[Selected Submission] From a Young Architect: Pass On the Message of Hope
(Minghui.org) During the mid 1990s, our society began to focus on self-interest and materialism. At the time, I had just graduated from a school of architecture and started my career at the provincial institute of research and design.
I Was Fortunate to Have Found the Truth
An older senior engineer was assigned to teach me. Although he wasn't very healthy, he was very knowledgeable in the field. He always answered my questions with patience. During my second year at work, everyone noticed the senior engineer was able to lift his crippling leg. He was also more energetic and enthusiastic. One day, he handed me a book. I glanced at it and thought it was very interesting. The book talked about cultivation. I had a feeling that the senior engineer's improved health had something to do with the book. I've had an easy life since I was young, and I just wanted to improve my professional skills and make more money. I did not have any further thoughts and returned the book the next day.
One day after work, I noticed there were a few more books on the bookshelf at home. One of them looked familiar. It was Zhuan Falun, the book the senior engineer had given me. I was curious and began to read it and was immediately drawn in by the content. The book explained why we should place emphasis on morality and be a good person. It gave in a few words the answers mankind had always been seeking since antiquity. It also talked about the similarity between the earth orbiting the sun and the electron orbiting the nucleus. I'd never heard of such an open concept. It was truly an unusual encyclopedia.
I remembered reading an article in “China Youth Daily,” about a large number of recent scientific discoveries contradicting Darwin's theory of evolution. Many fossils and biological phenomena have proven the theory of evolution wrong. There are two views in regards to the origin of life - creationism and evolution. Since the theory of evolution was no longer tenable, I thought I should probably consider creationism.
I started to notice that there were Falun Gong practitioners everywhere. My mother had brought these books home. She was working at a scientific research unit, and had just begun to practice Falun Dafa. I witnessed the senior engineer quit smoking, and become healthy after the practice. He often told me, “We should not use poor materials in our design in order to get a kickback.” There were several young and promising academic leaders in the institute who were admired by our colleagues, and they also practiced Falun Gong. They possessed good moral values, didn't care for fame and profit, got along with others, and had outstanding professional achievements. What made them so perfect? It must be the truth of the universe.
As a life in this universe, what kind of standard should I follow? I remembered some words my middle school teacher had said, “The truth might have been buried for a long time, but it still exists.” Now that it was shown to me, I should not miss this opportunity. I began to practice Falun Dafa in May of 1998.
If Something Is Yours, You Will Not Lose It
After I began the practice, I understood the principle of “matter and mind are one thing.” (Zhuan Falun) I learned why the senior engineer became healthy. It was because he conducted himself according to the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. His spiritual realm was elevated, thus bringing positive changes to his body.
One day my husband and I went to the supermarket to buy some products for the baby and two chocolate bars. The cash register lady only charged me for the price of one bar. I found out on the way home, and went back to pay 10.30 yuan for the other bar. Although it was trivial, I had a magnanimous feeling because I followed the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. Previously, although I had acquired a lot of scientific knowledge, my moral standard was poor. I suppose being an atheist is pitiful. Now I understand the principle of “good begets good, while evil begets evil.” Even if no one sees me, I would not commit wrongdoings. From then on, I became a good person who does things that benefit others.
Shortly, our work unit began to “reform.” Each person was assigned duties and was required to produce work accordingly, and the wages were not paid until the end of the year. My colleagues quarreled with the director because the bonus was not fairly allocated. Because I took five months of maternity leave, my 1999 salary was very little. Someone said to me, “Maternity leave pay is a federal law. The company is violating the law for not paying you!” I recalled a passage in Zhuan Falun, “...as a practitioner should follow the course of nature. If something is yours, you will not lose it. If something is not yours, you will not have it even if you fight for it.” I did not care about it. Later the director, somewhat embarrassed, said to me, “Sorry we forgot about your case.” And I was paid the full wage.
Calm Brings Wisdom
When I rectify myself according to the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, my moral standard rises, my wisdom increases, and my professional skills improve greatly.
