As the catering business became more and more difficult, my husband and I discussed turning to a new industry and looked for other ways to earn money. Later, I learned from my niece that recycling old home appliances and junk was easy and profitable. My entire family thus came to the outskirts thousands of miles away from home to start the business. Because we did business honestly, the earnings could only meet family expenses. After a few years, my two sons got married and had their own children, cleaning out all our savings. Without the working capital, we could hardly maintain the business, so we borrowed money from our relatives everywhere. However, they gave us the cold shoulder, and said with irony that we were fit for nothing and that we actually had no money after having been doing business for many years. But my niece, in just a few years of engaging in the recycling industry, bought a car and a house, living a good life. Every year when returning to our hometown, she received special favor from the villagers. That made me see that all people only looked for money. It was really true that “Whoever has money is a don and whoever has no money is nobody.” The cold eyes of the world, the prejudice of my relatives and the pressure of money made me unable to breathe. I worked in the same business as my niece, so why could she become rich while I lived a hard life? Then, I asked my niece about the secret of success. She said, “As the members engaging in the industry of purchasing old home appliances, we should learn to shift our sails with the wind. For those who know the quotation, we can offer the going price; for those who have just begun to engage in this industry or who know little about the quotation, we can offer a lower price. We should also learn to speak from both sides of our mouths. Before forcing price down, we first sound them out. Besides, in the remote areas where no one has ever been to recycle things, we can keep down the price to the lowest level. Anyway, it doesn’t matter if it’s a black cat or white cat; as long as it catches mice, then it’s a good cat. In doing business, we just need to make money.” What my niece said opened my eyes, and I knew that there were actually these knacks in doing business. Apparently, in the age when whoever has money is a don and whoever has no money is nobody, without a bit of trickery, I truly couldn’t stand in society.
Afterward, I also learned to size people up. Generally, I would first sound out the seller and wheedle out the price he wanted. When I knew that his offer was low, I would offer a little higher price to him. In this way, he would be willing to sell to me. If his offer was high, I would try my best to force the price down; if he didn’t know the quotation, I would directly keep the price down. The purchase prices of different brands of televisions were different. The imported home appliances were more expensive than the domestic ones, but whichever brands the appliances were, we bought them at the same price. Besides, we bought a broken laptop for thirty yuan, and bought a better one for seventy or eighty yuan. Then we took the laptops apart and sold the hard disks, memories and CPUs at a high price, so that we could earn more money. Later on, after many inquiries, I found out that if we registered and opened an account with the state appointed recycling company, and then let the customers send their old home appliances straight to the company in our name, we could pocket the difference. Thus, we could earn more money. However, I didn’t expect that after a period of time, those repeat customers raised their rates secretly, and took the copper out of the televisions, selling the rest of the televisions to the company. (At that time, the copper was fifty yuan for one kilogram.) In this way, I could make no money.
Worn out physically and mentally, I wanted to get out of this filthy industry, yet I was unwilling. On the one hand, I had put the capital into it, and if I left my money would be poured down the drain; on the other hand, I was afraid that people would say that we were incapable and went bankrupt because of the others. In order to survive, I had no choice but to follow them in committing fraud and deception. I drew out the copper from the televisions and cheated the company to earn the easy money. During that time, I was always accused by my conscience but I had no other choice. Just as my colleagues said: “What can we do? We have to do business against our conscience. Are we not forced to do so? Can we make money with a good conscience? If you kill a person, you would be required to pay with life; however, even if you coax a person into dying, you wouldn’t. Nowadays, the society is just like this. Human relations have become full of cheating. No one can earn money without deceit and fraud, so we could only follow the trend.” Indeed, it’s very difficult to do business honestly, and it’s more difficult to get out of the trend. I felt I had already fallen in a trap and couldn’t pull my feet out of it but only let the society’s evil tide lead me by the nose.
Just when I was in the trap, living in sin without the ability to rescue myself, my daughter brought two sisters to tell me about God’s work in the last days. Hearing their sincere words, I also laid bare my inner bitterness in discussion with them. Through their fellowship, I actually found some solutions for solving my difficulties and problems, and felt very illuminated and liberated in my heart. Before leaving, they gave me a book, saying it was a copy of God’s word and telling me to read it earnestly, and I gladly accepted. After that, so long as I was free, I would bring out the book of God’s words to read carefully. One day, I saw these words of God: “There is an enormous secret in your heart, of which you have never been aware, for you have been living in a world without light. Your heart and your spirit have been wrested away by the evil one. Your eyes are obscured by darkness, and you can see neither the sun in the sky nor that twinkling star of the night. Your ears are clogged with deceitful words, and you hear neither the thunderous voice of Jehovah, nor the sound of the waters flowing from the throne. You have lost everything that is rightfully yours, everything that the Almighty bestowed upon you. You have entered an endless sea of affliction, with no strength to save yourself, no hope of survival, and all you do is struggle and rush about….” (“The Sighing of the Almighty”). “No one actively seeks out God’s footsteps and the appearance of God, and no one is willing to exist in the care and keeping of God. Instead, they wish to rely on the corrosion of Satan, the evil one, in order to adapt to this world, and to the rules of existence that wicked mankind follows. At this point, the heart and spirit of man have become man’s tribute to Satan and become Satan’s foodstuff. Even more, the human heart and spirit have become a place in which Satan can reside and its fitting playground” (“God Is the Source of Man’s Life”). Through reading these two passages of God’s words, I finally saw that the reason the society is evil and dark is due to Satan’s control of this world. Satan uses various poisons and philosophies to deceive and corrupt us and devour our spirits. Living by these satanic poisons, we become more and more corrupt. In doing business, I saw these satanic poisons as the words of wisdom and my own life goal to struggle for, such as “Whoever has money is a don and whoever has no money is nobody,” “Money isn’t everything, but without it, you can do nothing,” and so on. Besides, relying on the satanic philosophy “It doesn’t matter if it’s a black cat or white cat; as long as it catches mice, then it’s a good cat” to do business, I gradually learned how to go with the wind and how to deceive people by trick. Even though I knew it was wrong, I still betrayed my conscience and made the shady money. In order to earn money, I abandoned human principles and had no humanity or morals. I only placed money and interests above everything, thinking that one who had money was capable, and that such people could receive respect and admiration. Consequently, I became more and more cunning, treacherous, greedy and selfish, without any humanity. At this time, I came to understand that people without the truth cannot differentiate between positive things and negative things but only succumb to the evil trends, becoming ever more deeply corrupted by Satan and ever more distant from God.
To Be Continued …
Part Two: I No Longer Follow the Unwritten Rules of Business, but Practice the Truth and Act Honestly (II)