(Minghui.org) It’s not easy to point out someone else’s shortcomings. If not done well, it can hurt the other person’s feelings and affect the relationship. I’ve noticed that some practitioners avoid pointing out other persons’ shortcomings—not because they are considering the other person’s feelings, but because they want to protect themselves from any negative repercussions of such a conversation.

As cultivators, we should look at this issue from a different angle. Instead of trying to protect each other’s feelings, we should think about what is best for our cultivation. In our own cultivation, we should constantly look within to identify our attachments and remove them, but sometimes those attachments aren’t easily found. In this case, it can be a great help if someone else points it out for us. When I had this thinking, whenever I saw that a family member (who was a Dafa practitioner) who had an attachment, I was quick to point it out. However, what I said was usually not taken very well and the conversation ended badly.

A recent incident gave me some new insights about this issue, which I’d like to share.

A few days ago, I told a family member that I was deeply worried about her because she was overly cautious when she did things to save people. She didn’t accept what I said and got angry. This irritated me and we ended up arguing. Although we realized that we were both in the wrong, we didn’t do anything to improve the situation.

After I calmed down and looked within, I could see my strong impulsiveness, which I hadn’t seen as an attachment before. I realized that doing something quickly is different from being impulsive. We should do things quickly and efficiently, but at the same time remain calm, considerate, and patient.

I also saw my strong mentality of wanting things done my way, being self-righteous, and looking down on others. I often speak with a harsh tone and easily go to extremes. I realized that I needed to remove these attachments, so I said to my family member, “I won’t comment on how you do things in the future. It wouldn’t make a difference anyway, since you won’t change. I’ll just learn to ignore your attachments, otherwise I’ll be affected by my own attachment to your attachments.”

Just as I was thinking that I had improved in this matter, I came across the following while studying the Fa:

“Student: A student has been undergoing tribulations for a long period of time and still can’t get over them. Should we point it out to him or should we let him understand it himself through studying the Fa?

Master: Since you have found the cause that prevented him from moving forward, why don’t you point it out to him? It shouldn’t be a problem if you tell him kindly. Is it because you are a little afraid of him getting upset with you? Yet, wouldn’t the bad attitude of that person be a perfect chance for you to cultivate yourself? It doesn’t matter even if he didn’t understand what you said—shouldn’t this emotion (qing) of an everyday person be given up? You should tell him if you see a problem. Some people just can’t move forward after being stuck at a certain level. The longer he lingers at that level, the less he reads the book, and the more he forgets to move upward diligently. Then the larger this test or tribulation grows, the more likely that he will waver to the point that he ultimately can’t cultivate anymore. This kind of problem will always be there from the beginning to the end. Cultivation is a very serious matter. It can’t be done carelessly in the slightest. You can never arrive at a level unless you meet the standard for that level. As an average, everyday person you want to reach Consummation and to be as holy as a great enlightened being, but how could that be possible if you don’t have a clear understanding of this matter and can’t even realize its importance?” (Teachings at the Conference in Canada)

I realized I was wrong again and had just gone from one extreme to another. I was trying to impose my thoughts onto others due to my own attachment. Also, because of my attachment of self-protection, I was trying to avoid more conflict. I realized that I should still do the right thing, while keeping my heart unmoved. We cultivate our main consciousness and shouldn’t run away from conflicts.

My current understanding of this issue is that when we see another practitioner’s attachment, we should be responsible and point it out. There are three possible outcomes. The first is that they accept it and change themselves accordingly. The second is that they may not recognize it immediately, but they don’t deny it and have a positive attitude about it. The third is that they don’t accept it and have a bad attitude about it. This last one has been a major factor in stopping us from pointing out others’ shortcomings. I realized that this third scenario might be exactly the opportunity arranged by Master to help us improve. There’s a saying among everyday people, “Anger is the punishment we give ourselves for someone else’s mistake.” From the perspective of cultivation, we should be improving ourselves by not getting angry about someone else’s mistake.

On the other hand, whenever we point out another practitioner’s attachment, we should do it calmly and with kindness. If we get emotional and start an argument, we need to examine ourselves to see which of our own attachments was stirred up, such as self-importance, jealousy, or selfishness. Whatever it is, as long as it’s exposed, it’s a good thing to recognize and remove it.

In summary, pointing out another practitioner’s attachment is a truly great opportunity to improve ourselves. No matter how the other person responds to us, as long as we remain unmoved, there’s an opportunity for improvement on both sides. I believe there are many such opportunities in Fa-study groups and the family cultivation environment. I hope we can all help each other, quickly make improvements, and do better in helping Master in Fa-rectification.

This my understanding at my limited level. Please point out anything not in line with the Fa. Thank you, Master, for your guidance! Thank you, fellow practitioners, for your hard work!

Editor’s note: This article only represents the author’s understanding in their current cultivation state meant for sharing among practitioners so that we can “Compare in studying, compare in cultivating.” (“Solid Cultivation,” Hong Yin)