I always thought that I held little interest when it came to money. I always thought that even if piles of money were put in front of me I would not take any and my heart would not be moved even a bit. I thought I had let go of the heart of seeking personal gain, but in reality that was not the case. I lost my job because of the persecution. I was in a financially difficult situation. For years I pinched and scraped. Unknowingly I became very attached to material gain.
I found a job where I was required to meet a lot of people. Sometimes my clients would leave behind them small goods like lighters. My heart for material interest came up and every day I would check to see if they left something. My heart wouldn't be moved if it was a large item but for small items, I would often take them. Because the small things were not worth money, I often took some home and didn't care much about this issue. But I soon developed an illness. My feet and hands were often cracked and dry, resulting in a lot of pain. Why did it happen? Using the principles taught in Falun Gong, the Fa, to measure myself, I knew that gain and loss had to be exchanged. I was too mean, I didn't do as well as even an ordinary person. Sometimes I would think that I only lost a small amount of de or virtue. In this special time I was to save resources and eliminate waste. There were many such small things at my boss's home. He would not care about it and he often discarded them if there were too many.
Accidentally I read an article on Minghui Weekly. It was a story about a brother borrowing rice from his sister. The brother didn't return enough rice to his sister but the sister didn't care because she had plenty. The brother eventually turned into a chicken and paid back the things that didn't belong to him. I was shocked after I read this article. You only have that much fortune in your lifetime. It is best to spend whatever you earn through work. You would gain mighty virtue if you use your own money to save people. But if you use the things you do that are related to Falun Gong and stopping the persecution as an excuse and take other people's things for granted, you are trying to cover up your heart of pursuing personal gain.
When I dug out the root of my thought, I found that it was because I still hadn't let go of my pursuit of personal gain. I lived in a family with a tight budget. Thriftiness is a good habit from a personal point of view, but if we care too much about some minor interest and even take something that does not belong to us, then we go to another extreme. Furthermore I tried to find excuses for myself for taking small things. Whether it was a small or a big thing, however much it is, this is not the point here. The point here is the fundamental nature of taking things. The mentality of taking one cent and taking one hundred dollars are basically the same. As soon as I realised that, I decided to return what I had taken home to my boss immediately.
When we are still in this material world, it is not easy to strictly control ourselves some times. But now I am very clear on this point: If I have to spend the money, I will not be stingy. I will never take anything that doesn't belong to me, even a very small thing. Countless eyes are watching over us. We should not lower our requirements because of our special circumstances. Under any conditions we should behave nobly and with dignity, thus leave a good reference for the future.
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