovered. The older student praised them for studying the Fa diligently.
With her celestial eye opened, Lanlan saw Teacher taking her to beautiful places. She is now in the fourth grade. When the school prepared a statement slandering Falun Gong, she refused to sign it. Other students told the teacher and teacher said, "Lanlan is an excellent student, if she doesn't want to sign it, don't ask her to do so." Lanlan said to herself, "I can't let other students and the teacher sign it either." She then told the class' teacher about how good Dafa is. Her teacher didn't say anything, but wouldn't say anything bad about Dafa afterwards. Lanlan went out with her mother to distribute truth-clarifying materials whenever she had the chance. When her mother finished making truth-clarifying posters, she and her father (not a practitioner) would lay those posters out to let them dry.
When adults have a dispute, I couldn't help but think of those young practitioners who wanted to share their experiences
At the end of the Fa study, the young students would be busy writing their experiences for discussion. Since there were many students participating, they would discuss in small groups first. Then, only a few experiences would be presented to everyone.
We were still selecting articles for presentation on the night before the following day's conference. Those young practitioners were so pure and their articles so interesting that we were all very touched. We had difficulty in our selection because we didn't want to drop any of the articles. Those young practitioners would come in to ask whether we had made our decision yet, as they all wanted to share their experiences. A seven-year-old student told us very seriously, "Select mine--it's a good one."
At that time, I was not used to this kind of self-promotion. I thought, "Isn't the pursuit of fame common to any age?" I said, "I find it difficult to make a selection since all of your papers are good." One young practitioner comforted me by saying, "Auntie, don't feel bad, if everybody's writings are good and helpful to others, please select someone else's--I don't need to speak." Another young practitioner also told me to select other people's papers instead if I thought it was better for them to speak.
One of them said with great sincerity, "Zhang Qi and I both like eating snacks. While my attachment of snacking is gone, he still has it. If I share my article, this should help him get rid of this attachment. So I would very much like to talk in the meeting to help others."
My mind was purified by those youthful minds, thinking about others before themselves. Later, when I had disagreements with other practitioners and was guessing what others were thinking, I'd remember those young practitioners' eagerness to share and remember my narrow-minded way of guessing what they were thinking. I thought that the reason so many practitioners were having conflicts was because they applied their narrow-mindedness and wild imagination to guess what others are thinking. "It would be good if they could manage to search within themselves for the things that they have been able to find in others." (from "A Dialogue with Time", Essentials For Further Advancement) I realized, if we were following Teacher's teachings, then the results would have been different.
If the persecution did not exist, those young practitioners would be happily cultivating, just like they did in the past. But today, those young practitioners are suffering both in mind and body. They very much hope to have the same environment as overseas young practitioners.