Play: Standing in Another’s Shoes

(Translated from Chinese)

(A and B approach the stage, one from the left side and one from the right, they greet each other happily and are seemingly very familiar with each other. A is short and skinny and has white hair, although he is still very young. B however is fat. Their facial expressions and speaking tones are very exaggerated and sound funny.)

A: Hi, Buddy Chang. It’s nice to meet you. Long time no see I see you have become much fatter.

(At first, Mr. Chang looked very delighted. After hearing A’s words, he turns to the audience and says, “My biggest worry is my fat body, and he usually talks about how fat I am instead of other things.”)

B: Hi, Buddy Li. It’s nice to meet you. Long time no see. How come your white hair has turned even whiter?

(Mr. Li became unhappy, he turns to the audience and says, “What grieves me most is my white hair. Why did he use the word ‘petite’ in front of a short person?”)

(Both A and B are stood on the stage both don a depressed facial expression, and are not saying anything.)

A: Come on! We were very happy to see each other just now. So why is it that we now look like a pair of dogs with their tails between their legs?

B (with his protruding lips): You should be blamed. When ever you open your mouth to say something, your words give me the same feeling of having cool water poured over me, it makes me feel all chilly.

A: Did I do anything wrong? I didn’t say anything in particular? (looking confused and suddenly hitting his head, shouting,) Why did I make the same mistake again?

B: What mistake have you made again?

A: Suddenly one English phrase flashed across my mind: To stand in the other persons shoes!

B: Buddy, don’t keep me guessing like this. Please tell me what this English phrase means.

A (sounding very serious and saying the words slowly one by one): To stand in another’s shoes means to think about the issue from a different angle.

(B was meditating over something with his hand touching his forehead. Suddenly, B hit his own forehead and looked enlightened.)

B: Oh! You mean that I didn’t put myself in your shoes and said something by accident to hurt you?

A: Yes. You see, I am as skinny as a toothpick. Yesterday my wife called me “Skinny.” I dreamed about being as heavy as you. So when ever I see you, I was sincerely praising you for your fat body. Who would have thought that my enthusiasm would be responded to so coldly? It seemed that I was asking for trouble.

B: Sorry, buddy. I thought that you were making fun of me.

A: Yes! A lot of conflicts have happened in our daily lives just because we could not stand in another’s shoes. Take my wife as an example. She has been working in the sales department in a factory. She is quite efficient and is often called a superwoman. But do you know that she is a hell-cat wife when she’s at home?

B: What? What is a hell-cat wife?

A: Yes, she is a shrew, a tigress and I am a henpecked husband. If she hadn’t shouted or cursed at me, I wouldn’t be able to fall asleep that night.

B: Have you ever heard anything as incredible as this? What curses did she shout at you?

A (imitating the scolding manner of a woman, with a high-pitched voice): You “Skinny,” you are neither good-looking nor well-built. Besides cooking meals and taking care of the children, you aren’t good at anything else. You do not look manly.

B: I don’t think that she is womanly! Would a good woman speak in this manner? At least you are a vice-chief in your working unit. Furthermore, she has been working outside all day long. And who should do the housework? Children will become wild if they are not well-disciplined. Then, is it really good to earn so much money? Just as the old saying goes, “There can’t be two tigers on one mountain.” If both of you keep fighting with each other, then it will cause destruction to both sides. I think that your wife is too foolish.

A (stepping toward B with excitement and grabbing his hands, saying in an exaggerated tone): My parents gave birth to me, but it is you who understand me the most. I also think in the same way. If my wife wants to be a tigress, then I am willing to be a henpecked husband. Otherwise, what might happen to my family? How will my children survive if they are fatherless or motherless? Therefore, I always make a concession. However, the more I compromise, the more aggressive she becomes.

B: Your wife really doesn’t know how to appreciate the favours that you do for her. I think that she didn’t stand in your shoes. If she could view one thing from your viewpoint, then she will know that your concession is for her own good.

A: But several months ago, she suddenly stopped scolding me.

B (with much delight): What happened? Your wife turned over as new leaf?

A: No, her voice became hoarse.

B: A hoarse voice? Then, she should go to see the doctor as soon as possible.

