(Minghui.org) There’s an old Chinese saying: “It’s easier to shift ownership of a country than change a person’s nature.” A similar Western proverb is: “A leopard cannot change its spots.” 

Xin’s parents could not agree more. A difficult child, Xin became an adult with many bad habits: bullying people, using drugs, gambling, and soliciting prostitutes. His parents did not know what to do. His mother’s endless tears did not move him, nor did his father red-hot fireplace tongs. 

Yet after he was released from prison, Xin’s friends were shocked by his amazing changes. He is now like a different person: honest, hardworking, and he treats everyone well.

Here is his story.

A Heartbroken Family

Xin has five siblings – and all of them were ashamed of him. His parents were embarrassed to have such a son. 

Raised in an atheist society Xin did not believe in being a good person—instead he indulged himself. In the big dye vat of China’s corrupt society he became depraved and rebellious. 

Since earliest childhood Xin sought out deviant friends. His parents were very worried. As a director-level official, Xin’s father was head of a department. Despite his high social status he had difficulty handling his troubled son. 

After he attended middle school Xin became even harder to discipline. His teachers felt he was hopeless. He stole 200 yuan from a small business. When the school found out, he was expelled. Thinking that his keeping company with bad people made Xin worse, his parents sent him to a school in another city hoping for a change. But he did not change and Xin was soon expelled from that school. 

His father beat him and his mother wept and begged him to be good, but Xin was indifferent. Seeing him smoking at a young age and unable to stop, his father was furious and burned him with red-hot iron fireplace tongs. But that did not work. Xin continued smoking and things got even worse. 

As he got older Xin not only smoked, but he was also involved in gang fights and gambling. In addition, he sometimes acted a mediator to stop fights between gangs by charging a “service fee” from hundreds of yuan to 1,000 yuan. To make more money, he also set up crowd gambling in return for a “facility charge” of hundreds of yuan. Xin did not want to make money by working like other people. He wanted to keep up his “bad boy” image in front of his thug friends. 

Xin soon became addicted to the drugs known as ecstasy and crystal meth. When high on drugs he fooled around with women. Even though his behavior was shocking and shameful, he was proud of himself. 

Thinking that getting married might help him change, his parents realized they were wrong again—his bad habits continued. His father’s sighs, mother’s tears and his wife’s kind encouragement were all useless. One day he grabbed his wife by her hair and beat her.

Xin kept wasting his life. When his craving for drugs was bad he became agitated. If there was no money he exhausted all means to get some. As soon as he got any money he wasted it on prostitutes or drugs. 

Xin got into fights and once stabbed someone. Because of these incidents he was arrested by the police more than 20 times. Sometimes he was kept in detention centers, and he also ended up in jail. 

Light on the Horizon

Worried that Xin would suffer while imprisoned, his family bribed the guards to treat him well. As a result, he did not work like other detainees. Like other government agencies in China, prison officials are also corrupt. Some of them even got their position through bribes. They often extorted money from detainees. 

Although he did not work while imprisoned, Xin continued to suffer. His years of bad habits harmed his body especially his visiting prostitutes and taking drugs. He suffered a nervous breakdown, prostatitis, and other illnesses. Xin was in pain every day. Incarcerated behind metal bars, high walls, and electric fences, he had no access to drugs or prostitutes. To him life was indeed miserable. 

When his situation seemed hopeless, Xin met a special group of people—Falun Dafa practitioners detained for their belief in Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. Although they were beaten, humiliated and horribly tortured in detention, they remained kind and compassionate. 

Xin noticed that practitioners were unique. They were badly abused, but they cared for each other and encouraged each other. Even though they did not know each other before they were imprisoned, they helped each other. When practitioner Yan was sent to prison, he had little money with him. When other practitioners heard about this, one gave him food, another bought him a thermos, and others bought him daily necessities. Noticing that these people were completely different from anyone Xin had interacted with in the past, he began to think about life and the many things he always took for granted. 

Through talking with practitioners, Xin learned that the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) propaganda about Falun Dafa was all lies. This made him sympathetic towards them. When he heard that practicing can resolve illnesses, Xin asked practitioners about it. He was told that practicing Falun Dafa starts with being a good person, someone who strives to assimilate to the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. 

Xin secretly read a handwritten copy of Zhuan Falun (the main teachings of Falun Dafa) while imprisoned. His view of life changed drastically. In the past, he did not do anything in the prison and just stayed there. Now with the understanding of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, he began to clean the cell, mop the floor, and help others get food. His prison term soon expired. When he returned home, he openly began to practice Falun Dafa. 

