September 13, 2001
How are you? I was shocked to hear about the tragedy at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. I feel sad for the thousands of innocent people who lost their lives during this terrorist attack. I also feel sorry for their families.
I read some reports on the web. Right after the attack, people inside the World Trade Center flooded into the staircases, but they maintained good order. When injured people were carried down, people would step aside and make way for them; when a blind person with a Seeing Eye dog came down, they stepped aside again to make way for them. They also encountered some firemen coming up the stairs carrying fire-fighting equipment to put out the fire and save people. According to a survivor, one tower of the World Trade Center collapsed like chocolate melting, shortly after she stepped outside. Those firemen who came to help could not get out. I was moved when reading this. When facing the danger of life and death, people still kept calm and thought of others. They demonstrated the moral level of the American people and the U.S. as a country.
So many people lost their lives in such a short time. While condemning the violence, the terrorism and the evil, I also deeply felt how short and ephemeral our lives are. Those victims never expected such a tragedy would happen to them; they were going about as usual with their ordinary lives, that is, keeping busy with their work, families, and friends. Now, they are all gone, taking nothing with them, leaving behind everything that they once cared for and cherished so much. I often think: When someone is about to die, and hovers at the border between life and death, as one looks back on one's life, what should be the most precious thing? What can we take with us and what must we leave behind? If we can think of this a little bit every day, we will cherish our time and lives much more, and readily accept good advice, and we will not waste time and energy on things that are transient and meaningless. My teacher told me that, at the moment when someone is dying, everything that happened during his life would be displayed in front of him. He will feel good about his good deeds, and feel the pain that his bad deeds brought to others and have regrets. At this time, he will understand everything, but it is too late, because a dead man cannot be restored to life.
I used to think a lot over the issues of life: Why do we live on earth? How should we live? Where will we go after death? How can we avoid drifting with the tide? How can we retain a kind nature in such a materialistic society? I could not help contemplating these questions. Other people did not understand why I cared so much about these things, and I could not understand why they did not think of them at all.
Science and academic degrees could not help me answer these questions. Other than bringing us some material abundance and comfort, science has nothing to do with spirituality and morality, nor can it truly improve the essence of our lives. But since reading Zhuan Falun, all of my questions were answered and I started to understand everything-- life, nature, universe, science, morality, Buddha, Tao or God. I felt I had been waiting for a long, long time, just for this Fa, and at last I finally found it. Since then, my life has had a goal.
The terrorist attack reminded me of another issue, which is that nothing other than mankind's morality and the protection of God can help us or keep us from being harmed. Even in the U.S., a country with the most developed scientific technology and the most advanced military forces, a tragedy involving the loss of thousands of lives in a single day could still happen. How can anyone, in any country, still consider himself safe? In the face of such an unexpected tragedy, scientific technology, wealth, power, prosperity, and other pursuits in a human world built upon materialism, cannot be compared with the preciousness of the first cry of a newborn baby.
If we really treasure life, we should see it as our duty-bound responsibility to repress and punish the bad, assist and promote the good, and stop the evil. This is because crimes against innocent people by the vicious could potentially harm every one of us, plus affect our nation and our offspring. Right now, I understand better than ever that the world needs kindness and justice and living beings need "Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance."
Harming an innocent person is actually harming all innocent people. The persecution of "Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance" is a threat against the essence of all life. Many things do not occur to us personally; however, a kind person cares more about others' mishaps than his own. Facing the fundamental choice between right and wrong, as well as the struggles between good and evil, or righteousness and viciousness, everyone has to make their own decisions. Will you choose goodness or evil? Being indifferent to evil is a kind of acquiescence, and thus is committing a crime. On the other hand, every effort that supports kindness likewise serves to suffocate the evil. The so-called "neutral" attitude does not exist. In the past two years, Falun Gong has been calling on all kind-hearted people and international organizations to support and to help stop the brutal persecution of "Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance." This is to provide an opportunity for people to know the truth and take a correct position regarding fundamental issues of right and wrong. This is not trivial but related to the well-being of everyone's future.
With best wishes,
Your friend, Xiao Ming