Putting the Teachings into Practice Solves Many Problems
(Minghui.org) Ten years ago, my general manager asked me to come to a meeting. I looked up just in time to catch the smug look on the purchasing manager’s face as he headed towards the meeting room. I suspected that a supplier had made a complaint about me. I quickly grabbed my pen as I stood up and scribbled the words “Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance” on my palm. I wanted to remind myself to forbear whatever accusation or condemnation was thrown my way.
At the meeting, I sat across from the purchasing manager and the general manager sat in the middle. He got straight to the point: “Why didn’t you verify the accounts as the supplier requested?” I was rather annoyed and it showed. I said, “I was busy at the time so I said I did not have time to do it then. He just stormed out of the office.”
The purchasing manager also said something, although I can’t remember what. But I can clearly remember that I had a lot to get off my chest. Except I knew that, if I spoke in the heat of the moment, it would’ve made things worse. So I chose to hold myself back and refrained from speaking out. It wasn’t easy for me to forbear in that situation. I felt I was falling short of the standard required for a cultivator: “To endure completely without anger or grievance is the forbearance of a cultivator.” (“What is Forbearance (Ren)?,” Essentials for Further Advancement)
All I could do was to clench my fist tightly over the words “Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance” scribbled on my palm and force myself to endure it all.
I later wrote a report to the general manager presenting my side of the story, but I didn’t point fingers at anyone. I could do that because I considered myself a Falun Dafa cultivator and held Master Li’s teachings close to my heart:
“If he has made trouble for me, I’ll return the same. He has supporters, but so do I. Let’s fight. If you do this among everyday people, they will say that you are a strong person. As a practitioner, however, that is completely awful. If you compete and fight like an ordinary person, you are an ordinary person. If you outdo him, you are even worse than that ordinary person.” (Lecture Four, Zhuan Falun)
Sometime later, I quit that job because I did not want to work on Saturdays. When news of my resignation spread, a supplier who normally had few words to say came to my office and said, “I heard you’re leaving. It’ll be a loss for the company.”
This supplier once asked for my home address. He said, “You have turned down all the gifts and gift cards I offered you so I thought I would send them to you at home.” I said, “No, thank you. Please don’t do that. I did not do anything extra for you or give you any special treatment. It was all a part of my job. I can’t accept your gifts. Actually, I don’t accept gifts from anyone at all, so please don’t feel like you have been singled out.”
The company I work for is part of a corporate conglomerate that has two other companies. I worked for the first company that merged with a second company three years after I came on board. My counterpart in the second company was Ms. Zhen who came back to work after she officially retired. She had been with that company for over ten years. Her immediate supervisor was the company chairman’s younger sister. My immediate supervisor was the deputy general manager, one of the old guards in the first company. He had also been with the company for over ten years.
With the merger imminent, either Ms. Zhen or I would lose our job, so I was at a loss as to what I should do. I knew that a decision to lay off one of us would be made at the corporate level and therefore out of the control of our local managers. I loved my job and where I worked, but as Falun Dafa cultivators we are supposed to adhere to Master’s teachings to be considerate of others and not compete. I decided I would leave because I was a lot younger than Ms. Zhen and it would be easier for me to find another job. I tied up loose ends and waited for the right time to hand in my resignation.
A few days later, my deputy general manager asked me if I would like to be transferred to another position in the department. I replied, “I believe it would not be difficult for me to take up another role. I have not caused you any trouble in all the years I have worked for you.” He said, “Yes, that’s exactly why I wanted to move you to another role.” Then I hastened to say, “Thank you, but I have already decided to leave the company. I am younger than Ms. Zhen, so it will be easier for me to find another job. Even if I were to take up another role, someone else would have to lose their job.” Another manager who was present said, “You are so kind!” The deputy general manager asked me to think it over, but I told him it wasn’t necessary.
I came back to my office and prepared to hand in my resignation. The next day, Ms. Zhen was summoned to her supervisor’s office to meet with both my deputy general manager and the other manager from the second company. When Ms. Zhen came out of the meeting, she told us, “I was surprised that the company would give me so much in severance pay. ‘Re-employed’ workers are usually not entitled to a formal labor contract that comes with social security insurance, which means we are not entitled to any severance pay.” She was happy with the unexpected financial windfall, but I could tell it was sad for her to leave after having been with the company for so many years.
After Ms. Zhen’s departure, my workload increased. Worse yet, I had to enforce new policies that had yet to be documented. Some of the office staff were disgruntled about the changes and took their frustrations out on me: “Look at the mess you’ve made. It wasn’t like this before.” Another employee looked me in the eye and said, “What new policies are you talking about? You’ve dreamed them up to get your own way.”
Despite all this, I maintained a friendly attitude: “They are policies from the top leadership. Changes take time and I am sure you will get used to them in due course.” I wanted to dissolve their dissatisfaction with kindness and a positive approach. It worked. Seeing the changes himself, the deputy general manager said to me, “If it had been Ms. Zhen, I am sure there would have been many arguments along the way.”
After implementing the new policies, I thought I would at last be able to enjoy some peace at work. Not so. The company chairman’s younger sister asked me to come to her office. She showed me a salary review form and said, “I am putting this forward to the general manager to ask for a pay raise for you. I wrote that you threatened to leave if you don’t get one.” I disagreed, “No, I did not say or imply any of that.” She then said, “You are a very nice person, have a great personality, and are very capable. But I don’t like you.” I smiled at her and said quietly, “If there’s nothing else, I will go back to my work.” My calm demeanor stopped her and she told me I could go.
I thought about her precarious position in the company. After the merger, there were changes to the company’s board of directors. The original chairman sold his shares, and a new general manager, who is a foreigner, was appointed to our department. The status she used to enjoy as the sister of the former chairman was not as widely acknowledged anymore. As a result, there was constant tension between her and the new general manager. Furthermore, she was pretty much on her own after people that had worked under her for many years had all left.
As for me, although I tried my best to conduct myself according to the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance, I still had many human attachments such as being overly cautious and concerned about protecting myself. I had not won her over even though she acknowledged me as a nice person and a capable worker. I had only myself to blame for the way she treated me.
It turned out later that, instead of being sacked, I was given a pay raise. She left the company a year later and we are now good friends. She always brings me gifts from her trips overseas.
After years of cultivation, I no longer need to write “Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance” on my palm—I just need to remember them in my heart and do my best to assimilate these principles into my whole being. I believe if we all put into practice Master’s teachings, it will go a long way toward solving many of the problems and conflicts between people.