(Minghui.org) A practitioner told me yesterday that she did not have a trash can at home. I responded, “I've never met anyone who did not have a trash can at home.” She went out late that night and bought one for three times the regular price. She must have been afraid of me.

I was very surprised and wondered why was she afraid of me. My father used to say that he was afraid of me. Since I was a teacher, he figured I got used to reprimanding my students and thus treated everyone that way.

They were both older than me, so why were they afraid of me? I don't remember being angry at the practitioner or showing my temper in front of her.

Looking back, I often found myself frowning or had an angry look for no reason. When I studied the Fa or did the sitting meditation, I did not “maintain a serene expression on the face.” (“Chapter II Illustrations and Explanations of the Exercise Movements” from The Great Way of Spiritual Perfection)

I was not kind or compassionate. How could I improve then? Master said:

“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.” (Zhuan Falun)

Master also said:

“That is not out of compassion, as one’s attachments to fame and self-interest have not been given up at all.” (Zhuan Falun)

So what was the root cause of my lack of compassion?

I looked inward and noticed my shortcomings. I criticized others from the perspective of my being absolutely correct. Although I did not put the blame on others, I did not give them any leeway.

“I'm totally right, and you are completely wrong” was my attitude, and this is how I subdued and quelled people around me.

I think my self-importance and arrogance came from the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) culture of power struggle and wanting to fight everything and everyone. Many negative and wicked manifestations in the world have originated from the CCP.

I have read that “pride” is the deadliest of the seven sins, and it is a king in hell. Now I understand that pride, arrogance, and “being absolutely right” are manifestations of intolerance and selfishness.

I have been in many situations where I thought that I was completely right and everyone else was wrong, but I never looked within deeply. I failed to see that behind the attitude of “I'm right” is my one-sided opinion. My opinion could be right at a certain cultivation level, but wrong on another level. I kept holding onto my opinion and my ego, so I missed many opportunities Master had arranged for me to improve.

The attitude of “I'm right” was to prove myself – I'm smart, capable, and better than others. I indulged in those vain thoughts even if others did not praise me, and that was an attachment to reputation.

If there was a bit of proof that I was right, then my thoughts were reinforced, and I became even more conceited and intolerant. I was breeding demons in my own mind.

Although I was not angry, in the eyes of the practitioner I was probably upset. I had spoken to her with sarcasm and looked down at her. No wonder she went out and bought an expensive trash can that evening. Had she not done that, I probably would have said something sarcastic again.

I have been practicing for 20 years, but I have not cultivated a heart of compassion and have made things difficult for others. I feel so embarrassed and unworthy.

I realized this practitioner was not afraid of me. She was more tolerant than me and did not argue. She had a bigger heart and forgave my shortcomings.

This encounter allowed me to see my attachments to fame, pride, jealousy, finding faults with others and intolerance. I also noticed the gap in cultivation when I compared myself to the other practitioner.

Thank you, Master and Dafa. I will eliminate these attachments, rectify myself, and assimilate to the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.