His family was shocked by his change. All five siblings considered Xin a family disgrace. Red-hot fireplace tongs, detention centers, and imprisonment did not change Xin—however, a copy of Zhuan Falun turned a family embarrassment into a kind, honest, and trustworthy person. His mother, already in her 80s, was overjoyed. 

Xin’s attitude towards his wife also changed. He used to beat her. She in turn swore at him, hit him back, and burned him with cigarette butts. But now Xin just forbore quietly while reciting Falun Dafa’s teachings, “As practitioners, you won’t fight back when you’re beaten or sworn at.” (Lecture Nine, Zhuan Falun) He looked inward to see if there were places that he could do better as a practitioner. His wife now treats him well, cooks dinner for him, and buys him clothes. 

One of his older sisters was diagnosed with late-stage cancer. Hospitals could not treat her and told her to go home. Xin recommended she read Zhuan Falun. She recovered and began practicing Falun Dafa. Xin met someone who had been jailed for murder. He told the man about Falun Dafa and his own story. The man was moved and decided to change. Xin told him to keep the following words in mind: “Falun Dafa is good” and “Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good.”

An Upright Man

In the past Xin only thought about harming others. Now he is the opposite and follows the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance to be a better person. He won’t fight back or argue back even when he’s beaten or humiliated. 

Once, Xin’s coworker delivered cement to local households. Because no one was at home at the Qiang household, the coworker delivered the cement to his neighbor. Xin and his coworker explained the situation, but Qiang and his buddy – both a little drunk – did not listen. They lured Xin to a place nearby and beat him behind the door. There was a contractor working in the room who could testify that Xin was defending himself if he fought back. But remembering that he was now a Dafa practitioner and all the bad deeds he’d done before, Xin silently forbore the beating. The two people beat him with wooden sticks and cursed him, but Xin did not defend himself even though he was bleeding. 

Qiang later located the cement. Because he did not need it yet, he asked Xin to move the bags to the first floor. Xin did it without any complaint. When Qiang and his buddy later apologized to Xin, he smiled, “If I did not practice Falun Dafa, I would have beaten up both of you.” The two people were very impressed by how Dafa changed Xin for better. 

Another time when Xin was about to deliver cement, the price had gone up from 17 yuan per bag to 20 yuan per bag. When he delivered the cement the next day, Xin did not take advantage of the price change and only charged the buyer 17 yuan a bag. 

Twice when Xin was driving a car for contractual work, his vehicle scratched another vehicle. There were no security cameras. Instead of running away like many people do, Xin tried to find the owner and paid for the repair. One man said, “I thought there were no longer good people in this world today!” 

The second time was a minor scratch. Although the damage was not easy to notice, Xin still paid the person 300 yuan and explained he was a Falun Dafa practitioner. The man was touched and said he misunderstood Dafa because of the CCP’s hate propaganda. He agreed to quit the Chinese Communist Party and its affiliated youth organizations. 

A Pure and Clean Mind

When Xin was first released from prison, his friends invited him to visit them. When he noticed that a group of drug addicts was there, Xin immediately left. Had he not practiced Falun Dafa he would have probably taken heroin. 

Wei was one of Xin’s old acquaintances. In the past, Xin beat him and stabbed him. When they recently met, Xin learned that Wei’s health was bad and he had heart disease. Xin invited him to lunch and paid for the meal. Looking at Xin who was wearing his dirty work clothes, Wei was in tears thinking Xin was not so “capable” as before. Xin simply smiled and talked about his new realizations about life as well as the happiness that money cannot buy. 

One young buddy named Gang often followed Xin around in the past. Seeing that Xin now wore a cheap watch, he burst into tears. In his recollection, “big brother” Xin was able to squeeze money everywhere—he ate the best food, wore expensive clothes and enjoyed himself. He asked what happened. Xin explained, “My money comes from hard work these days, and every penny is clean.” In fact, because of his honesty and good reputation, Xin has more customers and makes more money now. 

Looking back at the old days, Xin regrets the wrongdoings he committed. He would even fight with others for a seat on bus and once beat a bus driver. Now, he gives his seat to the elderly when he takes the bus. 

From a drug addict to a clean person, from seeking prostitutes to a loyal and kind husband, from deceiving others to being honest, Xin knows it is the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance that gave him the courage and strength to walk out of darkness into the light.

Even though he wore fine clothes in the past, Xin knew the money that bought them was dirty and his mind was filthy. Even though his work clothes are often dirty now, his heart is filled with kindness, generosity, and joy. 

“Cultivation practice is like a lotus flower – rising from mud and yet remaining pure,” Xin explained, “I am so fortunate to be a Falun Dafa practitioner!”