Eliminating My Show-Off Mentality
(Minghui.org) I was always considered smart by my classmates, teachers, bosses, colleagues, and fellow practitioners. Even the police officers who came to arrest me thought so as well. Because of my perceived intelligence, I formed a very strong show-off mentality.
Seeing my attachment grow so strong, Teacher was very compassionate to help me see it clearly through a recent event. I knew then that I had to eliminate it.
The incident occurred during a vocational work competition event. I was one of the judges as well as a participant.
Before the evaluation began, I thought about persuading the judges to review my work early because there were works of art that were similar to mine. I thought that if mine was reviewed later, it wouldn't have a fresh feeling. However, before I did anything, the order was announced, and my work was to be reviewed at the end!
I quietly came back to my seat and thought, “I wanted to be the first, but it turned out that I'm last. This is Teacher hinting that my show-off mentality is too strong. I feel so ashamed. I should eliminate it.”
I was sitting there trying to subdue my bad thoughts. Soon enough, the show-off mentality popped up again because my work was selected, whereas other similar pieces didn't make it through the review. I felt uneasy in my heart again: “I don't want to have a lead ranking, since the top three will be selected to go on to the next level of the competition. How much time will I have to waste to prepare for that? I have to lower my rank.”
So I tried my best to praise other people's works. During the evaluation, I purposefully showed off my ability to be humble, broad-minded, and give way to others. As a result, I achieved my goal: I won an award, but I didn't rank in the top three and avoided competing at the next level.
I was pleased because I showcased my professional capability and displayed my “high and upright character.” Yet I didn't realize that I was again manifesting a strong show-off mentality and was pursuing fame in a different way. I had forgotten the hint that I had enlightened to a moment earlier and what Teacher said: “Showing off itself is a very strong attachment and a very bad attachment that a practitioner must relinquish” (Zhuan Falun).
Driven by this swelling attachment, I also took down an entry done by a younger practitioner that seemed to have a good chance to proceed to the provincial level of the competition.
After the event, I said to that practitioner, “You really have to thank me because it was me who took your work down. If you were selected to compete at the next level, you would have to devote the next two to three months to prepare for it. How much time would you have to sacrifice at the cost of not studying the Fa?” He thanked me.
However, the next day, he came to find me and said, “My family thinks that if I were to compete at the next level, it would improve my popularity, and that may help me get more opportunities in my profession.”
He didn't mean to complain about me at all. Yet it was clear to me that I was wrong. I forced my opinion on him while assuming that I had helped him. I made him lose an opportunity to stand out, yet I came to him to get credit for it. I was so ashamed of myself.
Upon thinking back, my show-off mentality was exposed time after time in that event. But I didn't enlighten to it. The so-called “being smart” is just an everyday person's way of being cunning. It is not wisdom from Dafa. I treated these post-natal notions as myself and was presumptuous.
In Zhuan Falun, both “The Mentality of Showing Off” and “Jealousy” have their own sections. Therefore, it is critical to remove these two attachments. Teacher said, “There is this rule: If in the course of cultivation practice jealousy is not given up, one will not attain Right Fruit—absolutely not” (Zhuan Falun).
What about the show-off mentality, then? Looking deep within, I came to realize that in my day-to-day work, I am usually eager to take on things outside of my responsibilities. This is not driven by my compassion, but rather out of showing off. Such a mentality is to show that “I am capable; I am better than all of you.”
This mentality also manifested in my doing Fa-rectification work. For example, I let others know which articles published on the Minghui website were written by me or what projects I accomplished.
Moreover, I even thought about how I would showcase my mighty powers to people when the Fa-rectification ends. I had the attachment of pursuing “something supernatural to show off among everyday people.” (Zhuan Falun) Now thinking back, some of these ideas were close to being like demonic interference.