Stories of Clarifying the Truth on the Streets of New York City
(Clearwisdom.net) Many practitioners have been visiting New York City recently, just as I have. At times, I really could not account for what I had done there because it seemed that after an entire day had passed, all I could remember having done was staying with fellow practitioners for awhile and practicing the five sets of movements only twice. After seeing other practitioners each holding up a poster, I walked around and came back, admiring them very much. I too did that once, but it felt better staying near the torture exhibits. During this visit, I stayed in New York City for four days. For the final two days, we moved the torture exhibit. Although a great many people passed by our exhibit, only a few would accept the truth materials we offered, and even fewer broke their pace long enough to view the torture exhibit. I felt very bad after reaching to hand out materials for such a long time, but with no takers. I felt that if I could not find a way to break through the apathy, I was really just wasting my time. On the last day, I again asked two fellow practitioners to help carry a poster and walk around with me so that we could distribute materials together. This time, we walked in the direction of First, Second and Third Avenues. Due to my previous disappointments, I did not carry so many handouts as before.
We had not walked very far when I realized that I had made the right decision. In this area, there were many more people who gladly accepted the materials than there had been around the torture exhibit. I was also able to fully utilize one of my strong points, that of easily striking up a conversation with strangers. Although there were fewer people in the area where we were walking, most of it being residential, it still took us more than two hours to finish the round trip. The three of us distributed all of the English and Chinese materials we had with us, including newspapers, flyers, and Chinese and English CDs. Finally, we even had to hand out our local flyers. Wherever we walked, people along both sides of the street stopped to view our poster. Even more precious was that we found many chances to clarify the truth to people on a face-to-face basis. Several other stories follow.
Striking up Conversations with Strangers
In New York, there are many small fruit and hotdog stands along the streets. As we passed by a couple of stands run by people from India, there were no customers at the moment, so the man selling fruit just listened as I clarified the truth to him. Although the person selling hotdogs had some customers, he was only too anxious to hear more. The two vendors did not want to miss any anything. While they listened to me, they could see the poster being held up by the two practitioners standing behind me. When I realized that the fruit vendor was extremely interested in Falun Gong, I taught him the second set of movements, the set that is easiest to learn. Although his co-worker was busy, we could see him often raising his head to look.
Following that encounter, we saw about six people standing around a book and newspaper stand, chatting in Spanish. As I walked over to them, their topic of conversation immediately changed to that of Falun Gong. They seemed very sympathetic and found it difficult to understand when we informed them that people were being tortured just for practicing Falun Gong. One of them asked if there was a formal course where which Falun Gong could be learned, and we explained that there were exercise sites in the city. When they heard that all Falun Gong activities were free of charge, they became even more interested in learning and practicing. As we left, they said goodbye while holding the truth clarification materials and wearing happy smiles. Perhaps the divine sides of their natures were foreseeing their own wonderful futures.
We also met some vendors selling crafts and shawls, and we clarified the truth to them. Some said they had once seen our torture exhibit. They told us that although they did not have a high status in society, they wondered how they could help. I replied, "If you would just clarify the truth to your customers, it will certainly bring you good fortune. We clarify the truth to anyone who will listen, simply because we believe that each person who knows the truth can contribute their own share, and will know how best to help us in their own way."
A Man with a Sense of Justice
From a hotel doorway, we could see that the manager inside was very excited to see us. It turns out that he had also seen our torture exhibit and felt very indignant over the persecution. Many people suggested that the U.S. government should make a greater effort to stop the persecution, especially after they heard the story of Charles Li. After I gave the hotel manager a newspaper and CD, he asked me for more materials, and promised to hand them out to his hotel guests. He also said that he wanted to have his son watch the CD and read the newspaper. At that moment, a woman entered the hotel lobby. He quickly asked me if we had already given her the materials, and was relieved to hear that we had, saying he felt that we had done very well.
As a mother and daughter were approaching the building entrance, I walked over and handed them some truth-clarifying materials. They immediately began reading, so I stood by and talked to them. When the mother saw the phone number of the White House, she said, "I am going to call the White House." Following that, she asked me about the best way to approach the subject. I mentioned the story of Charles Li and suggested that she could at least ask the White House to rescue Charles Li, to return him to the U.S. soon, before his full prison term has been served. I also told her that the U.S. did not give us more support because China has kept the U.S. under considerable pressure. To my surprise, the woman who had shown such a sense of justice said, "That is only because we do not make enough phone calls. This kind of thing (the persecution) should never be allowed to happen."
