(Minghui.org) In compliance with the Communist regime’s “Zero-Out Campaign,” my supervisor talked to me in early June and asked me to sign a guarantee statement renouncing my faith in Falun Dafa (also known as Falun Gong). During our conversation, he reminded me that if I didn’t, it would affect my professional and personal life negatively.

Ever since 1999, when the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) launched the persecution of Falun Gong, a spiritual practice whose adherents live by the principles Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, Party officials all over the country have tried everything imaginable to get practitioners to sign such statements renouncing their belief. Unyielding practitioners face arbitrary detention, brainwashing, forced labor, imprisonment, torture, and sometime even death.

After giving it much thought, I decided to write to the chief director of the company to share my story of running the company cafeteria and how Dafa cultivation has helped me become a better employee and a better person.

I’ve included the letter below and am happy to report, that after receiving this letter, the director stopped asking me to sign the guarantee statement.

Dear Chief Director,

I am 56 years old and run the branch office cafeteria.

I have been practicing Falun Dafa for 22 years. I used to always think of myself first and how I could get famous and make money. But guided by the universal principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance, I changed and have become generous and friendly. I now take fame and self-interest lightly.

During the past years running the cafeteria, I grew tremendously in terms of abilities. You see, I didn’t know how to operate a cafeteria when I first started, but now I manage and oversee an efficient operation. It is my belief in Dafa and its principles that give me the wisdom.

Doing a Good Job As Head of the Cafeteria

About 40 people dine in the cafeteria every day. In order to serve our employees a balanced and delicious meal, I first make sure we choose the best ingredients. I compare the produce from at least three vendors before ordering from the one that offers the best quality and price.

When I buy staples such as rice, flour, and oil, I first buy a small amount from three vendors that offer the best products. Then I make dishes with their products, do a taste test among the employees, and collect feedback. After a thorough evaluation, I decide which vendor I will buy from in the long term. I do all that so I can make the best possible decision and truly serve our employees well.

Each person has his own unique likes and dislikes in terms of flavor and taste when it comes to food. To make our menus pleasing to everyone, we do our best to offer a variety of meat and vegetarian dishes. However, even the most popular dishes cannot be offered too frequently or people will soon get tired of them.

We usually have a bigger menu on the weekends, and that’s when some of our female office employees help with the preparation and cooking. I heard them talking among themselves, complaining about how difficult it is to put together a meal at home. They often run of ideas as to what to make—something I can relate to.

To solve this problem, I asked a co-worker to help me download an App with thousands of different recipes. I learned to make these recipes at home during my free time. Once I feel confident about new dish, I make a small batch on the weekend when there are fewer people in the office and offer it on the menu. If I get positive feedback for the new item, I add it to our regular rotation and offer it to all employees.

When a family member makes a great dish, I always ask for the recipe. When I eat at restaurants, I also ask the chefs for tips. Over time, I’ve gained much knowledge and experience and, most importantly, have expanded our menus with many new dishes. I think everybody enjoys a variety of delicious dishes that aren’t repeated too often.

Our employees often tell me that the food in our cafeteria is better than what they make at home. Those who often travel on business have commented that the food in our cafeteria is better than anything they’ve had on the road.

With the health and safety of our employees being our top priority, we developed a meticulous cleaning routine for the cafeteria. We clean three times a day. Those on duty clean the tables, floor, and kitchen counters after each meal, while others help with everything else. Everything gets wiped down at least once a day. Once a week, we have a cleaning session where everybody contributes. The kitchen and dining area get thoroughly cleaned at least once a month. People visiting our cafeteria for the first time are always amazed: “Your cafeteria is so clean!”

Not Taking Advantage of My Position

To an ordinary person, being the head of a cafeteria is a cushy job, as there are many ways to exploit the position for one’s own benefit. These people take home whatever food items are on the cafeteria menu. The person in charge of purchasing also has ample opportunity to deal with money and get kickbacks from vendors. When buying ingredients or supplies, without you having to ask, the vendors ask you how much they should put on the invoices. By making the invoiced amount greater than what was actually spent, the person in charge can make a profit.

