[Celebrating World Falun Dafa Day] The Story of My Father – A Bully Learns to Be Kind
(Minghui.org) I was born in the 1980s and began to practice Falun Dafa (also called Falun Gong) in 1996. Dafa has turned my dysfunctional family into one full of warmth and happiness, for which we are forever grateful to Master Li.
My father did not get married until his 30s, because he came from a poor family. My mother was 12 years younger than my father and had a low IQ. In other words, she was a “fool” in other people's eyes.
As early as I can remember, I was a dirty little girl, often laughed at, and no one my age wanted to play with me. So I just played with my blind grandmother. I had a younger brother who also had a low IQ.
My father was hot-tempered but very capable. He was also a well-known heavy drinker and always drank during the day. He was invited to wedding ceremonies and funerals to drink with others. He was also a chain-smoker.
Miserable Family Life
My father often got angry with my mother and younger brother, telling them that they were foolish. He hit them, and my younger brother was often too scared to come home after school, He would hide in the bushes and I had to look for him. My father beat my mother often. She had a loud voice, and every time he beat her, she would cry and scream. I had to comfort her and tried to soothe her so that we would not disturb our neighbors.
One evening, my father beat my mother again, so she decided to run away. I tried my best to stop her, but she pushed me aside and left. I was too scared to chase after her at night. I ran into the house to beg my father to look for her. He refused and continued drinking. I spent the whole night in fear.
Some kindhearted people brought my mother home the next day. People from my mother's family tried to stop my father from abusing my mother, but he did not change. He continued to be abusive, so she ran away again and again. I decided to lock the gate so that my mother couldn't get out.
To please my father, I tried my best to help my mother with the cooking and looking after my younger brother. I often felt very sorry that I had been born into such a family and my heart was filled with fear and self-pity. I never enjoyed happiness or felt I was cared for like other children my age.
Dafa Changed My Father
When I was around 12 years old, my auntie introduced my father to Falun Dafa, and my father and I started to practice it together. My father changed a lot.
He stopped drinking and smoking, but people were very skeptical. My uncle said, “If he can stop drinking, I would stop eating.” A few months later, when he learned that my father had indeed stopped drinking, he said, “I truly admire this brother-in-law of mine. I truly admire Dafa.”
My father's temperament also got much more gentle. Even though he still got a bit angry when my mother did silly things, he seldom hit her. For example, when my mother drank from a ladle, she always spilled half of the water and her clothes got wet. She would then pour the rest of the water on the floor.
Houses in the countryside did not have paved floors, so when the water hit the dirt, the floor got muddy. My father got very angry with my mother, but she kept doing the same thing every day.
I reminded my father that it was a xinxing test for him. He listened and his xinxing improved rapidly. There were fewer and fewer arguments and my mother did not leave home again. I was so grateful to Dafa for giving me a normal family life.
Life after Practicing Dafa
My father was illegally detained after the CCP started persecuting Falun Dafa. My relatives got him released two weeks later, but the police kept harassing my family. My mother got very scared and told my father to give up the practice. Of course, my father refused.
One day, my father and I decided to go to Beijing to appeal for justice for Falun Dafa. Just as we were about to leave, my mother asked my father when we would be back, because my mother and my younger brother were both sick. Thinking of them, my father said to me, “You'd better stay home to take care of your mother and brother.” But I insisted on going to Beijing. So my father said, “All right, you can go, and I'll stay home and look after them.”
Even though my father really wanted to go to Beijing to appeal for Falun Dafa, he decided to stay home to take care of my sick mother and brother. He said to me later, “Master has told us to be good people at all times. I could not leave two sick people at home on their own.”
Then, my mother suffered a stroke. My father took her to big hospitals for treatment without any concern for cost. He also made five exercise tools to help my mother recover after she was discharged from the hospital.
My mother became bedridden and incontinent. Every day, my father helped my mother up and tried to help her walk again. He told her to hold onto his neck and move slowly with him.
My father always had a smile on his face while nursing my mother. He said he was just doing what he should do. He cleaned her when she had a bowel movement without complaining. When relatives brought good food during festive seasons, my father always saved everything for my mother.
When the weather changed, my father took my mother out for a walk in a wheelchair. People in our village said, “If he didn't practice Falun Gong, she would have long been dead.”
They all knew that my mother was not in a good state even before she had the stroke. They couldn't understand why my father still took such good care of her. My father said, “It's compassion for a life.”
Six years later, my mother had another stroke and was in the ICU for two days. She breathed intermittently and had a weak heartbeat. Doctors suggested that we take her home, but my father said, “Please try your best to save her even if she may remain in a vegetative state.” Everyone present was deeply touched by what he said.
