Abiding by the Standards of Falun Dafa at Work
(Minghui.org) I used to be a vice-principal at a vocational school and I started practicing Falun Dafa in 1996. Before I started practicing, I had many ailments such as heart disease, insomnia, tonsillitis, internal and external paralysis, and six different kinds of inflammation in my digestive system. My stomach was bloated every day all year round. I suffered a lot and nothing could cure me. I was thin and pale. When I was in my forties, I was like an old man in his sixties.
All of my illnesses disappeared after one month of practicing Falun Dafa. I felt like I was young again, and gained more than twenty kilograms (approximately 45 pounds). My cheeks were rosy and I could ride a bike very fast as if someone was pushing me from behind. I was very thankful to Teacher for helping me to gain good health. But most cherished of all was that I learned the true meaning of life. I told myself: Cherish this opportunity! Follow the Fa and cultivate away my attachments! Return to my true self and go home with Teacher!
When I first read Zhuan Falun, there was one thing in the book that really struck me. Teacher said:
“We once had a student in Shandong province who worked at a textile mill and who taught Falun Dafa to her co-workers after she had learned it. The attitude of the entire factory changed for the better as a result. It used to be that employees would hide small towels in their clothing and take them home. After this woman had learned our practice, though, not only did she stop taking things, but she even decided to return the items she had taken before.” (The Fourth Lecture, Zhuan Falun)
The above teachings reminded me of myself. I took advantage of my position at work and also took things home. Now that I am practicing Falun Dafa, I no longer take things that don’t belong to me and I tried to return things that I already took before. Teacher saved me from hell and helped me to be free from illness. Therefore, I must purify myself in cultivation so I have no more karmic debts. This was the best way to express my appreciation to Teacher. When I did well, I felt that people would see it and feel the goodness of Dafa.
Receipts That Hadn't Been Claimed for Thirteen Years
When I was at work, I was mainly responsible for teaching and managing students. Sometimes when I bought household items, books or other supplies, I submitted the receipts for reimbursement. The principal was kind to me; he approved all the receipts I gave him without even checking. I also often used the school's car for my convenience.
But ever since I began practicing Falun Dafa, I understood that taking advantage of others would make me lose virtue and collect karma. I needed to change that behavior, just like a pure lotus flower growing in the mud but not stained by muck.
So I decided to donate all the books that were bought using school money to a library. Also, when I went on my personal errands, I used public transit instead of the company car. Of course, there were moments when I was worried about what people would ask if they saw me sitting on a bus. Teacher's Fa teachings enabled me to recognize the attachments to vanity, showing off and saving face, and this was a chance to cultivate them away.
I lived quite far away from work. In the past, when it rained, a chauffeur took me home. But now I realized that I needed to follow the Fa’s teachings by considering others first. So I told the chauffeur to take those who had kids to take care of and female practitioners home first. For me, I rode my bike in the rain. It felt so wonderful!
I haven’t been teaching on the frontlines since 2009. Before, I submitted receipts almost every month. But from the time I began practicing Falun Dafa in 1996 to 2008, I didn't submit any. Sometimes I even paid for supplies at school using my own money; that was the best way I could atone for the sins I committed in the past.
At work, I often needed to make phone calls using my cell phone. According to school rules, we couldn't claim the cell phone charges. But the principal suggested that and the other vice principal get a one hundred dollar reimbursement each time under the item of “meal plan” or “office supplies.” I realized that accepting the suggestions meant I wasn't being truthful. As a Dafa disciple, I needed to conduct myself in a dignified manner. So I discussed my views with the other vice principal who had read Zhuan Falun before. We both politely turned down the principal's suggestion.
Passing Up an Award at Work
Once the principal said our school was given an “advanced teacher,” award and since I made lots of contributions to the school, he decided to nominate me for the award. He said, “This is a big honor because you will enjoy one hundred percent of your salary when you retire.” I thought I couldn’t take it as a Dafa practitioner; the higher the amount was, the more I wanted to give it to others.
I said to the principal, “You have taken care of me in many ways all these years and I am very grateful. I am a cultivator. As a vice-principal, working hard is my responsibility anyway. In order to maintain our school’s reputation, I think it’s better we give this honor to a teacher.” The principal gave me a big smile.
At the end of the year, the higher authorities came to our school for an annual performance review. There were three different forms: one for the administration, another for the teachers and the third for support staff. The forms had everybody's name. All of us had to give a grade by checking off “outstanding, good and inadequate” for all three categories, including ourselves. Therefore, there were “outstanding” administrator, “outstanding” teacher and “outstanding” support staff. Those who got “outstanding” for three consecutive years would get a raise. I gave myself a “good” grade for my performance because although I worked hard, if I measured myself using a cultivator's standard, I was still far from being “outstanding”.
