When I became teacher to a 10th grade class, the students did not know each other well, so most of them behaved well. But Xiaolin was my problem student.
Xiaolin smoked, drank, and told lies whenever it suited him. The kids he hung out with were the same. He stayed up until midnight playing video games and slept during class the next day.
Another teacher told me about a time that Xiaolin, who she knew to be a very smart boy, fell asleep in her class. Instead of waking him up, this teacher waited until after class, then made him stand in the hallway and memorise a famous ancient poem. A short while later Xiaolin walked into the teacher’s office and recited the whole piece without a glitch.
One day I was going to attend a wedding lunch for a colleague. Xiaolin asked if he could attend the party too and would not take no for answer. His mother said that he could attend. When we arrived at the party, my colleagues asked, “Who is this boy?” I half-jokingly said he was my other son. I say “half-jokingly,” because a part of me feels as responsible for him as I do for my own son.
Xiaolin was quite at home at the party and even had the audacity to fill his cup with wine. One of the teachers scolded him, but he paid no attention. Then he asked me if he could smoke a cigarette, and I told him “absolutely not.”
After the party he told me his motive for wanting to attend: “I went there to get to know the teachers in my grade so that in the future they might give me a break when I get into trouble.”
When he had a crush on a classmate, I told him to forget about her and focus on his studies. He told me that he liked the girl because her family is wealthy. When the girl realised what he was up to, she turned him down.
I told Xiaolin about Falun Dafa and the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. I also told him some stories about people making casual vows which backfired. Gradually, he learned to stop lying.
Shortly after Xiaolin entered 11th grade, his mother told me that she was diagnosed with uterine cancer and was undergoing treatment.
Wishing to give her hope, I told her about the persecution of Falun Gong and the movement to quit the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and its affiliates. I explained that many people experienced blessings after supporting Falun Gong and quitting the Party. She then agreed to quit her Communist Youth League membership. She also agreed to recite “Falun Dafa is good and Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good” every day.
I told Xiaolin about my conversation with his mom. I encouraged him to support his mom by helping with his younger siblings and to focus on his school work. I told him more about Falun Dafa’s principles and encouraged him to quit the Communist Youth League. He agreed.
Soon he became a very good student. He focused on his learning, quit hanging out with his old friends and stopped chasing girls. By the end of 2015, he ranked in the top 100 in the school. Xiaolin continues to improve, not just in school, but also in his moral character.