Once I drafted a construction plan of a public entertainment facility. After submitting the draft for review, it was approved without a problem. This was unprecedented in our unit since all the drafts had some sort of flaw. The chief engineer said, “Her drafts are most exceptional. No flaws at all.” I am now a chief technology engineer.
In the “National Registry of Architects” examination, the “master draft design” is probably the most challenging test. Many have taken the test numerous times and have failed. I had to work and take care of household chores, thus, I didn't have time to review the materials. But my heart was calm because I practice Falun Gong. Even though I was busy, I was very efficient. I quickly reviewed the “architectural design for transportation facilities” the evening before the test. The next day, the test was on “public transportation facilities.” We had six hours to complete the examination, including planning and drafting. The design area could not exceed five percent of the requirements in the test. At first I didn't even calculate the design area. I measured it after I finished the draft, and it was exactly the same as the test requirement! I passed the examination with high scores.
Morality Improves Economic Benefits
A solid real estate developer in Hebei wanted to build hotels and residences in our city. They found a firm in Beijing to design the plans. But the developer was not satisfied with their work. Later they came to my city and contacted several firms, including ours, for the exterior rendering design. My director wanted to win the contract.
After reading Teacher's lecture on creating fine arts, I found a sense of direction in my architectural design. I learned that art is closely tied to mankind's morality. Therefore, one should follow traditional aesthetics, harmony, and artistic elements, and pay attention to details, skills, and the overall effects. One should not go along with the current social trend, but think about how to design things to benefit people. Finally, the developer chose my plan and was very satisfied with it. Later, when the developer built other projects, he asked me to do the exterior rendering design.
Recently, our work unit designed phase one of a district project. I designed a plan for a public building according to traditional aesthetics. The customer was very happy. When they asked us to design the second phase of the project, they insisted that I take part in it, or they would take the project elsewhere. The leadership found the request difficult to meet since I had other responsibilities. Finally, they decided to let me supervise and coordinate the technical aspects of the project.
We had a customer that was quite demanding. My colleagues had difficulty dealing with him and almost lost the deal. Our director asked me to take over the project. I remembered Teacher told us to put others before ourselves. So I patiently provided technical assistance and did not complain. I looked at things from his perspective. He felt that Dafa practitioners were kind and understanding, and called my boss many times, saying that I was professional and he was very satisfied with my service. Very soon, he signed a contract with us.
“Teaching the Apprentice Would Starve the Master?”
There is a saying in our society, “Teaching the apprentice would starve the master.” (After the apprentice learns the tricks of a trade from his master, the master would starve because the apprentice would become a competitor). I once heard some newly hired employees from college chatting, saying that it is hard to learn technical skills from experienced colleagues these days. One of them said, “When I ask engineer A, he glosses over the question, and becomes annoyed if I ask again. When I ask engineer B, he tells me to look for the answer myself. When I ask engineer C, he pretends he did not even hear me, and just stares ahead with no response.”
We often have college graduates that work full-time or as interns at the institute. It is true that engineers do not like to share their knowledge with them. One of the reasons is because it is a waste of time (time taken away from making more money). Another reason is the engineers are afraid that once they share the knowledge, the other person will compete with them and take their job away. I do not keep my experience a secret because I conduct myself according to the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. I treat others with kindness, and do not ask for anything in return. I noticed that as long as I follow the principles of the universe, things will work out miraculously.
For example, while working on a design, a newly hired employee, Xiao Yu, asked me a question. I put down my task, and tried to help her solve a difficult problem and showed her the solution. I also helped her find the original text of the building code so that she could use it in the future. Xiao Yu said happily, “Thank you! You explain things so well!”
I continued with my work after I finished helping Xiao Yu, and incidentally, found the next step required me to apply the techniques that I had just taught her. As a result, I completed my task effortlessly.
