(Minghui.org) Gui is one of my relatives. His family was targeted for denunciation during the Cultural Revolution, which meant that his parents couldn’t look after him. He was often left unattended as a child and wandered around by himself. One night, he even slept in a chicken coop.

When he got a little older, Gui got to know some scavengers who went around picking up pieces of junk to sell. Although they never had decent meals, let alone on time, Gui saw that they at least had something to eat. So he followed them in becoming a scavenger.

Sometimes, when Gui walked past factories, the workers would take pity on him and gave him some scrap metal that he could sell for money. Eventually, he began to scavenge for scrap metal inside the factories. Because he was just a young boy, the factory workers pretended not to see him.

Gui, on the other hand, thought this arrangement was an easy way to make a quick buck. As a result, he no longer stayed with the other scavengers, and never told them about this new source of income.

A Hopeless Young Man

When Gui reached school age, he also joined others in the classroom. His grades were fairly good, but the easy money from the factory scraps was still on his mind. By that time, he had realized it was wrong to just take things from the factories and sell them, but stopping this bad habit was difficult.

Moreover, to survive, he made friends with some gangsters and soon became one of them. He began getting into fights all the time. He even took things from home and casually gave them to others. Though his parents were very worried about him, there was nothing they could do.

Some of Gui’s neighbors and relatives blamed his parents for not taking good care of the little boy. But during those days, targets of the Cultural Revolution were essentially prisoners and had hardly any freedom of their own.

The Red Guards watched their targets like hawks and harassed them like gangsters. Any one of the targets had to be available at the Red Guards’ beck and call—even a death in the family was not an excuse for failing to respond to a Red Guard.

Because Gui often got into gang fights, he was sent to a reformatory school. But this habit didn’t get corrected, and as he got older, he landed himself in jail.

Many felt sorry for Gui. The Cultural Revolution had turned him into a bad person, they said. Just like the Red Guards, Gui was one of the countless tragedies of this chaotic era, an era where an entire generation of young people fell into ruin.

But many who knew Gui also thought he was a lost cause by this point, since he always continued to do bad deeds—he was only going to end up in prison again and again.

As for Gui himself, he didn’t seem to care either. During this time, he never looked anyone in the eye. There was no point in crying over spilled milk, so why bother saving a broken man?

A New Beginning

Several Falun Dafa practitioners in the family were worried about Gui, including me, so we decided to try to talk some sense into him.

Starting from the traditional values of ancient China, we explained to him how our society has changed over time—and about the drastic decline in morality after the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) came into power decades ago.

“You are still young, and there are many things you could do in this world,” one of us said. “Please don’t underestimate your potential.”

We also told him about Falun Dafa, the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, and about returning to one’s true self. We told him how following the principles of Dafa could help people return to their truest state, the state where they are the most natural.

Seeing our sincerity and faith in him, Gui began to read the Dafa books. Gradually, he stopped interacting with his old friends.

One of the gangsters, Yan, once called Gui asking for help to avenge a brother.

“The person who messed with our brother has a car parked on this street. Go and smash it,” said Yan. “I’ll play cards with him the whole day as a distraction, so nobody will know you did it.”

But Gui simply dismissed the request.

“I don’t want to be involved in this anymore,” he replied. “I need to have a normal life from now on.”

Our whole family was relieved to hear those words.

Gui has since turned over a new leaf. By reading Zhuan Falun, the main teachings of Falun Dafa, his character improved dramatically as he followed the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.

When he shared these principles with his old friends, many of them stopped doing bad deeds as well. He also wrote letters to the prison officials he used to know to tell his story. He said that the prison barely helped him because all the inmates simply shared new ways to do bad things.

“Falun Dafa is really great,” he often told others. “This practice gave me a new life, and I will never stop practicing it for my entire life.”

Gui is only one of the tens of millions of practitioners who have benefited from Falun Dafa. There are many more stories like his on the Minghui website from over 100 countries around the world.

In today’s world, we need more good people in our society. Falun Dafa will help to bring us—and our society—back on track.