A: Yes, she did. It cost thousands of dollars to go through all kinds of examinations, such as X-rays, ultrasound, CT scans, and an electrocardiograph. But no problem could be found. Yet whenever she spoke, she would feel pain. Her broken and husky voice was just like that of a duck or goose. (imitating the speaking voice of his wife.)

B: She is a saleswoman. If she can not talk, how can she do a good job at her work?

A: So, her working unit said that if her hoarse voice could not be cured, then she would be fired.

B (in a meditating manner): As far as I am concerned, she just deserves it. She used to scold her husband, but now she is unlikely to scold you.

A: These are just words said in a fit of anger, but the disease still needed to be cured. As there was no way out and when we were feeling frustrated, one miraculous thing happened.

B: What happened?

A: One day on the street she happened to see one of her former colleagues, Ms. Chang, who was laid off three years ago.

B: Why? What would she do to cause herself to be laid off? Now if you are found guilty of corruption, receiving kickbacks or diverting funds, you will only be given a demerit, fired, or will be imprisoned for one or two years. What crime on earth did she commit to receive such a punishment?

A (whispering): She practises Falun Gong!

B: Then, why is that related to your wife’s disease?

A: Please allow me to tell you a long story. Knowing that my wife was painfully tortured by her disease, Ms. Chang came to my home to comfort her. That day, I heard Ms. Chang say (imitating the speaking manner of a woman): Every being in this world should achieve a balance of yin and yang, just like our human body. If the human body loses the balance of yin and yang, then a person will become sick. Likewise, in a family a man should be manly while a woman should be gentle and feminine. In the past when people got married, a woman would count on her man to look after her for her life. A husband would take the responsibility of taking care of his wife and family and would respect and protect his wife. On the other hand, a wife would be considerate and would love her husband dearly. This way, all the family would live a happy life. Wouldn’t that be wonderful?

B: Yes! I particularly like to see movies with wedding ceremonies taking place in churches. Father will ask the couple the following question (imitating the speaking manner of Father): No matter whether he is poor or rich, strong or weak, having a smooth life or a difficult life, sad or depressed, will you love him forever? (saying in a shy voice) Yes. (Then changing his voice.) But now where can we find such a marriage? Do you know what modern youngsters call marriage?

A: What?

B: Finding an eating partner! Finding a sleeping partner! That is, marriage means that two people get together, eat together and sleep together. Whenever they want to end their partnership, they can go their own ways without any worries or troubles. They don’t have any wish to spend all their lives together. After that, did you hear Ms. Chang saying anything else?

A (imitating the speaking manner of a woman): Now, no matter who they are, males or females, young ones or old ones, everybody is seeking independence and liberalisation. Everybody is putting their individual interest and their freedom as the top priority. As a result, everyone is fighting with one another; no one is thinking about making contributions to their family. Many career women are not only very tough in the office but also at home. They are always thinking about how to dominate the other person. But because of the female instinct they are unconsciously expecting their men to be stronger than themselves. Isn’t this contradictory? A woman wants to be the strongest and simultaneously wants her man to be stronger than her. This is the same mistake that many superwomen make.

B: What Ms. Chang said was very right.

A (imitating the speaking manner of a woman): Dear sister, you said that your husband was not very competent and you were nagging him everyday. Have you ever thought that many of your words are just born out of emotion and are neither fair nor objective. When complaining about him, you were hurting his self-esteem and he couldn’t even raise his head nor stick out his chest. Was he manly in this way? Maybe in his opinion, you are not like a woman, either. Fortunately, he still loves you and has been making a concession. If your husband were another man, perhaps you would have already had a divorce. Dear sister, modesty, tolerance and endurance are human virtues. Think about this. It seems that you are free and strong. But in fact, you can never get real warmth and happiness. And there will be no one in the world whom you can trust.

B (clapping his hands happily): Her words are very correct. Why? You are in tears.

A: At that moment, I was so moved that I cried and rushed out of the kitchen and grabbed Ms. Chang’s hands tightly. My wife kept wiping the tears from her cheeks.

B: It is very rare to teach people to tolerate others in this highly competitive society. Is Ms. Chang a college graduate?

A: No! She is over fifty, and only received an elementary education. She learned all of the teachings from Falun Gong. My wife told me that Ms. Chang had been suffering from sickness’ and every year she spent seven or eight thousand dollars on medication. But after she started practising Falun Gong she miraculously became younger and healthier. Several years ago, she was praised as an advanced employer.