However, I always tell the vendors to put down the actual amount because, as a cultivator of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, I have to be honest first and foremost. Some vendors have told me, “You Falun Gong people are all like this.”

I once bought some seafood from a vendor who, without asking, wrote 50 yuan more than the actual cost on the receipt. I didn’t check carefully and only found out when I did the bookkeeping. I told a chef what had happened and tore up the receipt in front of him. I then wrote a note with the correct amount to replace the receipt and asked the chef to sign it before filing it.

A chef and I once went shopping at the market. After returning to the cafeteria, we couldn’t find the 20 yuan worth of peanuts we’d bought. Neither of us remembered where we’d put the bag of peanuts. I went back to the market the next day and bought 20 yuan worth of peanuts and paid for it out of my own pocket.

When the chef found out, he said to me, “You didn’t take the peanuts home. Why replace it with your own money? Just ask for a reimbursement. We shouldn’t lose money over this job.” I explained to him that I have my beliefs, and I couldn’t let the company take the loss. Seeing that I was determined, he handed me 10 yuan and said, “How about we each pay half. I’m responsible, too.” I told him, “I was in charge. I should pay for the lost goods,” and didn’t take his money.

In fact, true cultivators of Falun Dafa, regardless of class, age, or where they are, would all strive to live by Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance and be good people. We watch what we say and do and try to do good, even when it comes to the smallest things in life. As our level improves, our conduct reflects the sincerity, kindness, and tolerance that we acquire by cultivating Dafa.

Master said,

“In any social class, you can be a good person and take the various different desires or attachments more lightly. You can be a good person at different social levels, and you can cultivate at your own social level.” (Lecture Four, Zhuan Falun)

When a person is no longer concerned about fame, profit, or sentimentality, he or she will live a more relaxing and happy life. This is true.

We submitted our annual spending report to the parent company—the Public Security Bureau—at the beginning of the year. Due to many errors on our part, it was difficult for the bureau’s finance department to compile the data. Sometimes, to confirm just one receipt, we had to drive more than 100 miles each way to meet in person, which caused a lot of delay and unnecessary loss for the company.

As a sincere apology and a big thank you, I bought more than 100 yuan worth of fruit out of my own pocket for the bureau’s finance department, assuring them that we would do our best to avoid these mistakes in the future. I would have never done something like this before I became a Dafa practitioner—everything I did, I absolutely had to get some benefit out of it.

During a traditional holiday, the vendors want to give us gifts to show their appreciation. I always tell them, “Providing us the best products is the best ‘Thank you’ you can give us.”

Master Li Hongzhi, the founder of Falun Dafa, said,

“Under all circumstances, we must be good and kind to others, not to mention to our family members. We should treat everyone in the same way. We must be good to our parents and children and be considerate of others in all respects. Such a heart is thus unselfish, and it is a heart of kindness and benevolence—it is compassion.” (Lecture Six, Zhuan Falun)

Considering others first has become a habit of mine, so I can understand the vendors’ worries and concerns. I thank them sincerely and turn down the gifts, without letting it affect our business relations. The vendors eventually figured it out—they no longer try to give us gifts, but instead make sure the products they provide us are of the best quality.

I used to go to our vendors for meat and seafood even when I shopped for my own family because they only charged me wholesale prices. As I improved in my cultivation, I realized that I was taking advantage of the business connection. Now I’d rather spend more money to buy these products elsewhere than go to our vendors.

My supervisor at the branch office noticed how often I used my personal cellphone to communicate with our vendors. and decided to compensate me with 100 yuan each month. I used this money to install a landline in the cafeteria office so everyone can make phone calls. If we have money left out of the 100 yuan a month communication fund, I divide it among the best performing chefs at the end of the year as a bonus.

