The Rewards of Choosing Others' Interests Over Self-Interest in My Business
(Minghui.org) I would like to share my experiences concerning a conflict between self interest and selflessness. It was the toughest tribulation so far in my cultivation. Also, I will share the unexpected benefits I gained by being diligent in cultivation and having unshakable faith in our Master. Our respected Master said,
"What we lose is actually something bad. What is it? It is karma, and it goes hand in hand with different human attachments. For example, everyday people have all kinds of bad thoughts. For self-interest, they commit various wrong deeds and will acquire this black substance, karma. This directly involves our own minds. In order to eliminate this negative thing, you must first change your mind." (Lecture Four, Zhuan Falun)
Of many things that I did out of self interest before becoming a practitioner, one involved working as a paid middleman, using my contacts to ensure that samples from substandard chemical manufacturers would pass government quality control testing.
"The human moral standard is declining tremendously, and human moral values are deteriorating daily. People only pursue self-interest and will harm others for a tiny bit of personal gain. They compete and struggle against each other by resorting to all means. Think about it, everyone: Will this be allowed to continue? When someone is doing a wrong deed, he will not believe it if you point out to him that he is doing a wrong deed. That person indeed will not believe that he is doing something wrong. Some people evaluate themselves with the declined moral standard. Because the criteria for assessment have changed, they consider themselves better than others." (Lecture One, Zhuan Falun)
Like Master said, I never believed it was a bad thing at the time. This behavior went on for almost two years. Then, one day, it stopped on its own.
After some time, I myself became a manufacturer of the same chemicals. Though I did wrong things in the manufacturing process before, slowly and gradually I corrected myself, thanks to the practice of Falun Dafa. Because of that, many good things happened to me and my business, such as becoming healthier, getting help from unknown sources, being capable of handling any type of tribulations peacefully, etc.
"As practitioners, you will suddenly come across conflicts. What should you do? You should always maintain a heart of compassion and kindness. Then, when you run into a problem, you will be able to do well because it gives you room to buffer the confrontation. You should always be benevolent and kind to others, and consider others when doing anything. Whenever you encounter a problem, you should first consider whether others can put up with this matter or if it will hurt anyone. In doing so, there will not be any problems. Therefore, in cultivation practice you should follow a higher and higher standard for yourself." (Lecture Four, Zhuan Falun)
Three months ago, I suddenly encountered a problem that could have compelled me to close my business. But with steadfast faith in Master, I followed the Fa principles to the best of my ability and experienced the divine power of Falun Dafa. This is what happened.
Over the years, my products had been well accepted in the market. Suddenly, I started getting complaints through my market staff that after using one of my main products, the rice crop was severely damaged and unsalvageable.
I tried everything at my command to find out what could be the reason behind it, consulting the production department and market staff. I found, to my shock, that while packaging that product, another product (which is harmful to rice crops, i.e., an herbicide) was unknowingly mixed in with it in small quantities by some of the workers. This was not even noticed by the supervisor. So, because it was clearly unintentional, I did not say a single harsh word to my factory supervisor or the laborers, who were responsible for such a grave thing.
"Nowadays, human moral values have been distorted. The driver indeed drove the car too fast, but how could he possibly hit someone on purpose?Didn’t he do it unintentionally?" (Lecture Four, Zhuan Falun)
"Wealth without virtue (de) will harm all sentient beings, while wealth with virtue is what all people hope for. Therefore, one cannot be affluent without advocating virtue. Virtue is accumulated in past lives. Becoming a king, an official, wealthy, or nobility all come from virtue. No virtue, no gain; the loss of virtue means the loss of everything. Thus, those who seek power and wealth must first accumulate virtue. By suffering hardships and doing good deeds one can accumulate virtue among the masses. To achieve this, one must understand the principle of cause and effect." ("Wealth with Virtue," Essentials for Further Advancement)
Cause and Effect: Karmic Retribution
One day when I was sending righteous thoughts, I came to realize that this tribulation took place because I helped many substandard samples from other companies pass quality control testing for the sake of profit. I thought to myself, "This is karmic retribution for 26 years of committing wrong deeds."
The affected farmers and dealers were very restless and demanded that we compensate them in cash for their losses. All the farmers have small acreages and are poor. At first we tried to find out why our product reacted that way. But once it was clear to me that it was my mistake, even though an unknown laborer at my factory had done it, I took full responsibility, because I am the owner of the business.
I told my main assistant that I was a practitioner and had to follow the guidelines of Falun Dafa. So I told him that we would compensate those small farmers for the damage our product caused. He was very pleased but replied that the amount could be huge.
