Should I Offer Kickbacks to Customers?
(Minghui.org) I'm a 29-year-old Dafa practitioner. I have been working in Beijing for several years, and most of my jobs have involved business relations. I currently work at a gift company as a salesperson. Most of our clientele are large companies, and we provide them with gifts and promotional items.
When I was hired, the company trained me to develop a customer base. One of the training components was how to procure a deal by suggesting kickbacks to the customers. Everyone, except for me, thought that there was nothing wrong with the training program. I was, however, disturbed by the shady practice, because I know that Master taught us to be upright. I thought, “Can I conduct business without offering any kickbacks? If I don't, will my manager be upset about it? And if I don't offer kickbacks, will I be able to secure a deal? Should I look for another job?”
Moments later, I thought, “Cultivators should not walk away from difficulties; otherwise, how can we succeed in our cultivation? Would it be my fault if I went along with the social currents? I searched the Minghui website but couldn't find any sharing articles about offering kickbacks. Most of the articles were about practitioners not accepting kickbacks.
I thought of every possible scenario but could not come up with the right answer. I thought, “Master wants us to think and act righteously, and to not use improper means to obtain results. We need to walk a righteous path in order to save sentient beings. I understand these principles, but if I can't do my job and reach the company's requirements, then I'm not a good employee. Almost every large company expects kickbacks from the vendors when they place their orders. If I don't give them any financial benefit, will they do business with me? Most of my company's existing accounts were established because we gave them kickbacks. What should I do?”
I sometimes told my coworkers that I didn't think we should give kickbacks. They sarcastically said that I was very naive, even after being in business for so many years. It was like Master said about “qigong state” in Zhuan Falun,
“He has discovered that what humankind does is wrong, while what is done on the other side is usually right. If he does things according to the way it is done over there, people will say that he is wrong.”
I realized later that I should not talk to my coworkers about it. I shared with other practitioners and hoped that either they or Master could point things out to me, and I would just do what they said. Although practitioners shared with me their understandings based on the Fa, because they are of various ages and come from different backgrounds, jobs, and social status, they were not able to help me find the right answer and guide me. At the same time, I understood what Master said,
“If you try to do things by mimicking what they did, or blindly do whatever they did, then you are wrong. Each person is traveling his own path, and each is gaining enlightenment from Dafa as to what will one day be his own Fa.” (“2012 International Fa Conference at the U.S. Capital”)
I came to realize that many of the cultivation problems we encounter in our daily lives and work need to be resolved by ourselves. Master said,
“The questions raised by some people have become more specific. If I explain all the questions in your life, what will be left for you to cultivate? You must practice cultivation and become enlightened on your own. If I tell you everything, nothing will remain for you to cultivate.” (Zhuan Falun)
One day, I felt more relaxed after I finished studying the Fa. I calmly thought about the issue. Master said,
“And then there is a segment of people who haven’t managed to, through cultivation, get rid of the bad habits they formed in the ordinary world, such as using their connections and influence to get things done.” (What Does it Mean to “Help Master Rectify the Fa”?)
I noticed that I was still using everyday people's reasoning to justify my bad habits. I was not listening to Master! I looked inward to see what was preventing me from understanding Master's words. What would I lose if I strictly followed Master's words? What was I worried about?
Once I calmed down and looked inward, many of my attachments were exposed. I was afraid that I would not be able to achieve the required results, I was afraid that I could not make a living, I was afraid that others would find me incompetent, and I was afraid of not doing my job well and that my ability to clarify the truth would be affected.
I was surprised to discover all these attachments. I thought I was cultivating well and being responsible to Dafa. But the side that was not cultivated was exposed, and revealed many impure human notions. I understood that I should follow Master's requirements, and not think too much about the end result. What could be the worst case scenario? When the time has passed, everything would be gone. I'm a Dafa practitioner, and anything else is human notion and human attachment. I was finally able let go of the stones in my heart.
The next day at work, I followed Master's teachings. I worked hard, didn't think too much, and did what I was supposed to do. I made a lot of appointments to visit potential clients, and I didn't consider the end result. It didn't matter whether I got the deal or not. It was more important that I followed Master's requirements. A few days later, I received an order from a well-known undergarment company. We didn't even talk about kickbacks. Shortly after, I received a smaller order from another company.
These were signs of encouragement from Master. I cried when I received the orders, but it was because I understood the Fa principles. The orders validated that we need to walk our own path in strict accordance to Master's Fa. Consequently, my managers and coworkers began to acknowledge me, and this gave me more confidence to clarify the truth to them.
I'm writing this sharing article for practitioners in similar situations to use as a point of reference, and so we can raise our levels together. Of course, I still have many shortcomings. But I will rectify myself based on the Fa, think and act with righteousness, cultivate myself well, and save sentient beings.
Lastly, I'd like to share Master's teaching,
“If Dafa disciples want to save the lives of the cosmos, if they want to save sentient beings in this complex setting of society at the final stage, can you imagine how hard that is? If you could see it—truly see it—it would be simply too frightening. But, as long as you go by Dafa, go by what Master has told you, you will have a path to walk, and that will be something nobody can change. But the path will be very narrow—narrow to the extent that only if you are extremely righteous will things work out and will you manage to save people. Only if you can go about things in an extremely righteous manner will there be no problems.” (“What is a Dafa Disciple”)
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