(Minghui.org) Three months ago, my partner and I worked in an orchard taking care of apple trees. Our job was to remove the excess flowers and young fruits based on the size and strength of the branch so that the apple trees would stay healthy and bear high-quality fruit for good harvests in the coming years.
We were asked to work in groups of two. One pair took one row at a time in the orchard. The owner of the orchard and his family guided us and supervised our work.
People care less and less about the quality of their work these days. They skip the details and are careless, which makes it appear they are working quickly. In the orchard, they did not check carefully to see if the apples were growing too close together or the flowers needed to be cut off. I felt bad for them.
I am a Falun Dafa practitioner and must listen to Master Li. Practitioners must be good no matter where they are. My partner and I worked hard. When the branches were hard to reach, we used ropes to bring them closer to work on. We tried our best not to miss any flowers or fruit that needed to be removed.
After a while, my partner pointed out, “Look, one group has already finished their row and has moved to the next. What we are doing is laborious and time-consuming. Maybe the owner will think that we are slow and let us go.”
I replied, “Even if we were fired right now, I would still finish this row up to standard.” Seeing that she was upset, I explained, “I am a Dafa practitioner. I must follow Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. I should think from the owner’s perspective. If we do a lousy job, the apples harvested in the fall will be of poorer quality. What a loss that would be to the owner! We must listen to our conscience.”
When we went to work the next morning, a co-worker told us that the owner thought we were so slow that he talked about laying us off. But someone stood up for us so he didn’t. When my partner heard that, she stared at me angrily and complained. Suddenly, I felt upset and unbalanced and thought it was unfair. I thought about going to talk with the owner.
Something Master said then came to mind:
“For us cultivators conflicts come up suddenly. So what should we do? If you always keep a compassionate heart, and a peaceful state of mind, when you run into problems you’ll handle them well because it will give you space as a buffer. If you are always compassionate and friendly to others, if you always consider other people when you do things, and whenever you have issues with other people you first think about whether they can take it or whether it will cause them harm, then you won’t have any problem. So, when you cultivate you should follow high and even higher standards.” (The Fourth Talk, Zhuan Falun)
With that in mind, I picked up a ladder and went to the orchard with my partner.
We bagged apples on trees. An average novice can bag about 1,100 bags per day. We had never done this before. At the end of the first day, the team lead asked us how many bags we did. I said, “2,300 bags.” He looked a little stunned and said we worked fast.
The next day, we started bagging the fruit, for which we would be paid six cents per bag. Everyone rushed to the dense trees with lower-hanging fruit. We just worked carefully, one by one, and tried not to miss a single apple. As we were novices, at the end of day, we earned around 100 yuan each while others earned 120-130 yuan. When I got home, I thought about why I was anxious and realized I had an attachment to money and wanted to earn more to compete.
“You have already made it through the hardest period. I’ll tell you, the Dafa disciples from the early period, those who formed ties of destiny with me during history, or who came here following Master—each and every one of you—if you had wanted to accomplish something in ordinary society, every one of you could have been a billionaire, every one of you could have been famous, and every one of you could have been among society’s elite. But this lifetime you came here to be a Dafa disciple, and you passed up all of those things. If you had wanted to be rich, you could have long since been rich. Don’t let your soul’s long-cherished wish be extinguished over a few petty, worldly temptations.” (“Fa Teaching on World Falun Dafa Day”)
Master’s teachings appeared in my mind. I was determined to stop being impatient and get rid of the attachments to fame and money.
On the third day, my partner and I settled down. We had no thoughts of competing and bagged every apple in a solid way. We tried not to miss even one. As a result, we caught up with the others in total bags and ended up earning the same as they did.
After we finished working at that orchard, the owner recommended us to another orchard. Seeing how well we bagged his apples, the owner of the other orchard praised us multiple times in front of the others, saying “Their bags are up to standard. They hardly missed any fruit.” He also showed his appreciation many times.
The owner said, “We have three long-term positions and you two are welcome to stay. You are the type of people we are looking for. Those who practice Falun Dafa are different.” My partner smiled.
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