B: Then, why did her working unit fire such an excellent employer?

A: Just because she visited Tiananmen Square to peacefully appeal for Falun Gong.

B: The leader was too stubborn. She just went to make an appeal and didn’t commit any crime. Why should she be fired?

A: That is because the vice-leader was paving the way for his political life in order to climb up the social ladder. So, the leader could only pretend not to see his wrongdoing. Those who went through the Cultural Revolution were very familiar with dirty tricks. Today, they would crack down on this, and on that tomorrow. But several days later, injustice would be undone. Citizens were tortured, but no one benefited from this.

B: Yes! I have one relative working in Zanhuang County, Hebei province. Two days ago, he told me something very weird and I was really frightened by it.

A: What is it that frightened you?

B: One of their local residents was called Huahaiying, a 42 year old man, whose job it was to crack down on Falun Gong. Jiang’s followers crack down on Falun Gong not only because they are carrying out Jiang’s orders but also because they are using this chance to make some money. Therefore, they are working particularly hard. If anyone were caught making an appeal for Falun Gong or handing out fliers, he would be fined heavily and he would have to pay tens of thousands of dollars. If he could not afford to pay the penalty, then he would be beaten even to death or imprisoned. In Zanhuang County, there was an honest person called Dingangzi who was beaten to death because he refused to give up practising Falun Gong. It was said that at the moment of his death, suddenly there were strong gusts of wind. The local residents had never experienced such strong wind. It was just like the story of the Chinese opera, “Injustice Done to Tou Er.” Even Heaven was angry at their evildoing. And the guards in the prison were so frightened that they set off firecrackers all that afternoon to bolster themselves.

A: Now the police are enforcing the law, but violating the law. They are just like scoundrels.

B: It was said that Huahaiying committed so much evildoing that his 18-year-old son was killed in a motorcycle accident for no reason. When his sister went to his home to mourn the death of her nephew, the soul of the dead nephew occupied her body. The soul found reincarnation in the aunt’s body and created a great disturbance.

A: What? The soul found reincarnation in another persons body? Do you mean that the dead person’s soul occupied his aunt’s body and said something through her mouth?

B: Yes.

A: To tell you the truth, my grandfather once witnessed something like this. It was said that what the ghost said was almost true and it was proven to be true later. Buddy, please go on to tell me more about the story.

B: At that moment, the voice of the haunted aunt altered, and she shouted, “I want to talk to my father. I want to talk to my father. Ask him to come.” Then, the father stepped forward. The haunted aunt was heard to say, “Father, please don’t interfere with Falun Gong. Falun Gong is the righteous law. Did you hear me?”

A: What? The ghost also said that Falun Dafa is the righteous law. Did his father promise him to stop interfering with Falun Gong?

B: The father used to be quite stubborn. At first he kept silent. Then, the haunted aunt rushed to him, grabbed his neck, shook him violently and repeated aloud, “Don’t interfere with Falun Gong. Did you hear me? Did you hear me?” Then, the father regained his awareness and made a promise. Later, he really left his job and took the initiative to transfer to another department. Many of the high-ranking officials in Hebei province have heard of this strange story. At first, they did not believe it was true and so they sent someone to make an investigation into it and found out that it was a true story. Now many officials in Hebei province just appear to interfere with Falun Gong, but in private they are giving a helping hand to Falun Gong.

A: I have to tell my wife this amazing story. Falun Gong is very miraculous.

B: All the Falun Gong practitioners that I know are good people. But there is one thing about them that confuses me. Why did they have to give up their jobs and families to oppose the government? Just as the saying goes, “The arms cannot win a fight against the legs.” They are under the rule of the government, so they have no choice but to yield to it. Keep the hill green, and you will never lack fuel for winter again. The government does not allow them to practise Falun Gong. Why didn’t they practise it privately at home. Why did they have to visit Tiananmen Square Isn’t it an excuse for the government to charge them with causing disturbance?

A: I used to get confused about this as well. However, since I learned to view one thing from another different angle and to stand in another’s shoes, I started to realise the truth. You said that those practitioners benefited from practising the exercises. Some of them were even saved by Falun Gong. Shouldn’t they go to Tiananmen Square to peacefully appeal for Falun Gong? If they had refused to go then that would have been weird.

