Paying Off a Debt
(Minghui.org) I am a Falun Dafa practitioner from Shangdong Province and have been practicing cultivation for 20 years. I want to share some of my experiences and lessons learned about the importance of ‘paying back however much we owe.’
Last year I had a bank account that was about to mature. Some banks offer incentives to keep their customers, so I asked if they had any offers available. The staff member said they didn’t, but when I said that I would choose another bank he quickly went and asked the manager. He came back smiling and said that they'd be happy to offer me some left-over gifts from a previous function, as a way to say thank you for being a valued customer.
I was pleased to hear that and extended the term of my account. When I was done, I went to the manager's office to claim the gift. She brought out a 4.5-liter jug of peanut oil from a cabinet and gave it to me. She told me to leave through the back door so I wouldn’t be seen by others.
I was sending righteous thoughts that night, and a thought flashed through my mind, “If you take something that doesn’t belong to you, aren’t you exchanging your virtue with others?”
When I seek a free gift, isn’t it an attachment of greed? I’ve been practicing Falun Dafa for 20 years, why didn’t I realize that what I was doing was wrong?
The story that Teacher Li, the founder of Falun Dafa, told about a practitioner giving his son some money to buy a lottery ticket suddenly came to mind. The child won a children’s bike, and the father believed that taking the bike would cause him to lose virtue. So he decided to give the equivalent money to his work unit.
I felt that I couldn’t return the peanut oil because I asked for it in the first place, and I would lose face if I took it back the next day.
This thought bothered me for a few days but then faded away. However, Teacher said, “Accounts do have to be settled,” (Zhuan Falun).
A month later, something strange occurred. It happened when I was riding my bike to work. There was no traffic on the road, but all of a sudden, I heard a “Bang!” I seemed to have bumped into something. In front of me was a brown car. I was puzzled. Where did it come from?
My bike and I were on the ground. My shoulders and legs were in a lot of pain. The driver got out of his car and asked, “How do we deal with this now?”
I saw that the door of his car had a little paint rubbed off. I knew that I did something wrong, but somehow I said, “Why didn’t I see your car coming?”
He seemed surprised, and replied, “You didn’t see my car? It's pretty big!”
I was in a rush to get to work and offered the driver 300 yuan to fix his car. He said he would need at least 600 yuan. I said I didn’t have that much money with me and gave him all I had in my wallet, which was 450 Yuan. I said, “I’m giving all I have to you, no more.”
He had no choice but to accept it. He wrote down my phone number and then took off.
I was riding my bike to work a few days after the incident and stopped near a park to buy a bag of tea. It was 50 yuan per bag, and I paid with a 100 yuan bill. As I was waiting for the change, the seller took out a stack of money from his pocket and started counting slowly.
He said, “Didn’t you give me 50 yuan?”
I explained, “I paid you 100 just now. Why did you say I only gave you 50? If I lied, I wouldn’t be a very good person.”
I was certain that he remembered it wrong, but he was an elderly man and looked honest. He felt bad for being wrong, and said, “You really only paid me 50. Why do you want change?”
I saw that he was about to cry for being wrongly accused. As I was in a rush to go to work, I said, “Okay. Just leave it then. I don’t want the tea anymore. Just consider that I gave the money to you for free.”
As I was riding to work, I thought about this incident. There were some attachments that I needed to let go of, but what were they? I kept thinking. Then the peanut oil came to my mind.
So it looked like I found the attachment and things would be over. But the amount of money didn’t add up yet.
One day while out shopping I bought a shirt. I was rushing to go home because my family was waiting for me to make dinner. When my bike got to the west side of the mall, I heard someone shouting, “Hi Madame. I beg you!”
I stopped the bike and saw a poor couple. The woman spoke to me with tears in her eyes. “Madame. Please help us! We’re peasants from a nearby town. An elderly person in our family is in the hospital. We don’t have any money left. We haven’t eaten for a whole day. Could you please spare some change for us to buy some food?” The man wiped his tears away.
I said, “I just bought a shirt, but I think I have 50 yuan left. You can have it.” I took out the money and gave it to them. They were very thankful.
These things happened more than a year ago, but I will not forget the lesson I learned. There is an old saying that goes like this, “The family that accumulates goodness is sure to have abundant happiness, and the family that accumulates evil is sure to have abundant misery.” It sounds so right.
The debt I owed was 600 yuan for damaging the man's car, and it took me three different times to pay it off, a total of 600 yuan - no more, no less.