(Minghui.org) “39, 40, 41...” Noah counted push-ups while sweat ran down his face. Noah was a new recruit in the unified armed forces of Germany. New recruits can stay only after passing strict tests. If he failed the tests, he would be dismissed. Why did Noah join the army?

Noah, 25 years old.

Obsession with Video Games Changes a Polite Teenager

Noah was born in Gladbeck, Germany, a small town not far from the Dutch border. His grandparents are devout Christians. When he was a child, Noah wore a suit every Sunday and went to church with the adults. He was a quiet, polite, and obedient child who liked things to be orderly.

Noah’s good childhood friend lived nearby. When he was 15 years old, his friend introduced him to video games, and Noah quickly became obsessed. He knew in his heart that his addiction was wrong, but he couldn’t stop.

The once polite child changed into a surly teenager. When his mother asked him to take out the trash or do something else, he impatiently answered, “Don’t bother me. I’m playing a very important round.”

He knew he should stop and struggled to quit his obsession. Instead of quitting, he spent more time playing. As soon as he returned home from school, he dropped his school bag at the door and headed straight to his room. He turned on his gaming system, picked up the remote control, and entered the virtual world.

He recalled, “I was actually angry at my lack of self-discipline. Although I enjoyed a few moments of happiness playing games with my friends, I was unhappy afterwards. I was irritable and didn’t want to read books. It was not the way I wanted to behave.”

His mother saw him sitting in front of the screen every day with his eyes red and swollen and his cheeks sunken. He became indifferent to everything around him. She begged him to stop playing.

Noah said, “I knew my obsession was bad, but I could not stop. I wanted to stop playing, but when my friend called, I couldn’t resist.”

Joining the Army to Stop Playing Games

He was about to graduate from high school. He had no idea what to do next. His academics did not qualify for pre-university school and he was unwilling to take whatever job was available. He wanted to get away from his small town, avoid his old friends, and stop playing games.

“My grandfather was a member of an elite unit of the unified armed forces of Germany,” said Noah. “They ran 12 kilometers every morning to warm up, and then they started their day. I admire my grandfather. My brother was in the army. He occasionally told me about his life. I looked forward to the strict self-discipline and clear goals every day. I felt that soldiers were honorable and responsible. I thought it would be good to be a professional soldier.”

He decided to serve in the military for two years before deciding on his future. In any case, he would have to stay away from the game console and his friends. So, as soon as he turned 18, Noah boarded the train bound for the barracks.

An Unexpected Gain

Life in the barracks is regulated and strict. For new recruits, “not falling down” is their daily goal. “We got up at five o’clock every day and went to bed at midnight. During the day, we practiced in the mud and sand, learning to shoot and jumping over barriers. The first month was especially difficult. Sometimes after going back to the dorm at night, we had to clean our guns, arrange our uniforms, or clean the barracks. Every day, my endurance seemed to be at its limit.”

Noah was not an athletic person. He gritted his teeth to get through the training. But this was exactly what he wanted.

One afternoon, when Noah was chatting happily with another young soldier, the soldier suddenly said, “I’m going to meditate in a while.” Noah asked, “What do you meditate?”

The soldier said, “I practice Falun Dafa. It’s very good.” Noah asked him several questions and learned about Falun Dafa’s principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. He felt excited. This was far beyond what he heard or saw in his daily life.

The soldier told him, “To put it plainly, practicing Falun Dafa is actually to be a sincere and kind person and to be tolerant of others.”

Noah thought, “All orthodox religions teach people to be good. This practice sounds more profound than all the major religions. If people lived with a purpose, they would be good people.”

Noah felt as if a ray of sunlight had lit up the room, “The principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance filled in my heart. The soldier taught me the exercises and also lent me the book Zhuan Falun,” he said.

Military service is demanding. Through learning and practicing Falun Dafa, Noah felt filled with energy and his endurance increased. He was surprised.

Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance Give Life New Meaning

Noah read Zhuan Falun whenever he had time. He felt peaceful and safe. In particular, the three words "Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance" completely convinced him. He said, “In my daily life, I put Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance into practice, and that gave my life meaning. These three words completely fulfilled me. Falun Dafa is so wonderful. I wanted to know more.”

He spent all his spare time reading Zhuan Falun. He read the book after eating, sitting on the bus, or even waiting for the traffic lights to change. One day, he sat at the end of the platform and waited for his train. There were few people, and he would not be disturbed. As he read he felt great peace and joy.

Video Game Obsession Returns

After two years of military service, he moved to Düsseldorf, where he attended a professional high school. Düsseldorf is only 60 kilometers away from Gladbeck. Although his first home as an adult was only 18 square meters, he was able to spend time with his family and childhood friends.

In his excitement, Noah bought a new set of advanced equipment, including computers, control panels, software, keyboards, and even a special seat to play computer games with his old friends.

Noah soon resumed his previous stature as a victorious general in the gaming world. But he felt that he was fighting, grabbing the lead, and hurting his opponents.

“I based my happiness and success on the suffering of others,” he recalled. “I became aggressive and irritable after playing games. This was not the real me.”

Finally Eliminating the Video Game Obsession

He read Zhuan Falun and practiced the exercises every day, even though he was less diligent than when he was in the army.

Reading the book reminded him to be a good person. He felt lost when he turned on the computer one day. He stared blankly at the screen, “What am I doing? How stupid am I? Isn’t this a waste of my life?”

Without hesitation, Noah jumped up and unplugged all the equipment. He soon sold it all. He said, “I don’t feel that kind of satisfaction and excitement anymore.”

Gentle Hint of Spring

After giving up playing video games, Noah returned to normal. He practiced the exercises for two hours every day and spent as much time as possible reading Zhuan Falun. He started to recite the book. He felt surrounded by energy and his life leveled out.

Noah does the sitting meditation.

Noah is courteous and responsible. He’s attentive to his classwork in school. He said, “Master Li [the founder of Falun Dafa] said that students should study well. I think I should work hard to complete all my homework assignments. Then I will naturally get good grades on my exams.”

He feels that his brain capacity has enlarged and he seems to be able to store a lot of knowledge. His mind has also become sharp. He easily completed the vocational high school courses and graduated with honors.

Now Noah works as a real estate agent and really likes the job. He interacts with different people every day and always tells them how good Falun Dafa is.

Noah now gets up at 3:30 a.m. He walks nearly half an hour to a park to practice the exercises. Walking on the quiet street, he senses that spring is just around the corner.

Chinese version available

Category: Improving Oneself