China Fahui｜The Ugly Duckling: Journey of a “Problem Child”
(Minghui.org) I'm a young practitioner who just graduated from high school. After the persecution began, my mother went to Beijing and appealed at Tiananmen Square. Even though she was pregnant with me, she was sent to a detention center.
Mother was arrested numerous times for upholding her belief. Sometimes she was home for less than two years before another arrest. As a result, I spent my childhood with my father and his family.
From a Bad Student to Top of the Class
No one in my father’s family practices Falun Dafa and they are very selfish. The atmosphere in that side of the family was depressing. They considered everyone outside the family to be bad. Influenced by father's family, I became easily agitated and often made sarcastic comments about others.
My grades in school were terrible. I ignored the classroom rules and often copied from others during exams. My teachers always thought I was a bad, worthless student.
Fortunately, Master was taking care of me. My mother returned the summer after I graduated from elementary school. With Dafa in my life, things changed dramatically.
I moved in with Mother during middle school. When I first arrived I was easily annoyed and badmouthed everyone. I did not want to study. Mother was very patient and encouraged me. It was hard to get rid of the bad behavior I'd learned in 10 years, but Mother had confidence and she guided me to read Dafa books. “Falun Dafa is very profound and can change everything for the better. How about giving it a try?” she said.
My mind became calmer after I began to practice Falun Dafa. I understood things at a deeper level and I could tell right from wrong. The principles described in the teachings made sense to me, especially in the section on “Transformation of Karma” Lecture Four, Zhuan Falun. Dafa opened my mind, making me more peaceful and positive. Since I understood that the good and bad deeds we do affect us, I learned to control my temper and stop hurting others.
Dafa gave me wisdom and kept me on track in school. Mother always had confidence in me. After the first parent-teacher conference, mother said she believed I could be at the top of the class. I seriously doubted it. The following month, however, I did make it to the top of the class. Over the next couple of months, I improved further and became the top student in my grade. Things changed so quickly, every day seemed like a miracle to me.
My grades remained high. After entering high school, I was always top of the class, whether in liberal arts or overall grades. It was like a dream come true—and all these amazing things were given to me by Dafa.
Improving Myself and Validating Dafa in School
Because of my good grades, my middle school classmates selected me as a candidate for the Communist Youth League, a junior organization of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). When I told my mother, she asked me to decide what to do. Dafa is so good and the CCP brutally persecutes it. I decided not to be connected with the Party.
The next day, I told my homeroom teacher. Her response was, “What?!” She looked so shocked I thought her eyeballs would pop out. She told the other teachers about this and everyone was surprised. When they asked why, I said, “The CCP is very bad. I don’t want to be part of it.” My homeroom teacher did not know what to do and called my mother. Mother said, “It’s her choice.” In the end, I never became a Youth League member and I'm proud of that.
The year I applied for high school, mother suffered an illness tribulation. Although my grades meant I could be enrolled in the best high school, I chose one closer to home. People felt bad for me. They said I might achieve more in the better high school. But I was not worried since I was already blessed by Dafa, which is most important in this world.
After entering high school, I was often top of my grade. Noticing my good grades and personality, the teachers liked me very much. I had many opportunities to tell others about Dafa. The school officials talked with Mother, hoping to increase my grades even further. They also invited her to speak during parents' meetings and give advice on educating their children.
Mother told the school officials and teachers about our belief in Falun Dafa and what we experienced. When they had learned of Mother’s determination amid the huge pressure of the persecution, they respected her even more. During the parents' meetings, Mother told everyone about how she had been sent to labor camps for practicing Falun Dafa. It was Dafa's principles that enlightened her on how to educate me. Many parents were surprised to hear this, but they accepted it.
Setting Aside Superficial Things
People, including many students, around me often asked, “How can you study so well?” I told them that because of Falun Dafa, I didn't put priority on superficial things.
When relatives gave me money during the Chinese New Year, I always gave it to Mother or other practitioners. The money could be used to produce Dafa materials or to buy small MP3 players, which could be loaded with audio files for distribution and saving people. Whenever Mother wanted me to buy new clothing, I would say, “I already have clothes.”
My food was also simple. Some elderly practitioners said Mother did not cook well and a growing child required good nutrition. I told them I could buy food from school, but I did not like it. Mother was always busy and she often just ate something random to fill her stomach. I remember once reading a story about when Master introduced Dafa in the early years. He just ate instant noodles. Whenever I noticed my classmates throwing food out, I reminded them to cherish food.
When I was 11 years old, I helped an elderly practitioner. She wanted to thank me and took me out to eat. Since I had to order something, I chose dumplings. She told my mother I was different from other girls. I later explained to Mother that I chose dumpling because it was only 12 yuan while everything else cost dozens of yuan.
As Falun Dafa practitioners, we are not attached to things in this everyday society. The Fa principles have taught us that the universe is profound. Because my mind was calm, I could focus on study. Plus, Master told us that as students, we are supposed to study well. Furthermore, Dafa's principles helped me to get along well with teachers and other students. I have seen many students with good grades arguing with other students, teachers, and parents. That caused trouble for everyone and affected their own grades. I felt bad about that and sometimes explained to others what I have learned from Dafa's principles. “What you said is true,” said one student as she cried in anger, “but it’s so difficult to get there.”
Cellphones and social media are other headaches students face. Because I'm a practitioner with a mission to save people, I hardly checked social media and paid no attention to the discussions or posts there. I set my cellphone on silent, so that it would not interrupt my studies. Had I not been a practitioner, I would probably be like many other kids who are out of control.
