[Celebrating World Falun Dafa Day] The Turning Point for a “Left-Behind” Child
(Minghui.org) “Left-behind Children” refers to children whose parents work in cities far from their hometowns and are “left behind” to be taken care of by local relatives. They are separated from their parents for long periods of time. There are an alarming number of these children in China today. I'd like to share a story about one particular left-behind child.
Xiao Ying: The Heroine of the Story
My daughter Zhen Zhen has been practicing Falun Dafa since she was born. She started by listening to Master Li's audio lectures. She is kind and helpful.
Last year, after Zhen Zhen finished her university entrance exams, she was busy partying with her classmates or helping them with university applications and I hardly saw her. One morning, she told my wife that she was going out with three other classmates and she didn't come home when she was supposed to. My wife called her several times. Zhen Zhen said she'd come home right away, but she didn't.
When she did come home around 6 that evening, she went straight to her room. Later on I asked her why she came home late. She hesitated and said that they were held up by trivial things and her friends wouldn't let her leave early; I was not convinced. When I realized she was hiding something from me, I asked her to tell me what really happened.
“Father, something bad is going to happen. Can you please help?” She seemed relieved to tell me. She was obviously anxious and said with a shaky voice, “My classmate, Xiao Ying, wants to commit suicide.”
Nervous, I asked who Xiao Ying was. “She was the one who had dinner with us several days ago. Don't you remember her? She is OK right now, but she has written a living will and bought drugs on the Internet. She bought each drug separately, but if they are combined, they could kill her. She found out about them on the Internet. Today, several of us tried to dissuade her, but she wouldn't listen. One of our classmates was very scared and started to cry. Xiao Ying said that she didn't want to see her mother, who had been away and had just come home. She would wait for her mother to go back to Guangdong before she committed suicide to make her family feel more guilty. So the three of us agreed to take turns staying with her for a few days at a time. We'll watch over her. Can she come and stay with us in three days?”
I realized that this was serious. I remembered that girl. My first impression of her was that she was decent, open, and polite. There were a few things about her that stuck in my mind. First, she ate a lot more than Zhen Zhen. Zhen Zhen said that her friend's mother gave her 300 yuan each month for her living expenses. But she oftentimes only had a bowl of noodles or rice each day or slept the whole day without eating. I didn't believe that any mother could be like that and thought she must be joking with my daughter. I asked Zhen Zhen to bring her friend to our home as often as she could, but Xiao Ying only came twice.
I talked to Xiao Ying about quitting the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and its organizations to be safe. She refused to withdraw and didn't believe in the miracles of Falun Dafa. She claimed that she was an atheist.
But was she really like that?
A Lonely Left-Behind Girl
I asked Zhen Zhen a few questions: “Why didn't she go home? Wouldn't her mother be worried? And what about her father? If she did stupid things when she was staying at her classmate's home, who would bear the responsibility? This is a matter of someone's life—have you thought about it? Would you like to report this to the police?”
Zhen Zhen got nervous and said, “We didn't think of that. We were very scared. Will the police take care of something like that? Her parents and relatives are not concerned about her. Father, do you have a way to save her?” I felt that it was strange that Xiao Ying's parents didn't take care of her. Zhen Zhen then told me how she came to know Xiao Ying and what kind of person she was.
Xiao Ying and Zhen Zhen were not in the same class but were in the same grade. Zhen Zhen knew of Xiao Ying, but didn't have any contact with her. She met Xiao Ying through mutual friends. She and their two mutual friends went to see Xiao Ying to help her out. After taking the university entrance exam, Zhen Zhen and Xiao Ying started to spend more time together.
Xiao Ying's parents went to Guangdong province to run a logistics business when she was little. Each of them drove a truck to deliver goods. Xiao Ying used to have a sister, but she passed away when she was young. She has a six or seven-year-old brother. She grew up with her grandmother. Her brother went with their parents all the time. After her grandmother passed away, she lived with her aunt or at boarding school. She did well academically, although she transferred to several schools. For some reason she didn't get along with her parents. Xiao Ying said that her parents didn't like her. Her father practiced martial arts and beat her and her mother didn't have the courage to protect her. Her mother never did anything to cross her father and was subservient to him. None of Xiao Ying's relatives believed the suffering she was enduring and took her parents' side. They thought she skipped school and was a bad child. They thought if she died outside someday, they'd just come back to collect her body and that'd be it.
Her mother came back this time to tell Xiao Ying her father's plans for her. He wanted her to come to Guangdong so she could find a job there. If she wanted to continue her studies, she could only apply to inexpensive universities, as her father could only give her 10,000 yuan a year. She had to apply for the student's allowance herself and would have to earn her living expenses. Xiao Ying's mother told her that her father would only give her 300 yuan a month. They wanted to force Xiao Ying to move to Guangdong. Xiao Ying, however, was stubborn and would rather die of hunger than go to Guangdong; her mother couldn't change her mind. There was no peace between them and they fought whenever they were together.
