Shovel and Ladder

PureInsight | May 6, 2007

[] [Preface: As one who prides herself on having "modern" ideas, one of my friends has always
considered herself to be the greatest. She is very supercilious, is
suspicious of everything, and doesn't trust anyone. I've known her for
a long time. Although she knows that I've benefited a lot from
practicing Falun Gong and all the excuses of Chinese Communist Party
for persecuting Falun Gong are lies, she was still in doubt. When she
heard me telling others the truth about the persecution of Falun Gong,
from time to time suspicious looks appeared on her face. However,
recently, she suddenly changed completely. I really wanted to know why
and, because I asked her again and again, she finally told me the
following story.]


My dad wanted to stay at a friend's home in the countryside for some
time. He said that it had just turned spring and, over there, all the
flowers were blooming and everything was renewing. He had been in bad
mood recently and asked me to go with him.

The kang (a heatable brick bed) was hard and living in a rural area was
inconvenient. So I wasn't very used to the environment. But the good
thing was that the hostess was exceptionally warm and she was trying
make different countryside dishes for us every day. To reduce her
burden a little bit, I often tried to help her do some labor and this
gave us opportunities to chat. She said that she had never gone to
school when she was young and was completely illiterate. However, now
she's able to read books. I was very curious, and asked her how she
could do that. She said she learned Falun Gong and, soon afterwards,
her back and legs stopped hurting. But since she was illiterate, she
couldn't read   .
She was very anxious and maybe her sincerity touched the heavens.
During one period, every night she went to another practitioner's home
to listen to that practitioner read Zhuan Falun.
When that practitioner read, she would follow along and look at the
characters. After going through the entire book, somehow she became
able to read, and now she can read the entire Zhuan Falun,
which has over 300 pages. I was quite astonished. Although I've heard
many things about Falun Gong, I could not believe that this rural woman
experienced such miracle after practicing Falun Gong! Later, I asked my
dad's friend and he said that, indeed, his wife could not read before
and now she could.

One evening, several of us were chatting. Suddenly we heard a man
sighing outside. Aunt got up to greet the guest. A man wearing black
came into the room. He was about 70 years old. He saw there were guests
in the room and was about to leave, but Aunt said: "They are not
strangers. Uncle, if you have something to say, go ahead."

The man waited for a little bit, and said: "Several days ago, I went to
work in the fields. Third nephew also went to work on his farm. He
forgot to bring his shovel so he borrowed mine. He never returned the
shovel to me, but when I asked for it, he claimed that he never
borrowed it. I really wanted to curse him, but I remembered that now I
cultivate Falun Gong, I couldn't be like that, so I just decide to let
him have it. A couple of days later, his wife passed the word to me
that I could go get it. Today, as I was coming back from the field, I
was passing by his door. So I went in with another shovel on my
shoulder. But this kid not only didn't give me the shovel back, but
said that the shovel I had on my shoulder was also his,
and took away that one, too.

I was thinking: "Man, there are all kinds of people! How could someone
do this just for a shovel!" I felt quite it was unfair for the old man.
Then I thought: "People who live in the countryside really haven't seen
the world! It's just a shovel!"

Aunt wasn't getting angry at all. She smiled: "Hasn't the Master told
us to consciously suffer losses? Aren't we supposed to think of others
no matter what we do? Last year I encountered something similar to
this. One of the kids made a ladder for me and I thought: 'This is
great! Now it will be very convenient when I need to get to the top of
the house or trees.' I used it for a summer. When it was fall, one day
I came back from the farm and the ladder had disappeared. I thought
maybe someone needed it in a hurry and didn't have time to ask us, so
they just took it. I asked the neighbors but they all said they did not
take it. Several days passed and it wasn't returned to us. I thought
that it must have been stolen. I was sad because we only enjoyed the
convenience of it for a few days and then it was gone. Just when I was
sad, the neighbor from the front yard came to tell me who took my
ladder. I didn't say much at the time but, when she left, I got very
angry. The person who took my ladder was always nice to me. I never
thought she was that kind of person. I was angry for a little while.
Then I thought, I've already studied Zhuan Falun
for quite a bit, why am I still not getting this? Everything has its
cause and nothing just naturally happens. Maybe it's because in some
previous life I owed her, so today she's taking it back. The debt
between us is settled now. If I go to her and ask for it, then the debt
will not be settled and, in the future, I will still need to pay for
it. In this sense, isn't this thing a good thing!?

"This incident soon passed. Several days ago her family finished
building a new house and invited me to look at it. I looked around in
the west side and the east side, and then asked her: 'Nowadays even the
rural areas follow the fashion and all new houses have a built-in
shower room. How come your house doesn't have one?' She said: 'Of
course we have it. Isn’t it right there?' I walked over, pulled the
door open, and saw my ladder leaning right by the wall. Immediately my
heart started rolling. I was about to turn around and get angry at her.
Just at that time, I was able to control myself. Master told us that
when we encounter something, we should always think of others and not
ourselves. If at this time I say it out, will she be able to bear it?
If everyone in the village knows it, how would she be able to face
everyone? Once I thought about these things, my anger cooled down. Then
I closed the door with smile on my face. Walking back from her home, I
felt that my body was lighter than ever.

"Uncle, think about it: for us who practice Dafa, what are we seeking
for? These things? Look at the rich people. They lack nothing, but they
are not comfortable. They always have troubles here and there, and are
fighting for benefits. Eventually they ruin their bodies and, when they
die, they cannot take anything with them. So we must not seek for these
things. What we want is the improvement on our xinxing, and that's for enlightenment!"

The old man became calm, and his face opened up. He said: "Right, right. Today I wasn't able to hold on to my xinxing
and I almost got into a fight with him. It's really not that big a
deal. It's such a trivial thing! Whatever! If he doesn't give it back,
he can have it. I have another one at home. It's enough to use and
that's all it matters!"

Maybe to Falun Gong practitioners, this is just a small thing in
everyday life. But to me it was a big shock like never before. I was
shocked because of their calmness in their hearts, their kindness and
great forbearance. Falun Gong is indeed amazing!

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