Young Practitioner: Valuable Lessons Learned in School
(Minghui.org) I turned 16 this year and was fortunate to be born into a family of Dafa practitioners. From the time I was young, my mother pushed me to study the Fa more and cultivate better. She insisted that I hold myself to Dafa's standards of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. As a result, I was different from my classmates. Here are a few of the challenges I overcame at school.
Learning to Put Others First
One time in a writing class, the teacher put us into groups. Each group was to make a small presentation and act it out for the class. All the children fought for their favorite roles and argued endlessly among themselves. As a result, most of the groups didn’t finish the assignment in time.
I was young at the time, but I had already begun to understand what Master Li Hongzhi meant when he talked about putting other people first. If I had claimed the role I wanted, what would the others do? So I assigned roles based on the students' individual strengths. After further discussion and confirming that everyone was satisfied, I took what was left.
I’ve continued to use this strategy, and it usually works well. In that class, my group was ready first and performed first. Our teacher was proud of the way we cooperated.
When the other groups saw the way we worked together, they started to cooperate more and completed the assignment. And they all made great presentations!
A Lesson about Being Critical of Others
After an important exam, our teacher always rearranged our groups so that everyone in the class would get help. Once, after we were put into new groups, I was selected to be the leader. However, a girl in the group didn’t think this was right because she felt that she should be the leader.
At one point, she suddenly charged me, tried to hit me with her pencil case, and cursed me. I was somewhat at a loss for words, but I remembered what Master said:
“...as a practitioner one should not fight back when being punched or insulted, but should hold oneself to a high standard.” (Lecture Four, Zhuan Falun)
I used my hands to fend off her pencil case and told myself that I would talk with her when she was done hitting me. She only got a few hits in before the teacher pulled her away. The teacher told her to go sit by herself and reflect on what she had done.
The teacher turned to me and asked why I hadn't hit the girl back. I sat and thought for a minute, then said, “I guess I didn’t think it was necessary to hit back.” I had really never thought that something like this would happen, and a boy shouldn’t hit a girl.
Later, I saw a doll on the ground and remembered it had been on that girl's pencil case. It must have fallen off when she swung the case at me. I waited until class was over and returned it to her. She took it without saying anything.
I went home and told my mom what had happened. The first thing she said was that I should watch what I say. That was when I discovered that, when I would tell my mom about what happened at school, I focused on the mistakes other students made or how they acted inappropriately.
Because that girl was particularly stubborn and combative, I described the incident in great detail. From this perspective, I could see that what happened wasn't a coincidence: it was a reminder for me to do better.
Later, I also realized that I had an attachment to maintaining my position as group leader. Because I was often chosen to be a leader, this attachment hadn't shown itself very often.
I also realized that group leaders aren’t necessarily more important than the other members of the group. The leaders have work they need to do and group members have their own tasks to complete. Both are equally as important, and it’s not supposed to be that the group leader is always ordering everyone around.
Good Faith Rewarded
When I was in middle school, I once ran into a classmate in front of a convenience store. I didn’t know him very well, but we knew each other’s names. He wasn’t a particularly good student, and he often acted impulsively. He asked me for 20 yuan to buy some food and said that he would pay me back in a week. I didn’t think twice and gave him the money.
I was walking home with a classmate at the time, and he told me that I would probably never see that money again. Sometime in the past, he had lent money to the same person and had never been paid back. All I said was, “I believe that he will pay me back.”
I know that Falun Dafa practitioners’ compassionate thoughts will have a positive effect on people. In addition, he had asked for money to buy food. I couldn’t put my own interests first and let him go hungry. My friend didn’t say much more, so I just went home.
In a week, the boy who borrowed the money paid me back. I felt happy for him.
Never Judge a Book by Its Cover
A boy shared a table with me for the latter half of middle school. He was rather awkward and stubborn. He had been assigned to many groups but none of them worked for him. In the end, the teacher tried putting him at my table.
At first, I had no idea how to interact with him. Whenever we had group activities, he wouldn’t participate. When discussing problems, he couldn’t understand the issue no matter how we tried to explain it. I thought at some point that there was no way to even have a normal conversation with him.
That was when I realized I needed to evaluate my own behavior. Maybe it was because I felt I was superior or I lacked patience.
Over time, I discovered his unique qualities. He was extremely good at focusing on the task at hand. Sometimes, I couldn’t even keep up with him. It also wasn’t that he didn’t want to participate in group activities, he just didn’t know how to get started.
When I worked with him, I took a little more time to explain things. After spending that extra time, communicating with him wasn't difficult. Because of this experience, I came to realize that group leaders can’t have an “I’m the boss” mindset toward group members. They should try to really communicate with and include everyone.
One time, the teacher assigned our group a task. I wanted to lead the team in the usual way, but the task happened to be something this student was interested in. He wanted to spearhead it. Master mentioned before about having the mentality of putting others before oneself, so I stepped aside and let him lead. The end result was quite good, and our teacher gave us her approval.
Sharing a table with this classmate presented chances for me to improve myself. Oftentimes, when he had issues, I could see the same issues in myself. When he was succeeding, I was also improving myself. According to our teacher, out of the entire class, I was the only person who could work with that student. I believe that this was a valuable experience that was not easy to come by!
In the process of writing this article, I have been able to recall some really great opportunities for growth. The old me, I realized, was more simple and straightforward. Now my cultivation attitude is sometimes worse than that of my younger self.
Perhaps childhood was a time when I was more open-minded and gave little thought to things. The older I became, the more I analyzed things, thereby gradually making them seem more complicated.
Cultivation, in fact, isn’t complicated. Don’t think too much; know that Dafa is good, and cultivate according to the Fa. I hope that I can return to being as uncomplicated as I was when I was younger.