From what Zhen Zhen told me about Xiao Ying, I guessed that she was no longer the person she used to be. There must be something wrong. I could understand how helpless Xiao Ying felt. I told Zhen Zhen, “I suppose that the parents of the other two classmates would not help her out if they knew what kind of person she was. Who is willing to handle the situation? But we are practitioners. There must be a reason that we've encountered this.”
“I hold that there’s no such thing as “natural phenomena,” as all things are ordered—coincidence doesn’t exist.” (Teaching the Fa at the Conference in Europe)
I said to Zhen Zhen, “Xiao Ying might have a predestined relationship with Dafa since you know each other. I believe Dafa's boundless power will definitely dissolve her karma. It's late now. Please pick her up early tomorrow morning.”
Zhen Zhen was happy and said, “That's great! I will call her and let her know. She said she liked to come to my home. But she thought it would be too much trouble for us because she said my parents were too good to her.”
Love That Was Unappreciated
The next morning, Xiao Ying came with one suitcase and seemed shy. She greeted us. I talked to her for a long time with Zhen Zhen sitting beside us. I learned more about her.
She scored a bit lower on the university entrance exam than she hoped for but she was able to apply for second tier universities. She did quite well considering she didn't attend class often and had left school for a whole week due to conflicts at home her last term. She didn't have any contact with her father for more than a year. She contacted her mother via WeChat only when she needed money. Xiao Ying became agitated when she heard their voices.
Xiao Ying spent almost 100,000 yuan during her last three years at high school. Her mobile phone cost 2,000 yuan alone. She felt sorry for her mother because she never questioned what her father said. Xiao Ying suggested that her mother divorce her father. She only wanted to live with her mother. After her father found out, he didn't contact her anymore. Even her auntie, who was a mediator between her parents, deserted her. Her auntie would find all sorts of reasons to leave before Xiao Ying got home. She applied to a university which would only accept two students from our locale. She thought she would not be that lucky, but she was accepted. The tuition was 25,000 yuan, which she could not afford. She felt helpless and hopeless. She thought her parents loved her brother more than her and didn't want to spend any money to help her continue her studies. She felt she was an unwanted child who wasted her parents' money. She even consulted a lawyer about how she could file a case against her father.
While Xiao Ying was recounting her tribulations, I noticed that, despite her peaceful appearance, she was stubborn, unbending, selfish, and cynical. Her parents gave her money to make up for their being away from her. But Xiao Ying didn't show them any gratitude. What they got was the opposite of what they expected. She was self-centered and looked down on everyone. The main problem between them was a lack of communication.
But who could open up her heart and help her realize her own shortcomings, recognize what her parents and relatives had done for her, and also what the real meaning of life is? If I contacted her parents, what should I say? Even though I was a practitioner, I was not going to be able to help her out of all her predicaments. Only Falun Dafa could help her. Its profound principles will enlighten anyone who reads its books and help solve the problems they come across.
I understood that I should ask her to withdraw from the CCP and its affiliated organizations before she started to learn Falun Dafa. The communist evil specter was controlling her – she lied, was bent on revenge, and didn't believe in the principle of karmic retribution.
Reading Zhuan Falun with Respect
Later that day I talked to her at length about quitting the Party and the serious consequences of committing suicide. She wanted to change herself but didn't think it was possible.
“Of course it's possible!” I told her. “There are so many examples. If you believe me, please take the first step to withdraw from the CCP and its affiliated organizations. Only when you nullify the vow you made to the evil specter can you break free of its control over you. Only when you are no longer controlled by the evil specter, realize your shortcomings, and have righteous thoughts can you do what's right. If you believe that Falun Dafa is good, you will be protected by the teacher of Falun Dafa.”
She said, “Ok, I withdraw from the CCP's Youth League and Young Pioneers. I hope that Falun Dafa's master will help me!” She pressed her hands in front of her chest as she said it.
I said to her, “What you should do now is look for your shortcomings like we practitioners do. Only when you have rectified yourself will the environment around you change. But you don't know where you fall short and how to judge good from bad. How could you possibly change? I'd like to give you the book Zhuan Falun. I hope you will read at least one lecture a day. We can talk about any part you don't understand. So focus on your reading for now. Maybe from now on, what you are worrying about most will change for the better while you keep rectifying yourself.”
She looked at me and nodded, although she didn't quite understand yet. She took Zhuan Falun from me with respect.