Doctors held no hope for my mother, and she soon passed away. Many people came to her funeral, and they all gave my father a thumbs up, saying he was truly a good man that was hard to find.
Younger Brother's Unhappy Marriage
My brother got married, but his wife's relatives were extremely unreasonable, especially his mother-in-law, who had quite a reputation for being greedy. She fought with everyone and did not get along with her siblings.
When she heard that my father had money, she asked a matchmaker to introduce her daughter to my brother. My brother was not smart, and it was not easy to find a wife for him. So my father willingly gave his consent to the marriage and started to make arrangements after the two got to know each other.
The local bride price was around 10,000 yuan, but his mother-in-law demanded 30,000 yuan as well as high-quality household appliances. My father agreed to all her requests.
After my brother got married, everyone in his wife's family looked down on him and my father was also frequently humiliated. But he endured everything and conducted himself according to the Falun Dafa principles. He also helped them as much as he could. Sometimes, he also took us to help them pull weeds in their fields.
A year later, my sister-in-law gave birth to a boy. Thinking that their daughter had done well in bearing a son, my brother's parents-in-law became even more greedy and demanded that my father build them a new house. When my father refused, they refused to visit us anymore and demanded that my brother give them all his salary every month. As soon as they got the money, they told my brother to leave without asking him to stay for a meal. His father-in-law even beat up my brother, to the point that even his own son thought his behavior was unacceptable.
Since he had been treated like a slave, my brother decided not to visit them anymore. They then demanded a divorce. My brother wanted his son, but they refused his request because they wanted the child support. My brother didn't want a divorce, so they took him to court. In the end, my brother said he would agree to a divorce if he got to keep his son and he didn't want any child support. They refused his offer. The judge awarded the child to his wife's family and gave my brother 15 days to appeal.
My brother was heartbroken and drank recklessly. My father and my brother were living in two separate courtyards. When my brother didn't turn up at mealtime, my father went over to fetch him and found that my brother had died.
Repaying Cruelty with Kindness
Because my father had long bought a life insurance policy for my brother, he informed the insurance company of his death. When his former parents-in-law heard about it, they demanded half of the payout.
The insurance policy did not name a beneficiary, and the divorce verdict was still within the 15 days for appeal, so, in principle, his former parents-in-law's family was entitled to 50% percent of the payout.
My father was not aware of this provision in the insurance policy. Half of the payout amounted to tens of thousands of yuan, which would take a peasant years of hard work to earn. And it was, after all, their unfair treatment of my brother that led to his death of a broken heart. Besides, it was my father who had paid for the life insurance policy. How could they demand anything after what they had done to my brother?
However, my father is a Dafa practitioner and he remembered Master's teaching about being a good person according to the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, and that we should let go of any attachment to fame, personal gains, and human sentiments.
My father was already in his 60s, with only a few acres of land to make a living. We also needed to pay for my mother's medical expenses at that time. The insurance money could have helped us a lot. My father was in a dilemma, so he called me for advice. I told him to do anything he thought appropriate and I would respect his decision.
My father decided that he would act based on the requirements of a Dafa practitioner, and gave my brother's parents-in-law half of the insurance money. They were overjoyed.
My father explained to them that he did that because he believed in the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.
My brother's son was being raised in their family. Not long ago, he was hit by a car near his school and one of his legs was broken. They informed us when the child was in the hospital.
My father and I went to see the boy and helped get him transferred to a better hospital.
The boy's stepfather was working out of town and my late brother's former parents-in-law were busy with their own things, so his mother had to look after him and her other three-year-old boy by herself.
My father felt sorry for them and offered to give them a helping hand. So they worked it out that the boy's mother would take care of him in the morning and my father would look after him in the afternoon.
My father always brought something good to eat and always brought two portions, one for his grandson and another for the boy's stepbrother. His mother was touched by my father's kindness and so was everyone else in her family.
Once, rain was in the forecast for the next day, so she told my father not to come since he had to travel a long way. But he'd noticed that she'd had a cold, so he went to help out anyway. “You are not feeling well and I was worried that you might not be able to get much rest since the boy is still bedridden and has to be helped with everything. You'd better get a good rest,” my father said. Once again, she was deeply moved by my father's kindness.
In the past, she had made my father's life so difficult and caused him so much humiliation and embarrassment, but he did not take this to heart and still treated her like family. He showed her great compassion, which he had cultivated in Dafa. The power of Dafa turned my father into a great Dafa disciple.
Dafa changed my father and turned the resentments he used to harbor against my mother into love and compassion. Dafa has enabled my father to maintain a positive and healthy mindset after suffering so many hardships and tribulations.
Thank you, Master, for your boundless compassion! I'm also determined to be more diligent in Dafa cultivation.