I plan to retire at the end of the year. The branch director has repeatedly said that he would like to hire me back as a contractor at a much higher salary than the going rate. As a regular company employee, I am honored to have earned the respect of the branch director—it is not something you can buy or exchange with goods or benefits. This honor belongs not only to me but also to everyone on the team.

All these things I’ve shared is not to say how good I am. In fact, I am still far from the standards Master Li has set forth for Dafa practitioners. I’ve only improved because I’ve gained much wisdom by cultivating. I have been transformed from a selfish person who only cared about and protected his own interests to someone who always considers others first.

I was completely new to food services when I started, but today my work is recognized and praised by my co-workers and other chefs alike. I thank Dafa for helping me achieve this, and I thank the director and managers of the branch office for placing such trust in me and giving me this opportunity. I also want to thank my team members for their understanding and support and for putting in the hard work right alongside me day in and day out.

Always Starting with Myself

I am the team leader, not the boss. Although I am the most senior in the cafeteria, when it comes to the most difficult or strenuous tasks, I’m always the first to pick it up. When I first came to this position, my supervisor was very considerate of my age and told me that, as a manager, I don’t have to be “hands on.”

However, as we expanded our menus and added many new items, our workload grew. I joined my co-workers and worked overtime. Besides cooking, I also shoulder the responsibilities of purchasing, bookkeeping, and cleaning the office space. But my pay is not higher than anyone else’s. I sometimes feel that it is unfair, but I am constantly working on getting rid of these selfish notions and resentment according to Dafa’s requirements.

Master Li said,

“...that our school of cultivation does not shun ordinary human society in cultivation, and neither does it avoid or run away from conflicts. In this complicated environment of everyday people, you should be clear-minded and knowingly lose in terms of interests. When your vested interest is snatched away by others, you will not go to compete and fight for it like others. With different xinxing interference, you will suffer losses. In this difficult environment, you will temper your will and improve your xinxing. Under the influence of different ill thoughts from everyday people, you will be able to reach above and beyond.” (Lecture Eight, Zhuan Falun)

Because I have a fairly good understanding of this principle, I am able to take self-interest lightly and therefore no longer hold any resentment.

Our branch is a special department, and we get busy during national holidays when the majority of the workforce gets time off. If one of our chefs also take time off for the holidays, we become shorthanded, and everybody is under a lot of pressure. We usually don’t get a proper break all morning, and the chefs only take a few minutes here and there when they have to.

I know that the chefs work very hard, so I try to be in their shoes and be considerate. So they can rest a little bit longer without cutting into their lunch breaks, I try to do more around the kitchen and never take a break myself. When the chefs see me doing this, they no longer take breaks anymore. They go get a drink of water and come right back to work in the kitchen.

A young chef and I were once assigned to clean the dining area. Most young people nowadays have never worked hard and thus cannot tolerate hardships or handle pressure well. As soon as he got more work assigned to him than he had wanted, he complained and told me his legs hurt. I felt sorry for him. I told him to take a break, grabbed the broom, and started sweeping. Knowing that cleaning the dining area is a lot of work, he quietly watched me for a few seconds, came over, and took the broom from me. I was very touched—what a great young man! At that moment, I could truly feel the kindness of this being.

Occasionally we get more people eating at the cafeteria and end up not having enough food to feed the team after the mealtime rush, so we heat up leftovers from the day before. Nobody goes for the small broken pieces of buns or the day-old saggy noodles except me, because I don’t want to see food go to waste.

However, as a cultivator, my every word and every action influences others around me. I noticed that, after a while, the chefs also started to pick the small pieces of buns to eat. I was so happy to see this change. This is exactly what Master Li said in the Fa, ““The Buddha-light illuminates everywhere and harmonizes everything.”” (Lecture Three, Zhuan Falun)

The chefs on our team are hardworking, and very strict. They make each dish with care and never cut corners or short on ingredients or spices. For quality control, they have a few co-workers taste their dish before calling it done. When they make dumplings, they always wrap a few first, cook them, and have a taste to make sure everything tastes good before making big batches. They pay extra attention to details and try to make good dishes that suit everyone’s palate. The more effort they put in, the better results they get.

