Considering Others First
(Minghui.org) While practicing Falun Dafa for more than 20 years, I have held myself to the standards of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance and have gone from being a selfish person to someone who considers others first. I am openminded and no longer fight for fame and self-interest. I am deeply grateful for Master Li Hongzhi’s guidance and compassion!
Being Kind to My Mother-in-law
I was born the eldest daughter into a poor peasant family, and life was hard. After I got married, my mother-in-law was not pleased with me and spoke to me with a sharp tongue. She was unwilling to have much to do with me, so I was reluctant to talk to her. Over time, the distance between us grew and grew. I really resented her, and we didn’t get along.
After I started practicing Falun Dafa, I saw my relationship with my mother-in-law differently: She and I became family in this life because we had a predestined relationship. Whether it was a good or bad predestined relationship, I needed to have compassion to resolve it because Dafa practitioners cultivate compassion. I also realized that my mother-in-law touched on my attachments. In fact, she was helping me to improve my character (or xinxing). So I should have been thanking her instead of harboring resentment.
After I understood the situation from the perspective of the Fa, I began sending forth righteous thoughts to clear away my resentment. But completely removing this attachment was not something that could be done overnight. My attachments had formed over a long period of time. Master Li helped me to identify and eliminate one bit of it at a time.
After calming down, I realized that my mother-in-law was not a practitioner, so how could I expect a regular person to correct her shortcomings according to the Fa? I am a practitioner. I can only correct my behaviors that are not in line with the Fa.
“Compassion is an enormous energy, the energy of righteous gods. The more compassion that is present, the greater this energy becomes, and it can disintegrate anything that is bad.” (“Fa Teaching at the 2009 Washington DC International Fa Conference”)
I was determined to treat my mother-in-law well, show her respect, and be forgiving. When she had a bad attitude, I tried not to take it to heart. After a while, I felt that my attitude toward her had changed a lot.
Once, she sarcastically remarked, “You practice Falun Gong, yet you still haven’t gotten over your cough.” I instantly realized that I still harbored jealousy. Looking down on someone and ridiculing them are actually done out of jealousy. I realized that it was my attachment of jealousy that prompted my mother-in-law to be sarcastic. She was a mirror for me. The attachments that she demonstrated reflected mine. She is a ladder that helps me improve my xinxing and reach a higher realm of enlightenment!
My mother-in-law is over 90 years old now. When she got ill, I encouraged her to recite, “Falun Dafa is good; Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good.” Because my behavior improved, she started to believe in Dafa. She now carries a Dafa keepsake with her everywhere. She used to be ill and had to be hospitalized frequently. Now she is in good health and full of energy.
Understanding the Difficulties of My Daughter's In-laws
We only have one daughter, and my husband and I are very fond of her. My daughter married someone from our hometown village whose family situation is not that good.
Before my daughter’s baby was born, she asked if she could stay in our home after the birth for a month, then help raise him. It would be easier for me to take care of her, and it would be convenient for us to discuss things as mother and daughter.
At first, I was reluctant: According to our local tradition, it is the mother-in-law's responsibility to help the daughter-in-law raise the baby, not mine.
I calmly thought about it: My relatives and friends all know that I practice Falun Dafa. My husband and I are both retired and stay at home. Others do not know that Dafa disciples need to do a lot of things; they only see that we don't have many things to do at home. My daughter's parents-in-law have to work at the stone factory day and night. If I said it was not my responsibility to take care of my grandchild, that would give people a negative opinion of Dafa. After thinking about this, I agreed to my daughter's request.
My grandson grew up in our home until he was old enough to go to kindergarten. When he went back to his hometown, everyone who saw him complimented me and commented that his paternal grandmother hadn't looked after him and he was already grown up.
After hearing this, my daughter's mother-in-law felt that she’d lost face, so she spread the rumor in the village that when my daughter took her after-birth break in my home, they (the in-laws) paid me to take care of our grandson. When I heard that, I was calm and didn't say anything. I knew that this incident was meant to help improve my xinxing.
When my daughter heard the rumor, she was upset. “Mom, they didn’t give you a penny. She lied and said that she paid you. Why aren’t you angry?”
I replied, “I am a practitioner.” I also reminded her to avoid criticizing her mother-in-law in front of others and be considerate of her. My daughter didn’t say anything, and her anger disappeared. The commotion was over!
Supplying Water to My Neighbors Without Charge
I drilled a well in front of my small shed at my own expense. The quality is good, and there is plenty of it. My family lives on the first floor. To drill the well, I had to dig a trench to install the water pipes. The neighbors upstairs came to help when they saw me digging. I was very grateful. I thought I would give them access to the well water when it became available. It took us all afternoon to finish digging the well.
The next day, the neighbor who lives on the third floor shouted for me outside my window. When we met up, she said to me angrily, “My son fell into the trench and tore his pants. He was really upset.” I apologized to her and said, “I will buy him a new pair.” I sincerely apologized to him. He said he was fine.
After the well was completed, the neighbors came to wash their clothes, and I was happy to let them use the water. The neighbor on the third floor, however, came to wash her clothes and also took water to her home. My mind was not calm. I thought: “She did not help me at all. Now she uses the water whenever she wants without saying a word, as if I owe her.” My xinxing remained stuck for a while.
One day my refrigerator wasn’t working right, and I called for service. But they couldn't find anything wrong. I suddenly realized that my neighbor was helping me to look at myself and improve my xinxing. I am a practitioner. Master requires us to be calm and not be moved. I quickly calmed down and sent forth righteous thoughts to clear my unbalanced mind. The refrigerator soon started to work just fine without needing to be repaired.
One day, my neighbors were waiting outside for me to pump water from the well. There were probably more than 20 buckets. A man who lived nearby also came over. He had a well at his house, too. He said to everyone waiting for water, “I want to ask a question. How is the water pumped?” No one answered. He said, “It needs electricity to pump the water up. Have you all paid the electricity bill?” I said to him, “They are all neighbors, I just let them have water and don’t want to mention anything about the electricity bill.” The man replied, “Would they do the same? No one would do it!”
I thought, “Being able to live side by side as neighbors is a predestined relationship that connects us. I am a practitioner of Falun Dafa. Master asks us to be a good person in all respects. We can’t fight with our neighbors over a little profit. Cultivation seeks to get rid of these ordinary attachments.”
Practicing cultivation is serious. When encountering problems, I need to look inward and improve my character solidly. Our compassionate Master also keeps looking after me, so I will certainly strive to be a worthy Dafa disciple.