I told him whatever it is, just think of the hard work those small farmers put in and the loss they incurred because of our product. In fact the loss incurred by those small farmers was huge. Then, two severe cyclones unexpectedly hit those areas and the entire rice crop was under water and fell flat on the ground in water. This included the healthy crop in addition to the area damaged by my product. With this calamity, many more farmers were unable to sell their produce.
When the pressure from them increased, I assigned my assistant to participate in a meeting with those farmers and dealers, under the supervision of the village head. They demanded that we pay them huge cash compensations. Some people advised that I might avoid paying the compensation for the damage, as the farmers had lost everything anyway due to nature's fury. They felt it would have been better had we negotiated with the farmers after the cyclones. But then I decided that, as a practitioner, I must be truthful and consider others first, be kind to them in their agony, and be helpful to those farmers. More than that, I also felt that this was a great opportunity to eliminate a karmic debt.
I realized that, because I had helped many substandard manufacturers' samples to be marketed years ago, I now had to be clearheaded and not lose such a great opportunity. I must have caused great agony to many farmers by my actions then, as those companies would have continued their immoral deeds by supplying substandard chemicals with my help. Maybe I was re-paying the same unknown farmers who were hurt by my actions or bullied by me in my previous lives.
"If you owe someone something, he will find you for the repayment. If he gets too much repayment, he will have to return the surplus to you the next time around."
"All these have karmic relationships and are not without reason. It will not be allowed to be so without a reason." (Lecture Six, Zhuan Falun)
I understood that Master was helping me to remove my karma and improve my xinxing with this unexpected tribulation.
"It will be divided into numerous portions for different phases of your cultivation practice. They will be used to upgrade your xinxing, transform your karma, and increase your gong." (Lecture Three, Zhuan Falun)
"Why do you encounter these problems? They are all caused by your own karma. We have already eliminated for you many, numerous pieces of it, leaving only that tiny bit which is divided into tribulations at different levels for upgrading your xinxing, tempering your mind, and removing your different attachments. These are all your own tribulations that we use to improve your xinxing, and you will be able to overcome them. As long as you upgrade your xinxing, you can overcome them. Unless you, yourself do not want to do so, you can make it, provided you want to overcome them. Therefore, from now on when you come across a conflict you should not consider it a coincidence. This is because when a conflict occurs, it will take place unexpectedly. But that is not a coincidence—it is for improving your xinxing. As long as you treat yourself as a practitioner, you can handle it properly." (Lecture Four, Zhuan Falun, Lecture Four)
Divine Power of Falun Dafa Experienced
During the entire experience, I felt as if our revered Master was by my side and guiding me. Neither I nor my company had any surplus funds to deal with this issue, but I had a sincere wish to follow Fa principles. I have distributors who are financially sound and even advance money for our products during the busy season. They are normally very calculating. Surprisingly, though, they came forward on their own to help tide us over the crisis, commenting that we are good people.
I felt humbled by their kindness. Even the farmers and the village head, in understanding the situation, reduced their compensation requests, though the balance to pay is still huge. I fell short of words in response when my assistant told me about it over phone. So I started paying the compensation to all farmers in three regions one by one.
I work with a bank manager who has always been highly reluctant to advance us loans. During this same time, this manager most surprisingly, on his own, gave me a temporary overdraft to support my business. Some relatives unexpectedly offered to loan us money on their own. In my heart, I thanked Master for His kind and immense compassion. I am sure that the huge loss we have incurred will be recouped with the blessings of Master.
"As you know, when a person reaches the Arhat level, in his heart he is not concerned about anything. He does not care at all in his heart for any ordinary human matter, and he will always be smiling and in good spirits. No matter how much loss he suffers, he will still be smiling and in good spirits without any concern. If you can really do this, you have already reached the entry-level Fruit Status of Arhatship." (Lecture Nine, Zhuan Falun)
Lastly, Master said:
When I practiced cultivation in the past, many great masters told me these words, and they said: 'When it’s difficult to endure, you can endure it. When it’s impossible to do, you can do it.' In fact, that is how it is. Why don’t you give it a try when you return home. When you are overcoming a real hardship or tribulation, you try it. When it is difficult to endure, try to endure it. When it looks impossible and is said to be impossible, give it a try and see if it is possible. If you can actually do it, you will indeed find: 'After passing the shady willow trees, there will be bright flowers and another village ahead!'" (Lecture Nine, Zhuan Falun)
If you find anything wrong, please correct me. Many thanks and Heshi to our Master.
Category: Improving Oneself