Our work has not only been praised by the branch director and our employees, the Bureau itself has recognized us, and we have repeatedly eared monetary rewards and honorary titles. I know how lucky I am and I am full of gratitude for Master Li and Falun Dafa. Without the guidance of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, I would still be chasing fame and profits in the chaos of today’s modern world. I wouldn’t be such a selfless and considerate person or have accomplished so much at work.

It Is Lawful to Practice Falun Dafa

Many people don’t understand why Faun Dafa practitioners risk everything to clarify the truth. Some even say that we’re foolish and wasting our time. It is not because my fellow Chinese and the people in my hometown are not good people, but because, ever since Jiang Zemin, the then leader of the CCP, started the persecution in 1999, all the media in China has parroted the CCP’s narrative and broadcast the Party propaganda that slanders and smears Falun Dafa. The Tiananmen Square Self-immolation hoax in 2001 deceived many Chinese and incited hatred for Dafa practitioners.

After having been indoctrinated with atheism for decades and having gone through multiple violent sociopolitical movements, the Chinese people are too fearful to stand up for their rights—indifference gives them a false sense of security.

Falun Gong practitioners just want to share with everyone how they benefit from the practice. We don’t want to harm anyone. We just want to tell people that Falun Dafa is good—it elevates your moral standards and does wonders for your health. I have not taken any medication or injections for more than two decades—isn’t that a good thing? I have not broken any law either.

Article 36 of the Chinese Constitution says: “Citizens of the People's Republic of China enjoy freedom of religious belief. No state organ, public organization or individual may compel citizens to believe in, or not believe in, any religion; nor may they discriminate against citizens who believe in, or do not believe in, any religion.”

In a 2005 document issued by the Ministry of Public Security, 14 religions were identified as cults, but Falun Dafa was not one of them. Falun Dafa is not only lawful in China, it is also welcomed and protected by the law in more than 100 countries worldwide.

Dafa cultivation has enabled me to regain my health, improve my moral character, and live a happier life. It has also taught me that Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is the only criterion to discern good and bad, kind and evil. It’s not easy to be a human in this lifetime—we should be honest and dignified and be mindful of our own thoughts and actions.

The author of Journey to the West said that a thought in a person’s heart is known to the earth and the heavens; if there’s no consequences for good and bad deeds, then the universe is not being fair. As this historic era of ours comes to an end, every being is witnessing the persecution of Falun Dafa that takes place here in China, and every being is choosing a side—good and evil?

I know you are a kind person. It is not your intention, but you face directives and pressure from the high-ups. I can also understand your predicament. But I want you to know that we Dafa practitioners are good people, that we cultivate Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. We don’t use violence or have any enemies. We don’t use evil to counter evil despite this violent suppression. We only hold kindness and compassion in our hearts. We’re unyielding, but we don’t oppose. We are kind without losing our dignity. In the face of adversity, we remain peaceful and rational, while overcoming our own fear, we move forward with courage.

You also respect the universal and traditional values of honesty, kindness, and tolerance characteristic of our Chinese race. The Chinese people have endured so much hardship yet still possess the best virtue and qualities. When we rise again as a powerful and respected nation, when all truth is revealed, when people’s hearts comply with the righteous way, you will be very proud to have had such an employee.

What we have done is something that many conscientious Chinese wanted to do but failed. Without violence or hurtful language, we have changed history peacefully, with kindness. We couldn’t have done it without being steadfast in our belief nor without heaven’s protection. We don’t want to be heroes, but our belief in Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance has made us compassionate and fearless. Our hearts are full of light, knowing that we’re doing the right thing. The dawn of the new era belongs to good people, kind people.

By telling you my story today, I hope you will be able to tell good from evil and choose to be on the side of what is right. “Treat Dafa kindly and the heavens will bestow happiness and safety upon you.” I hope you and your family have a bright future.

Chinese version available

Category: Clarifying the Truth