(Clearwisdom.net) Officials from the Chinese Ministry of Public Health acknowledged yesterday that the number of infants who have suffered from kidney stones by drinking the toxic infant formulas tainted with melamine is as high as 300,000. Even if each of these innocent children would only require 10,000 yuan for medical treatment, it would mean a total cost of as high as 3 billion yuan. This sum does not account for the long-term medical attention that is required for the health of these babies as a result of kidney failure. Taking into account the negative impact on the food industry from the public exposure of the series of toxic foods, the reputation of the Chinese manufacturing industry, as well as the threat of these toxic foods on adults, the total economic loss may very well exceed 300 billion or 3,000 billion yuan.

"How much is morality worth?" has become a popular phrase in China today. It conveys people's disregard for morality. Indeed, it is really hard to measure morality with physical or economic parameters. However, the degenerated social morality has added an extra cost to every area of economic activity. From this, each and every Chinese citizen can deeply experience the preciousness of morality.

Chinese society today, including businessmen, and even the medical doctors who were once reputed as "angels in white," and teachers, who are honored as "the engineers of the souls," have also become associated with professions of exorbitant profiteers. Is there any pure land in the professions today? Even if you want to lead an honest life with integrity and do not harm others, others will harm you. If you are not corrupt and do not bribe others, it is impossible to get a driver's license, send your children to school, or get hospitalization when ill.

Morality will be extremely difficult to reconstruct after the collapse of this present social moral system because the reconstruction requires the existence of those in the society who will remain untainted while living in this filthy environment. Amidst the omnipresent corrupt society, these people will be taken advantage of, ridiculed, and will be the ones who are considered foolish. One can imagine that without a firm belief in kindness and compassion, such people will find it extremely hard to live in this society.

When writing this article, I remembered a story. On September 27, 2007, the Minghui website (the Chinese version of Clearwisdom) published a letter, titled "A Counterfeit One Hundred Yuan Bill" (http://www.clearwisdom.net/emh/articles/2007/10/10/90358.html), written and submitted by a reader of the website. This person noted down her experience of interacting with a street vendor when she bought some hair ties for her daughter.

When the author of the story was selecting her hair ties, the vendor held a hundred-yuan bill in her hand and examined it repeatedly. Then, the vendor took out a bill detector to verify if this bill was real. As the writer had been a cashier previously and could easily distinguish a fake bill, she helped the vendor to examine it. In the end, it was found to be counterfeit. The vendor said, "A moment ago, a man had bought something with this fake bill."

This person wrote, "I sympathized with the vendor and inquired how much she earned in a day. She said, 'It will take me five days to make up the loss in receiving this fake bill.' To reduce her loss, I said, 'I'll give you fifty yuan for the fake bill and I will use it to play Mahjong.' She shook her head and told me that she was a Falun Gong practitioner and cultivated Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. She would not harm others for her own interest. She said that since it's a fake bill, it will not be used to harm others any more. So she took the bill and set it on fire with a lighter. From that, I saw her in a new light and I respected her from my heart."

The person continued, "In the past, I had never paid attention to the street vendors, because I felt that they were the lowest members of society, who just lived for their own interests and would argue endlessly over several pennies. Today, standing in front of this street vendor, although I was adorned with jewelry and branded clothes, I felt my heart eclipsed. A sincere feeling of respect comes to my mind."

Before 1999, Falun Gong had spread rapidly in China. Many people have witnessed, from the Falun Gong principle of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, the genuine standard of being a human and the genuine meaning of life. Even under cruel torture and threatened with death, they will not give up the principle of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is the principle that every practitioner lives by; it was this way before the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) persecuted Falun Gong, and it is still this way after nine years of persecution.

After the CCP started to persecute Falun Gong practitioners, whenever practitioners told people that Falun Gong teaches people to follow Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance and to be good people, and that the persecution is illegal, the response was usually, "The most important thing now is to develop the economy. How much is morality worth?"

I believe that at present every rational Chinese citizen acknowledges that although morality cannot be measured, it is priceless. Things are still not hopeless if people can break away from the present moral crisis and reconstruct social morality in China. However, what is most important and essentially critical, is to stop the CCP's persecution of Falun Gong practitioners.