PureInsight | March 21, 2002
I am a native of China and studied literature and history at a Canadian university during the early 80’s. The move from the closed, oppressive society of China to the liberal Western society, with a completely different culture, life-style, economy and political environment, including a free press, resulted in a temporary cultural shock. The mental imbalance that I felt was much more powerful than the shock that I felt by the large differences in material wealth between China and the Western world.
I was invited for a viewing of the movie “Gandhi” by one of my professors. Mahatma Gandhi, also called Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, is an Indian legend, known to have fought for India's independence during the early to mid 1900’s. Gandhi espoused nonviolent means and noncooperation versus violent methods, as Gandhi opposed violent tools, such as guns and cannons. Under his leadership, India gained independence from English domination and became a sovereign republic.
I remember that I was stunned by one of the scenes in the movie and it has remained clear ever since in my mind. I still can visualize the peaceful sit-in by the Indians in front of an English government office building. Facing the unarmed protesters stood the English soldiers with raised guns. The soldiers began to shoot live ammunition at the first row of peaceful protesters, killing them. They lay there in a pool of blood and one could see the second row of protesters, not moving, remaining peacefully. The soldiers shot again, at the second row of protesters. Yet, no one moved, resisted or left. One round of live ammunition after another, one row of peaceful protesters after another was killed. What a contrast, on one side the inhuman, brutality and ruthlessness of the invaders and opposite the peaceful, forbearance, and tenacity of the protesters! The “kindness” and “evil” showed such opposites that it aroused the intense indignation of the people around the world, demonstrating their righteous minds. The world’s governments, one after another condemned the English government’s ruthless massacre of the innocent Indian protesters.
After the movie, the professor asked me what I thought of it. At that time I was a pure product of the environment in which I grew up in China. My mind knew and understood only that “Political power comes from guns.” “Revolution is the violent action of one class overthrowing the other class.” Therefore, I replied: “I don’t believe in nonviolence and noncooperation. Gandhi’s nonviolent and noncooperative movement was not only unacceptable, it was also unreasonable. Why should we not practice ‘an eye for an eye,’ that is, fight back when attacked? Why not fight violence with violence? Chairman Mao taught us, ‘I will not attack others if they do not attack me first. But if they dare to attack me, I will definitely fight back.’ Such a dictate in dealing with the enemy was ‘the magic weapon’ with which we were encouraged to live by in China since childhood. Don’t we show by not fighting back, that we are ready to die? How come the Indians were so stupid to use their own bodies to block the English advance? The only way that we can deal with invaders is to fight them with military force. Force can conquer the world!”
I was young and emotional at that time. I went on and on about how the Chinese army used “millet and musket” to fight the Japanese during World War II, and how the people gained political power by force. The professor listened to me and remained quiet for some time before he responded. He said, “It is important to understand that India gained independence from the English not because India fought with guns and cannons, but because the English suffered the consequences of their actions; they lost the support of the people. Martin Luther King, the black American civil rights leader also advocated ‘nonviolence, noncooperation.’ The lesson to be learned from history is that when someone beats you, you do not beat back; when someone berates you, you smile. You are a mirror. When the evil sees its own evil and ferocious face in the mirror, and faces your kind smile, he will be become afraid and fearful. Not striking back is the most powerful tool of the oppressed.” The professor’s words are imprinted in my mind and I will never forget them, although I did not agree with what he said. However, for the first time I was exposed to a different point of view from what I had believed in all my life. I had been shown the effect of “nonviolence and noncooperation.”
Twenty years later, I picked up a pen and wrote to the professor, telling him that Falun Dafa had changed me and that I finally understood what he wanted to teach me with his words back then. I let him know that I appreciate now more fully his wise words and his willingness to show me a different world from the one I understood and believed in. I told him about the Chinese practitioner’s righteous behavior in face of the brutal persecution by Jiang Zemin’s regime. I wrote to him about the peaceful and nonviolent means by which Dafa practitioners step forward on Tiananmen Square. I told him about the sincere and compassionate hearts of Dafa practitioners and talked about how they did not fight back when they were beaten or sworn at. Facing the vicious police, they called from the bottom of their hearts to the heavens, the earth and the whole world, “Falun Dafa is Good.” “Falun Dafa is the righteous Fa.” “Clear the name of our Master!” “Clear the name of Falun Dafa!” I told him about how the great compassion and great tolerance Dafa disciples exhibit have moved heaven, earth, and the people all over the world. Dafa disciples’ greatness and their difference from any of the nonviolent, nonresistant movements in the past is that they have no selfish motives. Dafa practitioners live within the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance. They are willing to sacrifice their lives so everyday people will hear that “Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance is good!' and that “Falun Dafa is good!” The persecution against Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance is most vicious. The persecution of Truthfulness, Compassion and Tolerance jeopardizes the Chinese people, the Chinese nation and jeopardizes mankind.
Those perpetrating the evil are being strongly opposed by more and more righteous voices. An impasse has been reached. Although, they appear strong, in actuality they are just like an arrow at the end of its flight and their end is near. But the heroic songs of Dafa disciples that have shaken heaven and earth, moved gods and spirits will be praised and lauded by heaven and earth. Their spirits will last forever in heaven and on earth.
I finally realized that the education imparted to me since my youth was wrong. Since ancient times, there is a saying “Those who have the support of the people rule the world,” “coercion will never change the hearts of people”. If humans continue to abide by “repaying blood with blood and returning an eye for an eye” to resolve matters, society will forever be filled by violence and strife. The world will be filled with hatred and people will never have peace and harmony.
“A peaceful world is what people hope for. If at this point an excessive number of laws and decrees are created to secure stability, it will end up having the opposite effect. In order to solve this problem, virtue has to be cultivated around the world—only this way can the problem be fundamentally resolved. If officials are unselfish, the state will not be corrupt. If the population values self-cultivation and the nurturing of virtues, and if both officials and civilians alike exercise self-restraint in their minds, the whole nation will be stable and supported by the people. Being solid and stable, the nation will naturally intimidate foreign enemies and peace will thus reign under heaven. This is the work of a sage.” (From Essentials for Further Advancement, “Pacify the External by Cultivating the Internal”)
I hope that those in power will calm their hearts and listen to the voices of Dafa disciples coming from within the deepest part of their lives, 'Stop this evil persecution.'