She stayed with us for ten days this time. Every day, my wife cooked food she liked. She studied the Fa teachings seriously and would read a paragraph again if she didn't understand it and came to me if she had questions. For the first week, my wife, Zhen Zhen, and I shared with her until midnight every evening. We could see she was changing for the better every day. She realized that she was extreme and was only concerned with herself. The next day she wanted to go home, but her mother was still there, so she didn't go. On the third day when her mother went out to visit their relatives, Zhen Zhen accompanied Xiao Ying home and burned the living will she wrote and threw out the drugs.
On the fourth night, she said to me, “Uncle, I didn't realize that I could become a good person. Nobody taught me to consider other people like you did. You are my savior. In the past, if my parents wronged me for having done something bad that I didn’t even do, I would do that thing to get revenge. I didn't care what they thought because they didn't care what I would think when they wronged me. It's so good to learn how to be a good person!”
I said to her, “The savior is not me but our master who has saved my life. You are destined to learn Falun Dafa. You should thank Master Li!” She pressed her hands together and said, “Thank you, Master!”
Xiao Ying tried to contact her auntie, but her auntie pleaded with Xiao Ying not to reach out to her but to her parents instead. She said that she was not in good health and asked Xiao Ying not to bother her. Xiao Ying realized how deeply she had hurt her auntie. She apologized to her auntie via WeChat and promised that she would do better in the future and asked for her forgiveness. Unexpectedly, her auntie didn't believe her and asked if she had done something wrong.
Xiao Ying told me that her parents and auntie were misled by the CCP's propaganda and didn't know the truth about Falun Dafa yet. Although her auntie was a Christian, she didn't support Falun Dafa. Xiao Ying didn't tell her auntie that a Falun Dafa practitioner had helped her. She said to her auntie, “I now realize that I was so wrong in the past. I met the father of my classmate who is a really nice man. He taught me a lot about how to behave. Please believe that I will be good.” Her auntie said, “Of course I'm glad to hear that you will change. I believe you. But you have to convince your father.”
Xiao Ying was very happy that her auntie had forgiven her. Her mother also forgave her and asked her to talk to her father nicely because he had to agree to pay her university expenses.
Change of Fate
Over the next two days, Xiao Ying called her father many times while he was not driving or delivering goods, but he never picked up. She thought that he'd blocked her number, so she used another mobile phone to call him. When he recognized her voice, he hung up immediately. She was disheartened and cried. My wife and I kept comforting her. “Don't give up. You may have to look within more until your father is moved. Maybe the timing is not right yet. Let's ask for Master's help.”
She sent a long text message to her father admitting that she was wrong. But there was still no answer.
On the seventh day there was a dramatic change. That morning, she burned incense to pay her respects to Master. In the evening, she pulled herself together again and tried to call her father. He picked up the phone and asked what she wanted. She kept apologizing to him. He said, “You don't need to say 'sorry.' The formerly clever and sensible Xiao Ying died two years ago. The current Xiao Ying is an ungrateful wolf who eats the food I provide and then betrays me.” Then he continued to express disappointment over her misdeeds. I signaled to her to listen to her father patiently and not interrupt him.
He continued, “Your mother and I work hard to earn a living. You spent 100,000 yuan during your three years in high school. How many of your classmates' parents are like us? What is our purpose? But you only scored 200 on the university entrance exam to repay us. Then you turn around and ask us for 25,000 yuan for university tuition. You must be seeking revenge by choosing such an expensive university.”
A score of 200? I looked at Xiao Ying. She blushed and apologized to her father, “Sorry, Father. I lied to Mother. I actually scored 384 points higher than the requirement for a second-tier university. You always say that I am useless, so I lied to you.”
“So you scored 384 and can apply at the best second tier universities? Silly child, you don't need to lie to us. If you really scored 200, we didn't think you needed to further your studies at the university. I am sorry I didn't educate you better and wronged you. If this is the case, we will try our best to get enough money together so that you can focus on studying and not have to work. If you work, you cannot focus on your studies. We would rather spend less on ourselves and pay your tuition. You'd better focus on your studies.”
Xiao Ying was thrilled. We thanked Master for his compassionate help. She kowtowed to Master and burned incense again to thank him.
On the ninth day, before her mother went back to Guangdong, Xiao Ying and her mother visited her grandmother. On the tenth day, she finished reading the last lecture of Zhuan Falun. She was going to see her auntie. Two days before, her auntie had asked her to come to her home. She didn't go because she had not finished reading Zhuan Falun yet. I knew she didn't want to leave us. Before she did, she kowtowed to Master's picture again and burned incense to pay her respects. She didn't know what it would be like at her new school, so she didn't bring Zhuan Falun with her. But she promised that she would come to my home again to study Zhuan Falun.
Xiao Ying spent ten days finishing Zhuan Falun. The book changed the fate of her family.