Running a Newspaper With the Mentality of a Fa Rectification Dafa Disciple
Shared at the 2004 Canada Falun Dafa Conference
(Clearwisdom.net) In January 1996 while traveling from the United States to Canada I finished listening to Master's 9-day-lecture audio recording in the car. Then, we went onto the CN Tower, visited Niagara Falls, Chinatown and had lunch there... It was minus 20 degrees Celsius at that time with snow falling from the sky. That was my first time visiting Canada. Everything I saw seemed to be so special to me and I deeply felt that I liked Toronto, even though I did not realize that my life was about to take a totally new direction.
Six years later, 2002, my family immigrated to Toronto from Singapore. I had been benefiting a lot from Dafa by then. While in Singapore, our whole family, including my husband, my parents and parents-in-law, started cultivation. I had a full-time job and in my leisure time, I would go to practice and distribute Dafa materials at some famous scenic spots, visit government officials, send e-mails, and provide articles to our Dafa website, etc. I would use all my annual leave time to attend experience sharing conferences all over the world, go to India to promote Dafa, and to Iceland to send forth righteous thoughts. When traveling either for Dafa activities or on business trips, I'd also take photos, write travel notes, and submit them to our newspaper. I'd take care of the photograph, writing, editing, typesetting, and proofreading all by myself. I thought I was just doing what a Fa Rectification disciple is supposed to do.
How should I start my new cultivation life in Canada, which is a totally new environment for me? In Toronto, meaning "a place where all gods are gathering", I felt so happy to be together with so many diligent Dafa disciples. In the meantime, I was often concerned about some aspects that I did not cultivate well.
Not long after I came to Toronto, I joined the media team and was mainly working on the truth-clarification newspaper. At the very beginning, I tried to do typesetting, inserting ad designs into the editing, as well as reporting. Gradually, I was able to take all the responsibilities for these and sometimes, I felt I could even accomplish all the tasks with ease. However, with more involvement in the newspaper, I realized that we had a very urgent problem: funding. I also learned that in the past two years, some local practitioners had spent almost all their personal savings to run the newspaper and they were reaching their limits. I thought that since this issue was noticed by me, it was not by chance. It might be one of my many missions as a Dafa disciple. I decided to try my best to help solve the problem.
When I was in Singapore, I was working as a senior electrical engineer in a big company, simply following a prescribed path. However, after I arrived in Toronto, I was even not able to find a job in my field because of the lack of working experiences in Canada. I still had a strong will deep in my heart though, which was that I would have to complete the mission that Dafa had entrusted me. I trusted I would be able to do it. I have to truly believe my well-cultivated side and with this, all those righteous gods would be helping me. I asked Master to strengthen the abilities for me.
After attending last year's Washington DC Experience Sharing Conference, I decided to start selling advertisements. Soon I happened to have a chance to register for an advertisement-training course, through which I was able to learn about the overall picture of the advertisement business and was able to grasp the basics of advertising. Meanwhile, I tried to take the opportunities to try to sell ads.
I then came to the understanding that all my personal capabilities that I had before were preparation to be used in today's Fa-Rectification. Compared to my colleagues, I was always a fast learner and did things quite fast. My former boss even complained about my being too fast because according to him, this would affect our whole team's work pace. At present what's needed is exactly a quick start, and using minimum time to do things well. When I was a kid, I talked to my mother in Cantonese and while I was in Singapore, I had to use English during study and work. I have to speak Mandarin with my husband. Besides, I also learned some dialects bit by bit. All these provided a lot of help for me to do the advertisement business.
Yet I do have a lot of obstacles to overcome. Take driving as an example. I have never liked vehicles since I was young. If I did not come to North America, I probably would not drive for my whole life. I was so afraid of driving on the highway. When stepping on the gas pedal, my legs would shake. If I had to drive on the highway, I would always hope to encounter a traffic jam. On the second day after I decided I would start selling advertisements, my car was hit hard by another car in the rear. Not long after that, another car hit me on one of my car doors so hard that the door was bent and the muffler pipe was also broken. I eventually realized that my attachment to the fear of vehicles had been seen by the old forces, and they wanted to magnify my attachments for the purpose of disturbing my Fa-rectification work. Of course, they did not want to see me driving my car to see clients. I knew that this fear was a material existence and I had to let it go. I would have to reject it and have a breakthrough with determination. I strengthened my righteous thoughts. By coincidence, one vehicle maker provided me all kinds of new vehicles to test drive. Thus I had the chance to test drive everything from compact cars, to vans, to four-wheel drive jeeps. I regarded the opportunity as a form of encouragement. After I tested all the vehicles, I became a very experienced driver and, of course, my fear of driving went away. Now, I would often drive my car in the early morning and come back after the sunset. This has been my routine.
Getting advertisements for our newspaper seems easy, but it actually requires one's will, patience and consistency. We provided a couple of training sessions for over 20 practitioners who showed interest at that time. But gradually, more and more people quit. I did not know how to deal with the situation. Although I got some encouragement from fellow practitioners from time to time, I did hear many negative feedbacks also. I told myself: I will continue what I am doing even if nobody else would be left. Since I have decided to do this thing well, it is already my commitment. All gods know, our Master knows. One of the fellow practitioners told me that if I could get more ads for our paper, I might bring more confidence to other practitioners too. That is right, if a person like me who seems not so fit for the job can do it well, why not others?
