Introduction: Fan Lin is a teacher. Since the first day she set foot in the classroom, she has made a resolution inwardly to be a paragon of virtue and learning, to devote her entire life to education, to expend all of her painstaking efforts on children selflessly. However, when she really assumed her own post, she was powerless to prevail over the assaults of social trends. She broke her promises under the temptation of interests. …
By Fan Lin
Setting up My Mind to Be a Good Teacher
When I began to teach in the school, in order to be a good teacher who nurture students, I endeavored to enrich my professional knowledge, collected materials, prepared the lessons carefully and strived to give good lessons. And my efforts paid off. The score of my class finished in the top three every semester. Usually, I also cared for every student. At that time, there was a student who had epilepsy in my class. Once, while I was giving a lesson, he had an epileptic fit suddenly and fell to the ground in a faint. … I lay him down and pinched his philtrum, calling his name repeatedly. Gradually, he came around. After school, I carried him on my back to his home. His parents told me that he had suffered from the disease since childhood. So, I promised them that if he had an epileptic fit again, I would rescue him in time and take him home. They were grateful to me for what I said. Parents saw that I cared about students and did well in teaching, thus they were willing to send their children to my class. Winning their trust and recognition, I felt gratified and focused more energy on students. I also received favorable comments for my efforts from parents and teachers around.
Doing the Work Assiduously and Conscientiously
In the blink of an eye, two years passed. I saw some teachers around me, who were not as assiduous as me in teaching, were awarded advanced workers, or given a promotion, or given an increase in salary. Whereas, I did the work conscientiously, took the best care of every student and achieved remarkable results. But why didn’t these good things come upon me? I couldn’t figure it out. Later, I told my thoughts to my friend and she said to me, “You’re so silly. You only know to bow your head to do the work conscientiously as an old cow from dawn to dusk. In this age, it’s impracticable to exert all our strength like you. The contemporary society advocates ‘With money, you can make the devil push the millstone,’ and ‘Bureaucrats never discipline gift-givers.’ Do you see who works assiduously as you? But they can take the money, be granted both the professional titles and advanced titles, and awarded the bonus at the end of the year. Don’t be so stubborn. You’d better change quickly.” After hearing the words of my friend, I was suddenly enlightened: I believed the school was a pure land. It turns out that the school is the same with the society, advocating the principle of ‘Bureaucrats never discipline gift-givers and you can’t accomplish anything without licking their boots.’ Now I see it clearly that the honest are unpopular in the modern society. Working assiduously is less practicable than giving gifts. In the beginning, I felt that it was the conduct lacking moral quality for a teacher who imparted knowledge and educated people to give gifts. But when seeing the people around me all did this, I gave way to temptation and followed the crowd.
Following the Crowd
From then on, in order to be promoted and have my salary raised, I changed and began to follow the crowd to give gifts. During festivals, I prepared the gifts ahead and gave them to every leader in the school as well as the leaders of the Communist Youth League. Seeing the money spent on the gifts, I felt somewhat distressed. Then I thought, “In such a society, man can’t accomplish anything without giving gifts. Although I’ve given gifts to them today, when I’m promoted, I’ll be compensated by other gifts sooner or later.” Everything comes to him who waits. My desire finally came true. My husband became the leader of our school; I was promoted and my salary was raised too. Then, my status was exalted immediately and the teachers all greeted me with a smile. I wouldn’t need to give gifts to them, but instead they needed to send gifts to me. On holidays, I waited for their gifts at home. Moreover, I learned how to treat them in accordance with the value of their gifts. For instance, facing those giving me expensive gifts, I would greet them with a smile; facing those giving me cheap gifts, I would have a lukewarm attitude toward them. In one Spring Festival, I made the list recording the gifts sent by the teachers and found most of the teachers had given us gifts except three or four teachers. I thought, “Hum! I’m no longer the one who was very honest before.” Thus, I said to my husband, “Three or four teachers did not send gifts to us. If they come to ask you for help later, you shall make them embarrassed.”
Accepting Gifts Beyond My Responsibility
Once, a student’s parent sent me a bag of rice and six quilt net covers for me to take care of his child. Seeing so many things, I thought, “It’s normal for teachers to give gifts to their leaders, for the whole society is like this. But I’ve never seen students’ parents give gifts to teachers. Imparting knowledge and educating students is my responsibility. I shouldn’t accept the gifts of the student’s parents.” Then, I told him, “You needn’t do so. Educating children is the responsibility of us teachers. I can’t accept your gifts. …” But the student’s parent said that these things were the tokens of his appreciation and asked me to accept them. At the same time, he unloaded these gifts from his car and moved them to my home. Thinking that my son would get married and need these quilt net covers, I was somewhat tempted. I thought, “Since he gives me these things sincerely, I’d better take them.” But I felt that it was improper for me to accept them, for he didn’t owe me anything. Although I refused to accept them once more, the student’s parent insisted on leaving them to me and then drove away. Seeing these things, I felt uneasy as if I were a thief.