A renowned human rights lawyer heard about my good grades and was very impressed. “Practitioners' children are so good. They can take care of themselves. My children, on the other hand, are always on their cellphones,” he told Mother.
From an Ugly Duckling to a Swan
Because my homeroom teachers often set me as an example for the other students, I had many “enemies.” Some girls often complained to the teachers, “Why do you treat her so nicely?” Understanding the issue of jealousy from Dafa's teachings, I never showed off. When people said sarcastic words, I just changed the topic or acknowledged their strengths. Because of my kindness and generosity I had almost no conflicts with others. The teachers were also impressed. “Look, she's so positive and open-minded. One can tell that Falun Dafa is great,” one of them said.
Besides talking with teachers, Mother and I gave them USB drives which contained truth-clarification information such as the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party. When a teacher invited me to join the CCP during my sophomore year in high school, I said no and she was not surprised. When all the teachers and students in the school were organizing a competition of singing pro-CCP songs, I did not join and asked my homeroom teacher not to force me to attend. When the other students asked why I was absent I explained the reason. Because of that, almost all of the teachers and students knew that Mother and I practiced Dafa. They respected my belief and did not discriminate against me. I want to thank Master for always looking after me.
Because of the pressure to get into a good college, I spent most of my last two years in high school on school studies. The time for Fa study was very little, and I really regretted it. Without the Fa's principles, my mind was not calm. It was a serious lesson for me.
After the college entrance exam, many students went on vacation to relax. They were hoping for good scores. I was very calm. Before the exam, I asked Master, “Master, please arrange for me to go wherever I can be the most useful to validate the Fa.” I placed my trust in Master.
Before the scores came out, the admission officer of a college outside China told me the education there was ideal. Students do not need to waste time learning communist subjects and they also receive a scholarship. Mother was disturbed because she always thought I would go to a good, local college. But, this seemed like a great opportunity.
Mother was anxious, so I reminded her, “You may think our path is decided by us. It is not.” These words helped her and she was no longer upset. When I learned that I was admitted to that college, all my relatives and friends were thrilled. Everyone said that I was always a good child. I knew it was not true. I was problematic to begin with—it was Dafa that changed me, from an ugly duckling to a swan.
Throughout middle school and high school, I never got sick or needed to see a doctor. I refused vaccine injections. This was very different from my elementary years, during which I was frequently sick. It was Falun Dafa that brought these positive changes. By the time I entered high school, I received a perfect score in gym class. My health was excellent. Seeing students around me catching the flu and other illness, I was always so grateful to Master.
Using Every Opportunity to Clarify the Truth
I also took every opportunity to tell other students and teachers about Falun Dafa. Once, the language teacher mentioned a documentary on China’s pollution that was banned. One student said, “Many of those banned documentaries are actually pretty good.” Another said, “Falun Dafa is banned too.” The teacher did not answer directly, saying she did not know much about it. I knew I had to talk with her.
After the class was over, I went to the teacher and said I would like to talk to her about Falun Dafa. She said, “Fine, please go ahead.”
Her open attitude made me less nervous. I said, “Falun Dafa is a self-cultivation method and the key principles are Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. The CCP defames Falun Dafa and persecutes practitioners. This is similar to the suppression of Christians during the Roman Empire. We know the powerful Roman Empire collapsed. Many people believe it was actually karmic retribution.”
The teacher listened quietly and asked questions about things such as the staged self-immolation incident at Tiananmen Square. I said, “That was a hoax. Falun Dafa forbids suicide and considers it a sin.”
“Then how about illnesses?” she asked. I said, “Falun Dafa does not forbid practitioners from seeing doctors when they are sick. That is the CCP slandering Falun Dafa.” Our conversation went well. Master helped me and gave me wisdom to explain everything clearly.
“One of my neighbors practiced Falun Dafa,” she said. “He must be a good person. Right?” I asked. “Yes, he is. But he was arrested,” replied the teacher.
“Do you know what happens to practitioners after they are arrested and detained?” I asked, trying to hold back my tears. “They suffer all kinds of torture for their belief and some are even killed.” The teacher was shocked. She apparently did not know how dark the Chinese judicial system was, since the CCP propaganda always claims the opposite.
I said, “I have a USB drive and I hope you can take a look when you have time. Falun Dafa practitioners are good people and they are innocent.” She said, “That would be great. I'll take a look at it.”
Several students also listened to our conversation. They did not interrupt me or leave. Later, they told others what I said and they said that they respected me very much. When I returned home, I was still a little nervous until I received a message from one student: “We all support you.”
In my spare time, another practitioner and I often went out to distribute truth-clarification materials. We intentionally went to a military residential area, which was guarded by armed soldiers. We entered the building and distributed materials to every floor. We tried to avoid making noise. We distributed a large quantity of materials in many buildings as well as on vehicles. Because I was just a middle school student people did not suspect us. We went there three times in total and were always mindful of safety.
We practitioners do not have worry about the future. We're here on earth for just a short time and our true homes are in Heaven. We should not be too attached to things here.
Thinking back, I used to be a problematic child. Fortunately I became a Falun Dafa practitioner; otherwise I would be another person sliding down in this morally degenerated society. Mother helped me to know Dafa, bringing all these positive changes to me.
My life is just like the fable in which an ugly duckling became a beautiful swan! I will continue to cherish Falun Dafa and tell everyone how amazing it is.