Working on a Dafa Website Project Is My Honor
(Clearwisdom.net) Greetings, Master! Greetings, my fellow practitioners! I am a member of a Dafa website team from Japan. I am pleased to share my experiences with everyone on my work for this website.
I. I Have Gained So Much from Working for this Dafa Website
I started working for the website around October 2000. At the time, in order to let the public in Japan know about the ongoing persecution of Falun Dafa in China, some fellow practitioners had set up a Japanese language website that carried translated articles from the Chinese version of the website. The practitioner who was responsible for picking articles from the Chinese website asked me to help out in picking articles and sending them to fellow practitioner translators, as he was busy with other projects as well. Though I knew about this Chinese Dafa website, I had never read it before, since I had no access to the Internet from home. Besides, other than typing, I knew nothing about using a computer, not even sending and receiving emails. I doubted my abilities since I knew so little, even though I wanted very much to get involved. Why not start learning, fellow practitioners encouraged me. That's right! I can learn! Since Dafa needs it, why not learn it, I thought. With the help of fellow practitioners, I learned some basic skills such as handling emails, editing articles, and updating web pages and so on.
It all looks easy now, but when I was right in the middle of learning it, I felt it was as hard as climbing a mountain. Especially in learning how to update a web page, I had to do it step by step following my notes. There seemed to be a ton of stuff to remember and all my fingers felt like thumbs. With my confidence waning, I decided that I'd only do editing work and leave web page updating to others who excelled at computer skills. But my fellow practitioners in Japan never gave up on me. "Don't worry. Give it another try. You won't know where the problem is until you actually try it," they'd say to me. One night, a practitioner even sat by my side, teaching me how to do it. When I didn't know how to proceed, he'd show me. So I followed his instructions step by step. By the time I learned all the basics, it was already dawn. Later I was able to take on the task of updating the web page for an entire day. That was a day between the end of May and early June, when there was a surge in the number of practitioners who'd volunteered to translate for the Chinese Dafa website after an experience sharing at the New York Fa Conference. More than a dozen articles were posted each day during that period, which was quite a challenge for me. I posted them one by one, and would seek help through the Internet from fellow practitioners connected to the Internet whenever I encountered problems. Everything proceeded well until, all of a sudden, a mistake occurred. I didn't know how to deal with it, so I tried to talk to online practitioners. But they were mostly gone. And of the few who were still there, no one responded to my questions. I glanced at my watch, and it was three o'clock in the morning. What should I do? I thought of my notes and started doing it all over based on the notes, and solved the problem all by myself. When I finished posting all of the articles, it was already 10 o'clock in the morning. So, starting from around 11:30 the previous night, over ten hours had passed by without my noticing it.
Though I had felt it was hard and didn't want to learn it, I realized later that learning more skills would enable me to do more for Dafa. Especially for the Japanese language website team, where there was a shortage of hands, I could now do the web page updating all by myself when technical expert practitioners were busy. Besides, I have never since shied away from computer technologies and I am willing to learn new skills--quite a breakthrough for me.
Then, of course, working for the website has not only been a technical breakthrough for me. More importantly, reading articles from the website has been a big help to my cultivation. Over the past five years, practitioners editing for this website, for various reasons, have come and gone. To date, another practitioner and myself are the only ones doing the job. Editing six days a week, I need to carefully read the Chinese website's articles almost every day and pick the appropriate ones for the Japanese website. Some long articles need to be abridged before being sent for translation in zipped form. For these articles, I have to read them two or three times.
Some practitioners asked me if it took me a lot of time to pick articles, edit them, and read them. It did take me a lot of time. In fact, the first thing I do in the evening is turn on the computer and read the current articles. This has become part of my routine in the past few years. However, reading the articles has proved to be a boost to my cultivation. For instance, as I read about how practitioners in mainland China are persecuted every day, I can feel their suffering. Besides sending articles about persecution for translation, I thought I should do more than just expose the facts. So I joined the calling team, making phone calls to evil police in mainland China, warning them that good will be rewarded with good and evil with evil. By helping stop the evil, my own cultivation has experienced breakthroughs.
I was always moved to tears when reading Dafa disciples' stories of righteous thoughts and actions in clarifying the facts. Often I felt inspired and encouraged by disciples' experience sharing. Reading the articles daily has urged me on when I slacked off, energized me when I faced frustrations, and helped me hold on to righteous thoughts when I came across interference. Over the years, it's not that I've lost anything. Rather, I've gained so much in my cultivation through reading the articles every day. I now understand better the truth Master revealed to us: It's not that you are doing anything for Dafa; you are doing everything for yourself.
II. Only Group Improvement Will Ensure the Website Team Lasts
In the beginning, I felt all I had to do was to pick the articles to be translated every day and send them to translator-practitioners. But that proved to be seriously inadequate. Practitioners involved in the website project observe a division of work. Some edit, some translate, some proofread, some maintain the network, and some update the web page. Any misstep in the flow would cause a malfunction of the website. Having worked at different stages of the project, I know it is an integrated process. But I did not fully realize that until the end of 2004 or early 2005.
I was sending articles for translation every day, as usual, but seldom received translations. The chief coordinator told me that no translations had been received lately and probably everyone was too busy. I proposed an exchange among practitioners, hoping everyone would work harder--even one translation a week would sustain the website. Later an online exchange was arranged, though with few participants. Of those who did attend, they have since worked harder at translating. Still, translated articles fell far short. I suggested to the Dafa Association that they call upon practitioners who speak good Japanese to get involved in translating articles. I also talked to some practitioners who speak good Japanese when I met them at group events, and tried to persuade them to translate for the website. As a result, a dozen or so practitioners from around Japan volunteered. Elated, I began routinely sending them articles for translation. Before long, however, a few among them started to leave the team for various reasons, and some did not even respond to sent articles. I talked to other coordinators and didn't get any help.
Discouraged, I told myself that I'd done my part and perhaps others were indeed too busy. All right, I'll just do my share well, and that's all, I thought. For a while after that, only a few practitioners had stayed with the translation team. No matter how hard the few of us worked, the Japanese language website barely managed to function. The coordinators, including myself, wondered, "Why are practitioners who do translation always leaving? And why can't the team in Japan develop into a steady group?" I now realize that it's due to interference that some practitioners could not stay on for various seemingly understandable reasons. The Dafa websites play such an important role in Fa-rectification, and that's why interference has been so resilient. I think all of us who are involved in the various website projects should hold group Fa study and experience sharing regularly. Isolated and fragmented efforts are not enough. What we need is an elevated advance of the whole group and a field of righteous thoughts in which all of us will learn and cultivate together. Only then will we be able to part from the past unstable state and continue to do a better job.
The above is my experience and understanding in working for this Dafa website. Kindly point out whatever you find inappropriate.