"Wait a minute"
A mother and her child were going to mail some letters at a mailbox on the street. I walked over to them and, as usual, asked the mother if she would like to see some materials about Falun Gong. I felt that I was perhaps a little bit forward, but she said, "Wait a minute." After putting the letters into the mailbox, she immediately took my flyer, began reading through it, and then asked me where she could learn the practice. The flyer I had given her happened to list the contact telephone numbers of all the exercise sites in New York City. She left quite satisfied, and told me that she would definitely be calling one of the contact people.
After handing out almost all the materials that we had brought with us, we had only one flyer and CD left. We went along Sixth Avenue on our way back to the torture exhibit site, where there were many tall buildings. Suddenly, one fellow practitioner seemed to hear a sound coming from the sky. We all looked up to see what it was. Aha! Someone was calling to us from one of the higher floors, "Wait a minute."
Just then, a person at the bottom of the building said, "He wants to get some materials from you and asks that you to give the materials to me." It was obvious that they were friends. We gave him the last set of materials, including the CD. A woman standing nearby looked disappointed when she saw that we had no materials left but she didn't say a word. Fortunately, I suddenly recalled that I still had a flyer that listed our local contact phone number, so I took it out and handed it to her, pointing out my daughter's picture that was printed on the flyer.
"I thought there would be nothing left for you to share with me, so this is such a pleasant surprise! I feel so lucky," she exclaimed.
The Experience of Handing out Materials
There are many sidewalk benches in New York City, most of which are in somewhat secluded rest areas. The people sitting on the benches to rest usually have quiet hearts and will readily accept our materials. From the Manhattan street corners one can often see traffic jams at the intersections. Drivers who are stuck in traffic jams are usually willing to accept our materials. (Note: I only gave materials to those vehicles closest to the sidewalk because impeding traffic is strictly prohibited.) After handing a flyer to a driver and walking back to the sidewalk, I suddenly noticed a look of disappointment from a car window that was being rolled up. Immediately, I became aware that the driver of the vehicle, which was immediately behind the one to which I had just given materials, must have thought that I would also be giving him materials, as he was next in line. So he had rolled down the car window in anticipation, but I had not seen him. So as I immediately walked over to him, he rolled down the window again, and was very happy to take the materials, driving away with a smile of satisfaction. That was my most nervous moment of the day because I had almost missed a being that was longing to see the truth.
It was almost three o'clock in the afternoon when we returned to the torture exhibit site, and I was not standing there long before another practitioner asked me to go out walking again, and assist with holding posters and handing out materials, so I agreed. We had not walked very far from the torture exhibit site when our materials had all been quickly handed out. It was unexpected that so many people who had all just gotten off work accepted our materials. They must have noticed our torture exhibit in the morning on their way to work. The situation was very similar when we walked along several other streets. To our surprise, those people who had previously been in such a hurry readily accepted our materials this time. The fellow practitioner and I expected people to be pretty relaxed after just getting off work. Since there were not too many other practitioners on the street, they were willing to take our materials.
After hearing several of our practitioners share their experiences in New York City recently, I felt that we should concentrate our efforts on holding up posters in the crowded places and thereby affect people's seemingly callous hearts over a large area. For example, when we handed out materials at Times Square, where there was a really huge crowd of people, we used the following method. One practitioner would stand at a crossing, holding a poster up high and frequently turning it, so that passersby could see both the truth of the persecution, as well as other information regarding Falun Gong and Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance. Meanwhile, the other two practitioners focused on handing out materials. We found that nearly ninety percent of the people looked up to see the posters and then many of them accepted our materials. People do not find it too novel anymore when they see those colorful, modern advertising posters hung from the tall buildings around Times Square. Our truth-clarifying posters, however, are actually living advertisements. Every passerby looks at them with an interest that those commercial advertisements are unable to attract. I recall when we had just begun clarifying the truth on the streets of Manhattan a month ago. We met a man, who after reading the truth about the persecution on our poster, said to us, "You have done very well. You have left an image in the minds of Americans that they will be able to recall later."
One lady that we met said, "China should stop this persecution. Otherwise, Americans should stop doing business with China."
On a street without too many people, we held up our posters as usual, allowing us more chances to hand out materials and clarify the truth. We feel that in the near future, our footprints will cover every inch of Manhattan since we have so many groups holding up posters, handing out materials, and clarifying the truth. We believe that after an extended period of such actions, even hearts of steel will melt. We simply persist in clarifying the truth by continuously adjusting our methods to meet our target. Our righteous thoughts, as well as the wisdom and compassion that we obtain through cultivating Falun Dafa, are certain to move the hearts of Manhattans.