(Clearwisdom.net) People always say that children are pure and naive because they have not been through much and therefore have not learned to worry. But for us grown-ups, after experiencing many years of happiness and misery, can we still possess a pure heart?

Recently, I saw my college buddy Li during a class reunion. Compared to others who are successful in their careers and busy shopping for their next cars and new homes, Li has lived a hard life because of his belief in Falun Gong. In 1999, Li lost a very good job and a handsome salary from a large state-owned company in Hunan Province. In 2000 he was illegally sentenced to a forced labor camp for refusing to give up Falun Gong. His wife was several months pregnant at the time. In 2002 when Li was released from the labor camp, he spent only several months with his family before the police arrested his wife, leaving him to take care of their two-year-old child. His wife received a heavy sentence for her efforts to clarify the truth about Falun Gong to people. She is still in prison today.

Anyone would find such unfortunate incidents hard to endure. Some people may become permanently depressed and no longer have the courage to live on; even stronger people would somehow feel saddened and low. I have two other friends who encountered big setbacks in life. One became a gambler, the other an alcoholic. Nevertheless, I could see that these misfortunes have not knocked Li down. On the contrary, we were moved by his confidence, his calmness and compassion, deeply rooted in his heart, although by today's standard, he was the most "unsuccessful" person at the reunion.

A child of an upper-class family and a man of great pride, Li has gone through all kinds of tribulations. In and out of the forced labor camp, he lived a harsh life completely different from his earlier life. But he came to terms with all this. What kind of mental power does he have that allows him to see things this way? Li has no complaints, no sorrow. Having been persecuted for his belief, he told us that he had no regrets about his choice. We initially felt sorry for him, but eventually could not help telling him, "We really admire your attitude and courage. Your way of thinking among all of us is the most solid and healthy." People with spiritual belief are indeed different.

Li told us, "Do you know? What you see in me demonstrates the power of Truth, Compassion and Tolerance. Without the principles of Falun Dafa, without the endurance and rationality Falun Dafa taught me, I would not have had this demeanor. Although I do not have much money, no matter what happens, I can basically keep my calm and compassion. Spiritually, I am actually quite happy."

Many days have passed since that reunion, but I cannot forget Li's sincere smile. I do not admire any of our other rich friends, but I deeply admire Li's intellect and attitude. I have a better understanding of why so many people practice Falun Gong and why they would never give up their belief, even under the harshest persecution by the Communist Party.

July 13, 2007