There was an episode surrounding this matter. One year, after the New Year, a computer teacher told me, “After the evaluation last year, the head of the management office asked me to enter each person's grades into the archive, and you were the one who got the best grade. He told me to transfer your votes to the principal.” I felt unbalanced, but was able to regain my composure quickly. Teacher taught us not to care about personal losses in daily life. Wasn't this a good opportunity to improve our character? At the same time, I thought I needed to be understanding and mind the other person’s reputation, so I said to the teacher, “Please don't repeat what you just told me to others. It’s not good to do that.” “Okay,” he said.
While the principal was chatting with the school's accountant, the topic of Falun Dafa came up, and he mentioned me. He said ever since I practiced Falun Dafa, I became a different person. The two of us had been working together for more than eighteen years. He was always respectful of me. Before, it was so that I could make up for things that he missed. But later, the respect was more to do with the recognition and tribute for Falun Dafa practitioners.
Gifts Are “Debts” – Return Them
In the late 1990s, my school was quite popular because we arranged for students to have a job after they graduated. Some parents brought their children to our school and never forgot to bring along presents. I accepted the gifts and helped those that needed the help. I felt at ease.
After I started practicing Falun Dafa, I knew that I should not accept gifts anymore, and they should be all returned. But in reality, it was hard to do because there were too many people involved. Whose gifts should be returned or not? People came from everywhere. Some were from our own city and others from other towns and the countryside. Among them, the relationship was complicated. It wasn't easy to find them.
As I studied the Fa more and understood things at a deeper level, I was finally able to use righteous thoughts to look at the issues – I would return the gifts or money. It was difficult, but I felt that only when I could truly do it would it be genuine cultivation. Anyway, there isn’t such a thing as “returning gifts” in human society. It would make people feel awkward. Therefore, I adopted some other means.
For example, there was a businessman who sold more than ten computers to the school. After the deal was struck, he gave me a red envelope with one thousand dollars inside.
I paid attention to this person. Some years ago, I knew that his daughter got married, so I gave her a red envelope with a thousand dollars as a gift. I also clarified the truth to him and helped him do the three withdrawals. He did it quickly. Before he left, he shook my hand and said, “Whatever is said on TV is just propaganda. Falun Dafa is great!”
I have a distant uncle who lives in a town several hundred miles away. His business was close to my school. He gave me a gift as a way of asking for my help to have his daughter admitted to my school.
It was a lot of trouble to return his gift because the cousin died more than ten years ago and his wife had a second marriage. I tried many different ways to find the person.
Later I happened to meet the cousin's wife at a banquet and found out that the uncle had already retired. He had a heart attack and an operation. Unfortunately, the cousin's wife and my uncle didn't have a good rapport; they hadn't met and spoken to each other for many years. After many attempts, finally she got the uncle's phone number. The uncle was happy to receive a phone call from me. Because it was near New Years, it was natural for me to send him something special from my hometown. I told him, “I still remember that you came afar to my school to register your daughter. I heard that you had an operation and thought I should stop by to see you. I hope you recover soon. Happy New Year!”
In the spring of 2015, the school accountant I just talked about suffered a cerebral hemorrhage and was admitted to a hospital and had an operation. Some colleagues and I went to see her. Several days later, I went again by myself and I gave her one thousand dollars. I told her, “When you finished your studies and intended to work at our school, your uncle came to see me. He brought two bottles of premium wine. He and I have been good friends for many years and I have a lot of respect for him. Now that you are in the hospital, I thought of coming to see you to show my sincerity towards him. Please sincerely say, 'Falun Dafa is good, Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance is good,' and you will see remarkable results.” The accountant was very touched. Her husband shook my hands and said, “We both respect you a lot. Okay, we'll follow your suggestion and do the three withdrawals.” It turned out that the accountant recovered very quickly.
One year, a teacher from my junior high school brought his colleagues and friends to come to see me. I helped them out with a few things and received a gift that they brought along.
It was not easy to return this gift. The teacher and his colleagues retired a long time ago. They all went back to their hometowns. For two years in a row, each time when I returned to the hometown, I contacted him and expressed my wish to return the gift and asked him to invite his colleagues and friends for a gathering. He turned down my invitation and said the gift was only a gesture from them. Last year, I simply gave my teacher some money and asked him to fulfill my wish. He took the money and said, “I'm proud of your great virtue.”
For the past twenty-three years, because of the matters of returning gifts and money, I seemed to have suffered some monetary losses. But my family situation is getting better and better. Everyone in the family is healthy. I appreciate the blessings from Dafa and am content to be able to validate Dafa in such a manner.
Thank you, Teacher, for teaching me the goodness of Falun Dafa!