PureInsight | October 18, 2004
[Pureinsight.org] Although our lives are short and we only get to spend a few decades on this earth, all of us do go through many adversities. Although life's meaning is not solely to endure adversities, overcoming them is nevertheless the necessary path to success for many people.
In January of 1982, I was 20 years old and had just graduated from college. I was forced to bid farewell to my parents in Shandong Province and report to work in the remote and desolate Qinghai Province. I still don't know which official I inadvertently offended during my four years of studying in college. Somehow I was assigned to work in the remote Qinghai Province where I knew no one. Although I passed all of my classes, I was not given a diploma. I became extremely depressed and didn't know how to go on with my life.
Because Qinghai Province is located on the remote northwest highlands, there is little rainfall and the weather is extremely dry. I drank water all day but still felt thirsty and could not stop my nose from bleeding. I had no family [nearby] and could not return home. I was so upset that I soon fell ill. From then on I started to think about the meaning of life. I remembered what Meng Zi, an ancient Chinese sage, said, "Before heaven is about to bestow tremendous responsibilities on someone, it must toughen up the person's physical body and temper his spirit." I also read many other classical Chinese works that encouraged me to strive forward despite the adversities. I realized that material enjoyments cannot be brought along at birth and taken along at death. They disperse like clouds. However, persevering people's achievements will be recorded in history and passed down to posterity, and will not disappear with time. I decided to teach myself Japanese using a set of Japanese textbooks published by the Shanghai International Studies University, and it took me only three months to finish the whole course. During that time, my hair grew down to my shoulders because I didn't have time to cut it. Later, I passed the Ph.D. entrance examination administered by the Education Department of Japan with the highest grade and entered the world-famous Kyoto University with a full scholarship.
When I look back, I have many feelings. I am now a Falun Gong practitioner and no longer bear grudges against those who hurt me in the past. I often think that if they hadn't created an environment in which I could suffer, I would not have had the opportunity to experience adversity. As a result I would not have achieved what I have achieved. I truly thank them for doing what they did. Of course, I will always remember my colleagues and friends who helped me, and my belief in "Truthfulness Compassion Tolerance" helps me feel gratitude toward all who come across my path.
Although modern people do not wish to experience adversities in their life, it is often difficult to achieve anything without adversity. Material wealth can only be used short-term, but experience with adversity is invisible and will always encourage us. The world's people's achievements and cultivator's mighty virtue are all results of adversity, therefore isn't adversity a treasure in life?
Translated from: http://www.zhengjian.org/zj/articles/2004/9/13/29111.html