We Must Be Considerate of the People We Are Saving
(Clearwisdom.net) Practitioners must be considerate of the people we are saving. I'm writing this article out of worry and urgency, and I would like to highlight a critical point in our public truth clarification efforts.
I just got home from participating in a truth-clarification rally in the city.
At one time today I was patiently answering someone's questions, all of which were slightly critical and aimed in a way so as to put me in an awkward situation. But I answered all the questions with good will, demonstrating that I was a respectful and decent individual. Even if his questions were slightly off topic, all my answers made a good impression on him with no negative connotations regarding Dafa. He shook my hand and said he respected me for what I was doing.
He continued talking to me, and asked me more questions when another practitioner came by to help out of good will.
Now I will highlight why I have written this article.
The man asked the other practitioner if he believed in God (in the singular). The other practitioner said he believed in gods (plural). As this is a sensitive topic in Western society, the man was startled and said, "There is only one God, and that's a fact!" The other practitioner went on with his understanding. Standing there listening, I already knew he was talking at a level beyond an everyday person's comprehension, and the man continued to justify his stance.
I thought it wasn't a good situation, because the other practitioner kept trying to advocate his understanding. Such a competitive mentality could only drag things down. I quickly interrupted and said, "I understand you. I have friends who believe in one god. I know many people believe in one god, such as in Christianity and Catholicism. Yet there are some who believe in more than one god."
The man wasn't very patient and interrupted, asking me, "Do you believe in God?"
I answered, "I believe in many Buddhas, Daos and Gods." Again I was interrupted, however, and I respectfully and patiently listened to him. The other practitioner again went on with his understanding, and so did the man. Seeing the conversation go downhill, I interrupted again and said, "You have your belief and I respect you for that. I have my own belief, and many other people have their own beliefs. I respect all people. As long as people are good, I think that's the main thing." Immediately the man calmed down. Then he asked me, "Tell me which religion believes in more than one god?" I told him that the ancient Greeks believed in many Gods, such as the God of the Sun, God of the Ocean, God of War, Athena, etc. He accepted what I said but immediately said they were wrong. So I went on to say that in Burma they also believe in many gods. He tried to interrupt me again, but I went on to say, "Many people have different beliefs, which is fine. My belief doesn't harm other people, I don't tell everyone that there is one god or many gods, I just keep it in my mind. The main thing is that people are good."
I also want to mention that I spoke in a very relaxed and easy going manner, and this also helped. I will not repeat the whole conversation, but there were a few times that the other practitioner spoke rather irresponsibly. When the man was talking about his belief in one god, and about what he had read about the issue, the practitioner said, "You read human books." (Implying his knowledge was of low level) "Weren't you reading human books from this world?" The man couldn't believe what he heard and asked the practitioner to repeat himself. He was really shocked by the practitioner's inconsiderate words. Such statements and questions are inappropriate!
I cherish my fellow practitioners and cherish sentient beings, so I am writing this article.
Please take to heart Master's words, "It is very difficult to truly save a person, yet so very easy to ruin a person." (Zhuan Falun)
I feel when we endeavor to save sentient beings, we must save them! We shouldn't talk at a high level. We must put ourselves in the shoes of the people to whom we are speaking. Perhaps we should ask ourselves, "How would this person feel if I say this?" If the angle we are using to clarify the truth upsets the person, then we should try another angle. The objective is to save them, not to justify our own understanding and deny theirs. We must be respectful. We must show genuine respect.
In another part of the conversation, the other practitioner said that people pray for evil things like money and health. The man interrupted him and exclaimed, "Money and health are evil!?" As I started to speak to try and help this sentient being, the other practitioner walked away to look within. I said, "What he means is that many people nowadays follow a practice and pray for money. As to health, there is no problem with people wanting better health. The main thing is that people follow their practice to be better people, and not constantly pray for money." I went on and gave him an example of how some people say they are Buddhist but they don't conduct themselves according to Buddhist teachings. He totally agreed with this.
Ultimately I feel the man walked away with a good impression of Dafa, but to be honest, it appeared to me that he was close to losing his future. When I clarify the truth to sentient beings, I try to remember that sentient beings live for sentimentality. Many sentient beings believe in human rights. Many sentient beings believe in respect and dignity. Many sentient beings enjoy good health, desire good health, and cherish good health. And many sentient beings believe earning lots of money is good. If those notions of sentient beings are challenged, they may well think you're silly, have a negative impression of you, and walk away.
Dafa disciples are different from everyday people. We rise above and beyond sentimentality. We shouldn't try to change someone else's understanding to be the same as ours. Saving sentient beings should be simple. We only need to demonstrate that we are good people, talk reasonably, and validate Dafa and the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. Yet, saving people is sometimes complicated, and we must save them according to their attachments.
Category: Journeys of Cultivation