Doing Things Wholeheartedly: Unity Makes Strength
Greetings, revered Master!Greetings, fellow practitioners!
I would like to share some understandings I’ve gained regarding doing things wholeheartedly.
As a practitioner, it can be somewhat difficult to balance the different roles and relationships we have in life: husband, father, son, brother, friend, professional, colleague, practitioner, fellow practitioner.
It’s my understanding that it’s important to balance these roles well while at the same time playing all these roles wholeheartedly.
In my professional life, I learned that it can be effective to follow the 80/20 rule: get 80% of the result with 20% of the effort. But that's just about prioritizing things and about getting practical results. However, at the same time, I now think that it takes 100% of the heart in order to reach a good result.
I believe that when putting in 100% of one’s heart, all the aspects of life can come together and generate great results and opportunities for improvement, both for ourselves and for our surroundings. When all these aspects come together and when a practitioner manages to let his or her talents blossom in all those fields, that’s when elements from all those fields can start to work together, and that's when “l’union fait la force” (a French expression and means creating unity through strength).
I was recently involved in a project regarding proposing new legislation in the Belgian Parliament.
Actually, the project started at least partly thanks to the effect I just mentioned. Several aspects of my life and several roles that I have came together and resulted in doors opening and opportunities appearing. These include my role as a professional consultant in the healthcare field, my relationship with my wife’s family, my participation in a social event and the people I met there, my relationship with a local politician from my town, and of course my role as a practitioner. All these things came together and led to the starting point of a legal project with politicians from different political parties.
During the project I tried to involve more practitioners, some of who hadn’t been very active during recent years. I asked another practitioner to do the coordination of the project, and that was not an easy thing for me to do.
It was a choice I made at the beginning of the project, and at several points in the project I felt glad about the fact that the coordination was out of my hands. I still felt that most of the progress in the project depended on me, and sometimes I was frustrated with practitioners appearing to be trying to find problems instead of solutions. But still I was happy to go through that process and could honestly see the advantages of going through it together.
On several occasions, I was not very clear on the best step to take, and at each of those points, the project’s coordinator managed to come up with good suggestions that I could simply follow, and which then resulted in a step forward for the project. The practitioners working together and the results we achieved appeared to me like another manifestation of “l'union fait la force.”
One time, shortly before an important vote in the Belgian parliament, several practitioners started to make remarks that seemed problematic to me. It seemed like they were not supportive of the project and wanted to put conditions on the parliament members, such as, “Only if you support that law with this attitude and that mindset do we want you to vote for it. If you don’t have this or that understanding, we think it doesn’t count.” We were close to the ending phase of this project, so it was rather disturbing for me to see something like this happening.
To be clear, what I just described is how this appeared to me, according to my understanding and my point of view at that time. Of course I’m not claiming that this was really what those practitioners intended to do. However, during that period of the project, I was able to continue to trust the good intentions of fellow practitioners, and I was able to continue to believe in the fundamentally positive nature of this whole process. This was for me another moment of opening up and working together.
It was a moment when I needed to believe in the intricate arrangements of our Teacher, who is simultaneously taking into account all aspects of practitioners’ cultivation paths and all aspects of saving people–a wonderful world of things coming together that I cannot even start to comprehend. This goes far beyond any aspect of wholeheartedness that I can understand.
Recently the Belgian parliament unanimously passed a law against commercial organ trade and relevant crimes. It is a general law not aimed specifically at China, but it does refer to the European Parliament’s resolution from 2013 that condemns forced organ harvesting in China.
The fact that this law was passed unanimously in the parliament’s plenary session seems to be quite meaningful.
Belgian politicians–like the Belgian people in general–have not developed a reputation of courage or bravery. In this case, none of them used strong words to condemn China. But they came together and did the right thing. This was not based on individual bravery but rather “L’union fait la force.”
Despite Belgium’s small size, it's a divided country. Still, we witnessed a unanimous vote in the Parliament. That’s rare and quite meaningful. It felt to me that the vote represented the whole country unanimously, saying to the evil: “We do not agree with you in crossing this line. Although we do business with you and although we have political and other complicated interactions with you, this is really our bottom line, and we will not go down this road any further.” It was like saying in the name of all Belgian people, “We will not go down to hell with you.”
In that way, the law has become a statement from a small country against forced organ harvesting in China. At least, that’s how I understood it at that moment, and it really touched me profoundly.
It made me remember a moment when we held truth-clarification activities in Luxemburg many years ago. To the best of our knowledge, there were no practitioners in Luxembourg at the time. Our activities on a city square and in front of the Chinese Embassy felt as if the presence of practitioners was bringing a bit of light into a dark environment. This impressed upon me how important it is for a region to have practitioners and how important the role of practitioners is for the region in which they live. Practitioners can bring light to the region where they live, the region for which they are responsible.
With this unanimous vote in the Belgian Parliament, it seems to me like the whole country is now enveloped in a bit of light, in a more permanent state, as a direct consequence of the presence and activities of practitioners.
It is my hope that the law passed in Belgium can serve as an example and an inspiration for practitioners and parliaments in other countries big and small.
Another experience I had with doing things wholeheartedly and “L’union fait la force” was while working on the Shen Yun project in recent years.
Teacher asked practitioners to get involved and to get involved wholeheartedly. As the coordinator for the Shen Yun project in Belgium, I have tried to make sure that every practitioner has the opportunity to get involved wholeheartedly.
Over the years, our promotion methods have evolved and become better and better. At first, working together wholeheartedly seemed to include an aspect of all practitioners doing a part of the same kind of work. Now, each practitioner appears to contribute wholeheartedly where his or her talents can best be used.
Personally, I certainly don’t always succeed in being 100% wholehearted as a human being and as a practitioner. Too often I’m far from being united with myself and with all aspects of my life at all moments. This is most prominent at moments with negativity in my mind or when I fail to embrace a challenge or tribulation.
I certainly also haven’t been able to always run the Dafa projects that I have coordinated in a 100% open and united way. I sincerely apologize for that to my fellow practitioners. Maybe it can be comforting for my fellow practitioners to know that I was able to learn and make progress while going through that process. And I suppose the same is true for all others who were involved.
I strongly believe in the perfection of the arrangements made by our Teacher. I hope I’ll find a bit more wisdom in the future to keep this in mind while in the middle of learning and transformation processes.
Very recently, I learned another aspect about doing things wholeheartedly. Doing things wholeheartedly also implies taking care of every aspect of the project I’m working on. With the political project I talked about today, I didn’t prepare well for the last part of the project: the media work and the follow-up with politicians once the law was voted on. I think that with better preparation of these aspects, the result could have been even better, and more people could have been reached. Moreover, the less-than-optimal preparation of these last steps of the project led to a strong conflict that suddenly came up between me and another practitioner, resulting in confusion, distrust, and negative thinking.
I was surprised by how quickly things can go sour if we don’t pay attention to every aspect of a project, including the last steps. I should have known. Teacher has already explained this several times and given us an example with Shen Yun. I hope this can be a good lesson for me, both for handling better every last aspect of the projects I’m working on and also for handling better all aspects of my cultivation until the very last step.
This concludes my sharing. I’m grateful for this opportunity to share my understandings. If you noticed anything inappropriate, please let me know.
Thank you, Teacher. Thank you, fellow practitioners.
(Presented at the 2019 European Fa Conference)