Interestingly, the newly hired employees seemed to know that I was truly kind to them, so they often helped me with their skills. That group of young people know the latest computer technology. On one occasion, the director asked me to design a plan which required a lot of research. A moment later, Xiao Yu came to me and said, “I just found the information on the Internet.” Another new employee also came to me and said, “Here is the information I collected.” They both helped me a great deal. Usually, they would share with me the new technology they had just learned, benefiting me as a result.
On another occasion, a manager of the design department received two projects. He gave me the swimming pool hall project that paid lower design fees, and kept the military building project that paid higher design fees. I gladly accepted the project. One day, he complained to me, “Not good, not good, I'm having a hard time with the military building project.” It turned out that he had made many exterior rendering designs, but the customer did not like any of them. I remembered Teacher told us to be selfless and to think about others, so I decided to help him. I casually grabbed a design magazine from the bookshelf. And what a coincidence! The design on the cover of the magazine was the style that the manager was looking for. My colleague said, “There are so many magazines on the bookshelf and it would take a while to find the right one!” I suggested the manager try the design on the cover and modify his design. The customer immediately liked the design. The manager said with excitement, “It's amazing, truly amazing!”
Later this manager encountered another difficult problem with the military building project. He came to me and said, “I have other work to do. I can't calm down and can't continue with this project. I'm going to hand this project to you.”
Pass On the Message of Hope
Gradually, I noticed the atmosphere at work changed. People are less guarded and selfish.
One day my computer hard drive was out of order. The rendering I had just finished disappeared and I did not know what to do. Everyone put their tasks down and tried to help me. A manager finally said, “You should not waste your energy redoing the work.” He drove to a computer store and spent 400 yuan to recover the data on the hard drive. Everyone was shocked. Although the money could be reimbursed, the manager was known for minding his own business and being reluctant to help others. He is now taking the initiative to help others.
Recently we hired a structural engineer (the only one at the institute). After being on the job for six months, he thought the job paid very little and required long hours of work. He was pretty upset about it. Since he found me trustworthy, he complained to me about the job and the leadership. I explained to him, “Each person has his own blessings and no one can change that. No loss, no gain. There is an ancient story about a firewood vendor. A monk told the vendor that he could sell the firewood for 120. The vendor did not believe him and sold it for 100. Later the vendor sold the wood to a man for 100, but since his son was getting married, the man paid 20 extra to the vendor.” After hearing the story, the engineer said, “I feel more at ease now. I guess I'll just go with the flow. Falun Gong practitioners are different from others. You are ethical people and are kind to others. Many of my professors in college practice Falun Gong.”
Very soon, the structural engineer was offered a better job. Before he left, he asked me to stay in touch with him, and wanted to learn more about Falun Gong.
Groups of college graduates came and left the institute. Many of them took information about Falun Gong before they left. One of them said, “It would be great to run into Falun Gong practitioners at the new job.”
I have been clarifying the truth since the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) began to persecute Falun Gong. I was sentenced to labor camp for three years. Under Teacher's protection and help, I was released after a few months. The leadership at work let me return to work and said, “The CCP persecutes Falun Gong, but we won't do that. The CCP does not do anything right. Come back soon. We have kept your position for you.”
When I returned to work, my office furniture was intact. I opened the drawer and saw “Falun Dafa is good.” This is what I've been wanting to tell them, and now they are voicing their thoughts about the goodness of Falun Gong.
When the CCP began the persecution, it had instructed all organizations to fire people who insisted on practicing Falun Gong. The leadership and colleagues at our institute had a discussion and said, “We cannot fire Falun Gong practitioners. Without them, our institute would be ruined.”
A piece of gold will always be gold, and it will shine even when being covered. During the last twenty years, Falun Dafa has spread around the world. Although the CCP has persecuted and falsely accused it for thirteen years, the heavenly principles will last forever. The Fa of the universe, Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, cannot be destroyed. I hope people cherish this special period of history, and do not miss the opportunity to understand the truth about Falun Dafa!
From the Call for Submissions to Commemorate the Twentieth Anniversary of Falun Dafa's Introduction