B: That sounds logical. Human beings emphasise conscience. I used to feel sympathy for Falun Gong. However, after the self-immolation event in Tiananmen Square, I thought they went too far and made people lose control of their minds They died for Falun Gong and this is just too strange.

A: Friend, you have been fooled.

B: I was fooled? But by whom?

A: By Jiang.

B: Is there any evidence?

A: Did you still remember the CCTV “coverage” of the event? The UN International Education Development (IED) invited experts to examine the video and found that the self-immolation was a sham staged by the government. It was a setup to harm the reputation of Falun Gong.

B: Can something like this really happen? But what made you believe in the IED?

A: Lets look at the video filmed by CCTV. You have been living in Beijing for such a long time. Have you ever seen the police in Tiananmen Square carrying a fire extinguisher whilst on patrol? No. The self-immolation event just happened for over ten minutes and CCTV happened to arrive at that spot and take close-up shots of the event. Could there be such a coincidence in the world?

B: That sounds unlikely. It seemed that everything was prepared in advance.

A: In the video there are still many apparent inconsistencies. For example, the man setting himself ablaze and shouting slogans has big round ears, while the real Falun Gong practitioner in the photo has small thin ears. It means that the man setting himself ablaze is not that Falun Gong practitioner. Why did the government insist on saying that the Falun Gong practitioners set themselves ablaze? Falun Gong thinks that committing suicide is the most serious crime; one should not commit such a serious crime.

B: At that time I was told that some people were burned to death and I became so angry that I didn’t watch the video carefully.

A: This is the analysis made by the experts. The decisive person is the woman who was burned to death. In the slowed version, it appears that she collapsed not from the flames but from being bludgeoned by a man in a military overcoat. Tomorrow, I will bring you a disk about the truth of the self-immolation event and you can take a look at it If there were no setup, why was no investigation allowed?

B: It will be kind of you to bring me the disk. But I still can’t understand why they fabricated a sham to set up Falun Gong Was it another political setup?

A (laughing): You can stand in Jiang Zemin’s shoes and think about it. In the powerful seven-member Politburo Standing Committee, only Jiang insists on cracking down on Falun Gong. At first, he thought that Falun Gong would be eradicated as soon as possible. However, two years later, Falun Gong practitioners are becoming more steadfast and determined. Every day there are Falun Gong practitioners going to Tiananmen Square to make appeals. Besides, citizens around the country also sympathise with Falun Gong. Then, what could he do next?

B (murmuring to himself): He could stop the crackdown and say that he made a wrong decision. If he continued the crackdown, there would be no reason for it. Oh, do you mean that Jiang Zemin is holding a wolf by the ears and has being caught in an awkward dilemma? So, he has no choice but to keep walking ahead?

A: Buddy, just like a liar. To prove that his lies are true, he has to make up more lies to cover up his former lies. He is repeating the same mistake.

B: Friend, having a talk with you has taught me more than what I have learnt from reading books for ten years. How is the hoarse your wives hoarse voice?

A (appearing very delighted): I never would have dreamed that my wife would practise Falun Gong with Ms. Chang after hearing her words. Unexpectedly, the first day after she practised the exercises, her hoarse voice was cured. That day my wife excitedly read me the first lecture of “Zhuan Falun.” [The main text of Falun Gong] During the two hours of her reading, her voice sounded very loud and far-ringing. There was no longer a problem with her throat.

B: It’s so amazing. Illness that could not be cured by any medical treatment disappeared after practising the Falun Gong exercises. That is too miraculous.

A: Not only has her husky voice been healed, but also she is no longer bad-tempered. She now talks to me in a very gentle and sweet voice. During my ten years of marriage, I have never experienced something so wonderful before. To tell you the truth, my wife and I are closer to each other now than when we were dating. (seemingly indulged in his happiness)

B: You look so satisfied! Time is getting late and it’s time for you to go home to be with your wife. (pausing for a few seconds) Don’t forget to bring me the disk clarifying the truth of self-immolation tomorrow. I also need to live my life in a self-conscious way!

Translated from http://www.yuanmingeurope.net/articles/200302/17133.html

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