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My New Neighbor

March 21, 2022 |   By a Falun Dafa practitioner in Heilongjiang Province, China

(Minghui.org) I live in a six-story apartment building. My apartment is in the middle of the top floor. A young man in his 20s recently moved onto the apartment on the right. He piled his trash bags in the hallway, which became a hazard. He even kicked his trash down the stairs. Our hallway was soon filled with his trash.

The woman who cleans our building talked to the young man and asked him not to kick the trash down the stairs, because she would be fired if anyone complained. Since he lived by himself, she said she would take his trash down for him. The young man agreed. However, he often invited his friends over for parties. They ended up producing more piles of trash than any other household. The cleaning lady eventually gave up and stopped helping him. Our hallway was filled with smelly trash, which attracted many flies.

Many neighbors complained to the property management. The building manager came to take a look but left without saying anything. The head of the cleaning department came and also left without saying anything. Eventually, the property manager took a look and left as well. The residents were disappointed that the management wouldn’t do their jobs, even though they charged us the management fee.

My neighbor on the left side asked me, “What shall we do? It’s our bad luck to have such a neighbor! He’s big and tall and sometimes carries a knife. I’m scared to walk in the hallway.” My neighbor downstairs said, “Ever since he moved in, I can’t put anything on my balcony because I never know when he’ll throw a cigarette butt down. I can’t find him during the day, but it’s not convenient to talk to him at night.”

My husband and I had a discussion. We heard the young man’s family worked in south China, so he had no family nearby. We pitied him and decided to help him. We gathered all the trash, which filled three huge bags, and washed the hallway floor.

A few days later more trash appeared in the hallway. My family and I had another discussion. We decided to let my daughter talk to him, because they are about the same age. If my husband or I talked with him, he might feel pressured or bullied.

My daughter agreed. It turned out to be a good idea. My daughter said, “Hi, neighbor, why do you leave your trash here?” The young man replied, “I paid my property management fees. I don’t know why they don’t take my trash.”

My daughter smiled and said, “They don’t take our trash out. We have to take our trash to the dumpster ourselves. My parents helped you the last time. My mom practices Falun Dafa, so she has a big heart. My parents won’t mind helping you again this time. Do you mind taking your trash out next time? Let’s keep our hallway clean.”

“Sure! I didn’t know that,” the young man said.

Ever since then we’ve had a great relationship with the young man. He often comes to us when he has questions or needs help. I sympathize with him because his parents are far away. We became close.

The young man’s father came back for his wedding. He heard from his son how we helped him so the father wanted to take us out to show his appreciation. I told him that he didn’t have to. I explained that I treated everyone nicely, since I practice Falun Dafa. The father said he thought Falun Dafa practitioners were against the government, so he had a negative reaction when a practitioner told him about quitting the Communist organizations. He said he would reconsider it after he got to know us.

The young man and his father invited my entire family to the wedding and stressed “no wedding gift money.” But I still gave him a red envelope with a generous gift in it. I thanked Master for his painstaking arrangement. The young man’s misunderstanding gave me an opportunity to expand my compassion and tolerance.

One day, a few women neighbors called me out to chat downstairs. They usually called me “sister,” but that day they called me “Falun Dafa.” One of them said, “We don’t quite understand. You really are different from everyone else. You don’t fight back or swear, you step forward and handle tough problems politely. We used to work as team leads before we retired, but we couldn’t change the troublemakers. You talked to him with smiles, and he listened! We even thought he was your relative.”

Indeed, my neighbor on the left side used to be a director. In the past, she’d tried to stop the neighbors on her lower floors [from the first floor to the fourth floor] from fighting with each other, but it didn’t work. Those of us on the fifth and sixth floors help each other like a big family. The director often went downstairs to brag about how well we got along on the fifth and sixth floors, so the families downstairs were eventually too embarrassed to quarrel and were cordial when they met.

The director told me, “The property management office should give you an award. Your hallway is so clean and peaceful!” I told them, “We Falun Dafa practitioners don’t expect any fame, fortune, or payback. We just hope you will remember one thing...” They finished my sentence together with big smiles, “Falun Dafa is great! Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is great!”