I learned and tried bit by bit and felt myself getting more and more on track. Our ad business began running well. At that point, it was decided that the western Canada version would change from weekly to daily on May 3rd. There were only 2 weeks between the announcement and the publication of the daily newspaper. Most people felt the pressure to publish a daily newspaper, in particular, the pressure concerning the financing.
I can feel the fast pace of the Fa-rectification through doing advertisement promotion. During the process, I had many chances to contact non-practitioners. Everyday, I am pleasantly surprised and everyday I have good stories to share.
Jenny, a native Korean, is a great agent for soliciting advertisements for the newspaper. She does not speak Chinese and she cannot drive. At that time, in order to go to see those clients where public transportation cannot reach, I would go together with her to see them one to two days a week. We went to see many of the well-known Korean businesses. Most of the time, they would be communicating in Korean and I would be sitting quietly and sending forth righteous thoughts. Probably it was because Jenny and I had very good co-operation, we could often get the ads easily. As a result, our newspaper has had a lot of Korean clients. Jenny also went to see some Chinese clients and she talked to them in English to introduce our newspaper.
With more ads received, we were facing the need for more designs for the advertisements. Jenny was a professional designer and she had done a lot of designs for the ads on our newspaper. She also spent a lot of time training more ad designers like myself. Since Jenny does not understand Chinese, I would translate for her. As a result, I learned the ad designs from her. I was often moved by Jenny's professionalism and her willingness to take responsibility. She works very hard, even on tiny details. On the night before we launched our daily publication on May 3, Jenny stayed up for almost the whole night designing ads in order to meet the deadline. To save more time, we chose not to sleep until after sending righteous thoughts at 5AM. After that, we studied the Fa and did the exercises together. Then, we were able to finish designing another ?page ads for the front page. We learned later on that the client was very satisfied with the design.
Our newspaper was able to reach a financial surplus in the last month before we launched the daily publication for the Eastern Canada edition. In addition, we got a few ads for our future daily publication.
As planned, we launched the daily publication for our newspaper together with the Western Canada edition. The publications are available in both Toronto and Vancouver. This is the first free daily Chinese-language newspaper ever in Canada.
Since we were short of hands, I had to take care of the coordination and arrangement of the ads. Our daily newspaper starts to be printed at around 3:30 am every day and the phone number we left with the printing house was my home phone number. Therefore, in the first month after we launched the daily newspaper, I would be receiving phone calls from the printing house at around 2 to 3am every morning. Sometimes, it was just a message to confirm everything was fine.
Due to various reasons, we frequently have errors with our daily publication, especially on the ads. Usually I won't be able to rest until after midnight. But early in the morning I receive phone calls saying that such and such mistakes had been found. As a result I'd often complain. I am the backup for the ad designer. I was taking care of looking for ads as well. As a matter of fact, we got fewer ads because we had less time to work on that.
After one month like that, I felt so tired both physically and mentally. One day, I was joking with my 4 year-old kid, "Look, Mom almost looks like an old lady..." the kid responded: "Who said cultivators could get older? Cultivator could only get younger and younger while cultivating." After hearing this, I felt ashamed of myself. I knew this was not from a child. I felt grateful to Master for reminding me not to forget the fundamental requirements for cultivation under any circumstances.
I then recalled what Master mentioned about the arranged tribulations. All those were arranged according to your Xinxing level. If you are really willing to overcome it, you will definitely be able to do so.
In the special environment there are factors related to our cultivation everywhere. When we went out as reporters, the VIP's, business leaders and those well-known figures among everyday people would show their respect to us. When meeting others as an ad agent, ordinary people, including secretaries and operators, would be impolite to us. Sometimes, we could even hear people's complaints. On a few occasions, clients provided us with a work opportunity, which could be quite attractive. However, what could be better than a chance to work for media run by Dafa disciples?
Jie is another ad agent who joined our team around two months ago. She works very hard and does a very good job. In the first month after she began, she was able to get 8 clients. This is almost a miracle for ordinary people who are in this business. Because practitioners often share together from the Fa perspective, we all felt we improved a lot.
Last month, which was the first month since we started our daily publication, we reached the financial balance and we've been in a positive cycle since.
The future society will need a media as righteous and truthful as our newspaper. We are to leave behind a media that will prosper financially in society. Master is guiding us on the Fa-rectification Disciples' path, step by step. Master has given us the honor to be the Fa-rectification Disciples.
One day while driving, I suddenly realized that I have been enjoying such a great honor -- an honor probably more than I deserve. I would never be able to pay back what Master has done for me, for his care from the macroscopic to microscopic, for his delicate arrangements from the ancient times to the future. Every single cell is full of my gratitude to our Master. I could not hold back my tears.
I would like to thank our benevolent and great Master!
Thank you Master. Thank you all.