PureInsight | March 17, 2003
[PureInsight.org] My son is almost eight years old. He is very fond of playing children's games, and thus spends very little time learning Chinese. Because of this, I set aside time each day to study Fa with him. Though he has a limited understanding of the profound principles in the Dafa books, he keeps trying to raise his understanding.
One day he asked me, "What does compassion mean?" I thought for a while and then responded, "You have heard the expression "Mothers are affectionate and fathers are strict," haven't you? Affection is similar to compassion, but it's not quite the same. For example, when you do something wrong do mom and dad react in the same way?"
He replied, "Dad always gives me a stern look and scolds me. Sometimes he even beats me! But you're different from him. You always have a smile on your face and talk kindly to me. Actually, whenever I did anything wrong, it was not because I didn't know it was wrong. I just couldn't help myself. I love mommy better." Then he paused and said, "Does compassion mean that if another person does something wrong I still should treat them kindly, without criticizing or scolding them?
My son's words made me instantly realize something. When I first heard that a fellow practitioner had checked into a hospital, I thought, "Is he conducting himself like a Dafa practitioner? No matter how tremendous the illness tribulation may be, we should oppose it! If he were in China, he might have been brainwashed and given up practicing!" Although I understand that we are cultivating as one body and that we should help him in time of need by sending righteous thoughts, in my heart I still wished he had not done that. Now my son's words suddenly reminded me that each practitioner may be at a different level of the Fa, and I realized that my understanding had been incorrect on this issue.
What should we do when a fellow practitioner makes a mistake? The old forces respond by criticizing or even taking steps to eliminate you when you make a mistake. When they see an attachment in you, they will scold you, and sometimes even physically beat you. If they decide that you are no longer qualified to be a Dafa disciple, then they will try to ruin you. On top of that, the old forces will exhaust all means to find faults in you and then drag you down if they find anything wrong. On this matter, I can relate to a story recently published on PureInsight describing how Lu Dongbin (one of the Eight Taoist Deities) would give up on people as soon he found a small fault, even though he had once vowed to save all of humankind. In contrast, our compassionate and magnificent Teacher is completely different from all the other enlightened beings in history who came to save people. Teacher continues to teach us the Fa, giving us repeated and patient guidance. Teacher never criticizes us when we make a mistake. Rather, in a positive manner, he always encourages us to improve. In hindsight, I realized I had actually been criticizing that fellow practitioner in the hospital just like the old forces would do.
No matter whether fellow practitioners are doing well or not, whether everyday people have a compassionate heart or not, whether everyday people are too ignorant to understand the Fa or not, or whether the social environment supports us or not, we should treat others kindly and with a compassionate heart at all times. This should be the demeanor of a cultivator. Of course, eliminating hopelessly vicious beings in other dimensions is an act of compassion toward sentient beings. However, this principle may be at too high of a level for an eight-year-old child. He cannot yet understand this dialectical principle. Let me leave it alone for now and talk to him about it at another time.
Translated from http://www.zhengjian.org/zj/articles/2003/2/22/20519.html