I Became Greedy as a Wolf
As time went by, before or after every semester, children’s parents would carry big or small bags to send gifts to teachers. Some sent gifts to teachers’ home, some did so at the appointed meeting place by the phone call…. At that moment, gifts in the teachers’ home were as abundant as those in the Spring Festival. The gifts included cigarettes, wines, rice, oil, chicken, duck, fish, meat and various health supplements, etc. Seeing the crowd behave like this, I became inured to this kind of matter. I put the bottom line for conducting myself as a person behind me and adapted the social trends soon. Gradually, I felt that teaching children was laborious and it was normal and reasonable for them to give me some gifts. Moreover, such was the social trend. If you didn’t follow it, you would be defeated by it. At that time, I had already lost the original simplicity of being a teacher. The children before me were no longer the students I should educate and take care of, but the chess pieces I could use to make profits. I began to treat the children in the way that I treated the teachers. I carried out favorable policies to those children whose parents gave me gifts, such as arranging for them to sit in the front row, to be the class leaders and the excellent all-round students. If they made mistakes, I would turn a blind eye. To those children whose parents never gave me gifts, I would give them special treatments, such as arranging for them to sit in the last row, letting them clean the classroom. If they made mistakes, I would punish them by having them stand in class or rebuke them. When these children saw me, they acted just like the mouse saw the cat. Sometimes, it weighed on my conscience. When I recalled that my son’s ears were twisted by his teacher for failing to complete the homework in his childhood, I would hate that teacher. When I began my teaching career, I exhorted myself not to treat the children as she did. However, facing the interests nowadays, I became greedy as a wolf in my conscience.
The condemnation and Uneasiness in My Conscience
Every time when I did these things, I would be a little uneasy. Then I thought, “The modern society advocates ‘Bureaucrats never discipline gift-givers and you can’t accomplish anything without licking their boots.’ Not only the teachers and leaders in the school, but people from every walk of life all advocate this principle. If I don’t do this, others will say I’m sick.” Therefore, I felt at ease to enjoy the gifts from teachers in the Spring Festival and from the children’s parents in normal times. However, I didn’t feel happy later, because I felt that I had taken advantage of others and had enjoyed the hard-earned things from others. Besides, I felt uneasy as if I were a thief because I felt that I enjoyed the ill-gotten gains. Seeing that some corrupt officials were reported, I was also in a state of anxiety and always had nightmares at night. Sometimes, I was so scared that I cried and woke up in the middle of the night and my heart was strongly condemned. I thought, “If I don’t turn around, I would endure the mental pressure forever and would never be free from the inexplicable fear in my heart.” I didn’t want to be like this, but I couldn’t extricate myself from the days when I was haunted by the nightmares. …
God’s Words Judged and Revealed Man’s Corruption
In a fortuitous opportunity, I was lucky enough to accept the kingdom of God. Through the gathering and fellowshiping with the brothers and sisters of the Church of Almighty God, I gradually understood some truths. I saw the words of God, “Born into such a filthy land, man has been severely blighted by society, he has been influenced by feudal ethics, and he has been taught at ‘institutes of higher learning.’ The backward thinking, corrupt morality, mean view on life, despicable philosophy, utterly worthless existence, and depraved lifestyle and customs—all of these things have severely intruded upon man’s heart, and severely undermined and attacked his conscience. As a result, man is ever more distant from God, and ever more opposed to Him. Man’s disposition becomes more vicious by the day, and there is not a single person who will willingly give up anything for God, not a single person who will willingly obey God, nor, moreover, a single person who will willingly seek the appearance of God. Instead, under the domain of Satan, man does nothing but pursue pleasure, giving himself over to the corruption of the flesh in the land of mud. … Before he was corrupted by Satan, man naturally followed God and obeyed His words. He was naturally of sound sense and conscience, and of normal humanity. After being corrupted by Satan, his original sense, conscience, and humanity grew dull and were impaired by Satan” (“To Have an Unchanged Disposition Is to Be in Enmity to God”). I was suddenly enlightened by s: Before man was corrupted by Satan, man naturally followed and obeyed God’s words. He was naturally of sound sense and conscience, and of normal humanity. After being corrupted by Satan, man was severely blighted by society and influenced by feudal ethics. Gradually, man’s conscience grew dull, his sense became unsound, and he lost his humanity. His mindset became backward, his morality was corrupt, and he lacked the bottom line and principle of being a man. He took Satan’s philosophy of life as the truth, plundering one from another and giving free rein to the spread of sin. Originally, I just desired to be a good teacher, who could impart knowledge and educate people. However, under the influence of the social trends, I began to live by Satan’s laws of survival ‘Bureaucrats never discipline gift-givers and you can’t accomplish anything without licking their boots.’ In order to get a promotion and an increase in salary, I began to give gifts to the leaders. Once my goals were achieved, I began to enjoy the gifts from teachers and students’ parents. My attitudes toward these teachers and students varied with the amount of their gifts. I saw that Satan used these poisons to lure and corrupt me, so that I lost conscience, morality and humanity, and I outstretched my greedy hands farther and farther, and thus I couldn’t extricate myself from sins. Without God’s care and protection, I couldn’t see the light under the domain of Satan, felt strongly condemned and had nightmares frequently. This was the source of my miserable life.
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