The Power of Compassion
(Minghui.org) The legendary founder of Taoism, Lao Tzu, wrote in Tao Te Ching, “To those who are good (to me), I am good; and to those who are not good (to me), I am also good; — and thus (all) get to be good.” Such is believed and practiced around the world and throughout history, as shown in the following stories.
John Augustus, America's Father of Probation
John Augustus was a cobbler in Boston and a member of the Washingtonian Total Abstinence Society. He often visited the criminal courts that were near his shop.
One day in August 1841, he saw a ragged and wretched-looking young man being brought into the courtroom. He suspected that the young man had been arrested for being drunk in public. And sure enough, the man was charged with being a common drunkard. However, Augustus was especially touched by the plight of the man and felt pity for him. He talked with the man before the sentence was passed.
“He told me that if he could be saved from the House of Correction, he never again would taste intoxicating liquors; there was such an earnestness in that tone, and a look expressive of firm resolve, that I determined to aid him.” Augustus wrote later.
Augustus posted bail for the young man, who was ordered to appear for sentencing in three weeks. The young man stayed sober and worked hard. At the expiration of the three weeks of probation, he appeared in front of the judge, accompanied by Augustus. Augustus later recounted, “His whole appearance was changed and no one, not even the scrutinizing officers, could have believed that he was the same person who less than a month before, had stood trembling on the prisoner's stand.”
The judge was pleased with the account of the young man provided by a local police officer and a pastor of his church. He was fined only one cent and allowed to go free. It is said that, ever after, the man lived a sober life and became a good citizen.
John Augustus continued to help convicted criminals. By the time he died in 1859, John Augustus had provided bail for almost 2,000 people. Because of Augustus's benevolence acts, a law was enacted in 1878 assigning a regular probation officer to the Boston criminal courts. In 1891, Massachusetts adopted a similar program, and other states began to provide for probationary programs in the following years.
A Prodigal Young Man Reformed by a Kindhearted Sister
Xinyu is a Falun Dafa practitioner from Guangdong Province in China. Falun Dafa (also called Falun Gong) is a self-cultivation practice based on the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and forbearance.
Her brother, on the other hand, had lived a reckless life. He had opened several shops but they all failed. He was addicted to gambling and accumulated many debts. He had borrowed money from all his friends and family members. In the end, no one wanted to lend him any more.
Xinyu's parents were very disappointed in their son. They tried to help by getting him a job as a police assistant. However, he soon owed 198,000 yuan on a usury loan. One day, he went to Xinyu in tears and begged her to help him.
Xinyu wanted to help him get back on the right track, so she agreed to help him pay off the debt. She also told him how Falun Dafa teaches people to be good and improves their moral standards. Even though Xinyu's brother had heard her talk about Falun Dafa before, this time it sank in.
Xinyu told her brother, “You are a police assistant now. You may come across cases of Falun Dafa practitioners. They are all good people, so you must treat them well.”
“Sis, I didn't think you would help me. I promise I will be a good police officer and will never participate in the persecution. If I ever run into Falun Dafa practitioners, I will be kind to them,” he said. “I saw how you changed after you started practicing Falun Dafa. You truly have compassion!”
Xinyu told her brother to read Zhuan Falun and recite “Falun Dafa is good. Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good.” He agreed. In the days that followed, people saw the changes in her brother. He stopped gambling completely and worked hard. Xinyu's parents were very pleased with the changes in their son. They commented, “Only Falun Dafa can change his heart!”
Husband Reborn after Learning Falun Dafa
A Falun Dafa practitioner from Liaoning Province told the story of her husband.
“My husband was always belligerent. He would pick a fight with anyone, anywhere. He was expelled from school for fighting. People feared him at work because of his bad temper. After we married, we argued and often fought. I had scars all over from his beatings. I thought of divorcing him many times but was afraid. He was also an alcoholic and drank at every meal. When he got drunk, he behaved even worse. Our neighbors all avoided him fearing trouble. My father-in-law called him a ruffian and worried about him getting into trouble all the time.
“After I started practicing Falun Dafa, I learned the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance. I stopped resenting him and treated him and his parents with kindness. He saw what Falun Dafa had done for me. One day, one of his friends came to visit and urged him to read Falun Dafa books and do the exercises. So my husband started to practice Falun Dafa.
“Falun Dafa truly changed him. He stopped drinking and smoking almost immediately. He stopped beating me and our children. He even started doing household chores and learned to think of others first. He was a changed man.
“His older brother had a stroke and suffers from many ailments. He is bedridden and cannot take care of himself. His wife passed away and their daughter lives in another city. So my husband quit his job and took on the responsibility of caring for his older brother. For several years now, he has taken care of his brother day and night without complaint.
“People who knew him in the past were surprised to see the changes in him. My in-laws are so grateful to Falun Dafa for changing and saving him that they have started practicing Falun Dafa themselves.”
 Translated by James Legge A report of the Labors of John Augustus, Boston, 1852, pp. 4-5