Cultivating As a Government Official
(Minghui.org) I am a county-level government official in a seaport city of China. I started practicing Falun Dafa in 1994. I used to seek fame and personal gain. Dafa transformed me into someone who can gradually let go of his attachments and desires and be considerate of others. Below are experiences I’ve had as a government official since taking up Dafa.
Enduring Hardship to Benefit Others
One day in 1996, the leadership at my workplace told me that they needed someone to join a frontier assistance program for the next three years. This program was designed for government officials to work temporarily in undeveloped regions of the country. I was asked to volunteer.
I agreed because, as a Dafa practitioner, I thought I should step up to endure hardship in spite of my already difficult family situation. At the time, my wife had a full-time job, my only child was eight and attended elementary school, and my mother, in her 70s, stayed with us as she recovered from a lumbar fracture.
My wife was very supportive of my decision and told me not to worry. She would take care of the family while I was away. My superiors told me that they had previously asked others, who refused. They gave reasons such as the lack of amenities in undeveloped regions, being away for too long, and lack of social stability in the mostly minority-occupied areas.
My superiors were pleasantly surprised at my prompt decision and arranged for local reporters to interview me. When asked what helped me arrive at my decision, I told them Falun Dafa practitioners should be considerate of others in all matters and that, if I did not endure the hardship, someone else would have to.
My Superior Promotes Zhuan Falun
Toward the end of January 1997, right before I left for the remote area, my local government leadership held a farewell party for me and expressed their gratitude for my selfless act.
One of the leaders stood up and proposed a toast. I responded, “Thank you so much! Please allow me to toast with water. I don't drink alcohol.”
He happily agreed, “It is fine. I understand you because I have read the book Zhuan Falun myself. It teaches people how to improve morality and become a kind person. It is a really good book.”
He then put down his glass and told everyone else, “I would suggest that everyone read Zhuan Falun,because then we won't have such serious issues like governmental corruption and social unrest.”
In order to compensate me for long-distance phone calls to my family, my permanent workplace gave me a monthly stipend. I found out that I was being paid an extra 60 yuan every month by my new temporary workplace to cover the telephone cost as well. I knew that, as a practitioner, I should be truthful in all matters. I told them about my existing compensation, returned the extra 60 yuan from the first month, and asked not to be paid extra anymore.
Refusing a Bribe
In the frontier assistance program, I was allowed to visit my home during Chinese New Year. Before the first Chinese New Year at my new post, a local county official, who was a subordinate of mine, came to my residence and gave me an envelope that contained 2,000 yuan. He told me that it was a gift from all his coworkers for me to enjoy for the holiday and my homecoming.
This was clearly a bribe. I said to myself, “Master is rectifying the Fa in the universe. I am a Dafa practitioner, so I should make an effort to correct things that are inappropriate in society, like bribes. I must not give in to corrupt customs or encourage this kind of immoral behavior.”
I returned the envelop to the official. “I practice Falun Dafa and conduct myself according the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance,” I said to him. “I cannot accept the money.”
He never tried to bribe me again.
Free from Illness
The region where I worked had a harsh environment, and majority of the local population did not have access to tap water. People had to drink standing water from natural reservoirs. The water held all kinds of diseases—paratyphoid, hepatitis, dysentery, tuberculosis, and more.
Many officials who relocated to the region suffered diarrhea and fever due to the poor water quality, even though they commonly took medicines such as Norfloxacin. The local leadership once told other government officials, “He practices Falun Dafa, so he enjoys perfect health. He frequently goes to the villages but never gets sick like the others.”
Eschewing Customary Privileges
I noticed that when higher-level government officials visited villages to inspect their work, the meals were always paid for by lower-level officials in the same traveling group. It was such a long-established custom, and nobody thought there was anything wrong with it.
Dafa teaches us to “...attain the righteous Enlightenment of selflessness and altruism.” (“Non-Omission in Buddha-Nature,” Essentials for Further Advancement)
I felt that I must be more considerate. I asked myself whether it could be a burden for others, so I decided not to enjoy this privilege.
Instead, I insisted on paying for the whole group's meals. Sometimes, I even brought with me vegetables and noodles when I went on such trips with my subordinates so that I could provide for myself and others.
My subordinates knew me well. “Falun Dafa practitioners who happen to be high-level officials are very different from others. They are easygoing and not arrogant.”