August 18, 2017. By A Western US Practitioner
My youngest daughter is 14 and she obtained the Fa three years ago. She’s in 8th grade and has been preparing to enter a very competitive high school next year, which requires good grades, extracurricular activities like sports, and a standardized high school entrance exam (SAT).
While she has been an attentive student with a compassionate heart, she has never performed well on standardized tests, usually scoring only in the 60 percentile range. In the past, because she was a practitioner and she followed Master’s arrangement, her good characteristics came out in the interview process and she was admitted to a very competitive middle school, even though her test scores were not that high.
My wife, who is a new practitioner, bought a large stack of preparation books and hired a very expensive tutor to prepare our daughter for the test. It was very time-consuming and nerve-wracking for my daughter and wife. Here in the U.S., private schools are very desirable, so there was a lot of pressure for my daughter to do well.
During the first test, my daughter was very nervous, and her results turned out to be quite bad, with scores of about 30 percentile. My wife was really scared that our daughter would never be admitted to a private school, so she started spending even more time testing her on words and math problems from the test preparation books. She also had our daughter spend more time with the tutors.
A week later, we were told that there had been an error with the test. Our daughter was supposed to take the 8th grade test, but they had administered the 11th grade test by accident! Of course, this had a big effect on the students, all of whom ended up with very low scores and now had even more test anxiety.
Another practitioner said something that shocked me: “If you don’t do exercises or study the Fa, you are an ordinary person doing Dafa things.”At this point, I realized that my daughter had slacked off in studying the Fa and doing the exercises. I sat her down and told her that I would help her. I realized that her mother, who was only starting to be a practitioner, was keeping her so busy with ordinary test preparation, homework, and sports that she had no extra time for Fa study and the exercises. It’s really difficult for our younger practitioners. However, they were arranged to be with us so that we could look out for them and provide a good cultivation environment in our homes.
I shared with my wife that we shouldn’t worry about this test and that our daughter would end up where she was supposed to, as long as she followed Master’s arrangement and was diligent in her cultivation. I knew that we also had to give up any attachments to which school she would attend. It’s all arranged by Master, and our daughter would have to upgrade herself and hold herself to a higher xinxing standard to follow this path.
Even though my daughter and I talked about this and agreed on it, I felt that we were still not diligent enough.
It was as Master said:
“…many people have found the Fa very good, but very difficult to follow.” (Zhuan Falun)
The next chance to take the test soon came around. My daughter’s results were even worse. She scored 13 percentile overall and 9 percentile on math. It was like she hadn’t been to school for the past few years! This score was so bad that my wife wouldn’t even tell our daughter the results. At this point, my wife gave up and was resigned to placing our daughter into a public school. “Public schools are really just as good,” she started saying.
Now that my wife had exhausted all of the ordinary test preparation methods, it was up to me. I started looking over the test books. These tests are hard, and when I tried answering some of the questions, I got about half of them wrong, too. After reviewing them more closely, I realized that the intention behind each question wasn’t to test knowledge or ability. Instead, the questions rewarded clever thinking and tried to trick the students.
I realized that these tests are actually arranged by the old forces to encourage people to become more materialistic and sharper at getting things without earning them. This kind of mentality also warps the way people consider others. Instead of looking at a person’s moral character using the standard of the Fa, which is the best way to judge whether a person is good or bad, these tests dehumanize students and turn them into a number, turning them away from the Fa. Because so many things in a person’s life are now based on such test performances, this has contributed to our society’s decline.
Master said in Zhuan Falun:
“I would say that according to the perspective of materialism, the more knowledge one accumulates in life, the more one uses the mind, and the sharper it becomes.”
Ordinary people are now trapped by this materialism. To illustrate this problem to my daughter, I asked her a trick question: “Which weighs more, an ounce of gold or an ounce of silver?” Many people would pick one or the other, as did my daughter. However, it’s a trick question because they are both one ounce, so they weigh the same.
How could my daughter do well on the test without using the clever ways of ordinary society and lowering her level? She would have to enlighten to certain principles according to the Fa, so she could gain the required wisdom to pass the test. We started doing the exercises and Fa study daily. We also listened to Master’s lectures as I drove her to school each day, and her mind started to become clean and clear.
As I drove my daughter to school the morning of the final test, I reminded her to treat herself like a practitioner and to only follow Master’s arrangement. I also told her to send forth strong righteous thoughts before opening the test booklet to eliminate any evil that might interfere with her. While she was taking the test, I sent forth strong righteous thoughts from home to help clear away any interference for her.
A week later, my wife called and excitedly told me, “She got 96 percentile on the math and 86 percentile overall!” I told her, “There is no doubt that this is a miracle of Dafa!” She agreed. My daughter’s teachers were also astounded at the improvement; this was no doubt arranged to help my daughter clarify the truth about Dafa to them and invite them to see Shen Yun.
These results should be enough for my daughter to get into whatever school she wants, but she will go to the school that Master has arranged for her.
Thank you, Master!