Keeping My Apartment Building Clean and in Good Repair
(Minghui.org) I moved into a brand new apartment building in 1994. It was seven stories high with two units on each floor. My apartment was on the top floor. For years, everyone kept the area in front of his or her own apartment, the common areas, and the staircases clean.
As time went on, some people moved and sold or rented out their units. The new tenants didn't seem to care about keeping the common areas clean. When I went up and down the stairs, I often saw cigarette butts, wastepaper, and other pieces of trash. I remember thinking to myself that there must be a reason for me to see all that trash. As a practitioner of Falun Dafa, Master [Li Hongzhi] teaches us to be a good person no matter where we were. So I started to clean the common areas and staircases of the apartment building. I don't even remember when I started.
I discovered many attachments and human notions when I became a “volunteer janitor.” Master said,
“If you are able to succeed in improving yourself this way, what you do then, with a pure heart, will be the best and most sacred.” (“Further Understanding,” Essentials for Further Advancement).
I see this task as part of my cultivation and try not to be disturbed by gains or losses.
Getting Rid of Human Notions
I started practicing Falun Dafa in 1997. After the persecution started, I was fired from my government job because I refused to give up the practice. As a result, it has been tough for me financially ever since. Sometimes I can only afford to have a steamed bun and some preserved vegetables for a meal. When I saw some dog food kept at the common area that cost 40 yuan for a small bag, I felt so sorry for myself – my food was cheaper than a dog's! I felt resentful and jealous, among other things. Then I thought about what Master said:
“But often tensions like these won’t count or achieve what they are meant to, or help you to improve, if they don’t actually bother you.” (The Fourth Talk, Zhuan Falun)
I knew I must get rid of those thoughts. One day I saw three brooms in front of our apartment units. They were left there for a long time. They reminded me to keep my inner world, my thoughts, and my body clean. I decided to do my best to clean the apartment common areas and staircases, even though it seemed insignificant and menial.
At first, I would sweep, and then mop the floor from the seventh floor to the first floor. I also cleaned all the handrails. It took over an hour each time. After a while, people noticed that the floor was clean and they also tried to keep it that way. Now I can simply mop the floor without sweeping first, and it only takes about 40 minutes.
Getting the Door Buzzer Repaired
Our apartment building has a door buzzer system at the entry gate. Visitors ring the apartment they want and the resident buzzes the gate open. One day, the buzzer broke, and it was very inconvenient for the residents. When their children came home from school, some would yell up at their parents, who would throw the key down to the gate. Others called their parents on their cellphone and someone had to come downstairs to open the gate. One time, a relative came to visit me and had to wait a long time before he could get in.
I asked around and found a repair shop that would fix the system for 1,400 yuan. Even though that was a lot of money for me, I decided to save up for the repair. I further cut down on all unnecessary spending and spent even less on food. Within six months I'd saved up enough money and had the buzzer fixed. The neighbors were very happy to have the buzzer working again. One neighbor asked me how much the repair cost. When I told him, he said, “You shouldn't pay for it all by yourself.” All my neighbors knew that I'd lost my job because I practice Falun Gong.
One day, a notice was posted at the apartment entry asking every family to give me 100 yuan for the repair. I thought to myself, “Master arranged everything for me, as long as I let go of my attachments.” I have also noticed that the apartment corridors and staircases are kept cleaner, too. People are picking up papers and cigarette butts on their own now.
I am grateful to Master for teaching me how to be a good person!