Working with a Major International Chain Store to Promote the Chinese Spectacular
Revered Master, Dear fellow practitioners,
When New York's "Holiday Wonders" was right around the corner and the show would begin in less than 3 weeks I had been busy working on the NTDTV's competitions, and was not involved in the ticket sales and preparation work for the show. One day I received an email from the project coordinator, which took me aback for quite a while. Feeling very sad, I realized as a New York practitioner, I was responsible for what was happening
The project coordinator later sent another email that made me cry. I was deeply moved by those Dafa disciples who, dressed in very light-weight costumes posing as kings or queens, were undaunted by the biting cold and persevered distributing flyers in the windy streets of Manhattan. My heart was deeply moved: It is such a wonderful event and powerful performance. Master has put a lot of effort into it so it could save lives. I asked myself: How could we not find a way to sell tickets to complement His efforts to save lives? How can we accept it if there are many empty seats during the performance? Those seats are for the purpose of saving people! I reckoned that we had to find a way. I thought of a well-known membership store that has chains around the world. Many people shop there. It is quite well known and has outlets in almost every city that the show would tour. I decided to start with this store.
For our appointment with a general manager of one of the store's outlets, we arrived at his office promptly at 10:00 a.m.. I played the introductory film about NTDTV and its New Year shows on my laptop. I also introduced him to Falun Gong, talked about the persecution in mainland China against practitioners of Truth-Compassion-Tolerance, and shared with him the physical and spiritual benefits of practicing Falun Gong. We also covered the phenomenon of a large number of people renouncing the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) in China, among other things. Since there were several other managers present, I got up and demonstrated our exercises. This attracted the attention of everybody in the room. They came over and watched and said that the exercises felt very peaceful.
After I finished the third exercise, I noticed a Chinese woman standing behind me. She said, "My manager (another manager) asked me to come over and take a look at what you are doing." I told her, "I am showing the Falun Gong exercises to your managers." At that moment, I remembered what Master said in "Teaching the Fa at the 2004 International Fa Conference in New York":
"And in addition, there is another problem I've discovered. There are Chinese employees in Manhattan's many big corporations, and even in some of the small corporations and establishments, and the majority of those Chinese people have been deceived by the falsehoods spread by the CCP's slanderous propaganda machine, and those things in their heads have not been cleared away all this time. So they have become people who spread venom in American society. It's not that those people are evil by nature. But indeed, while Dafa disciples are clarifying the truth in one place they are over there spreading the slanderous things from the CCP in some other place. It wouldn't hurt for you to write the following on flyers, display boards, or have the media report it: "The Chinese people in your company have been misled and they are helping the CCP spread its venom, so you should examine the facts for yourselves."
I said to myself, we should spend some time with her later to clarify the truth to her. We clarified the truth a great deal to the manager and told him not to blindly believe what others said, and that he should find out for himself. I knew I should create more opportunities to see the manager, to continue to clarify the truth to him. I told him that I would be happy to teach them the exercises for free. He gladly agreed and we fixed the schedule. Three hours after we arrived, we left the manager's office and went to look for the Chinese employee to clarify truth to her right away. We left the shop after 3:00 p.m. that day.
After I got back home, I started making arrangements for teaching the exercises. I went to the store at the scheduled time to teach the exercises. The Marketing Manager got a dozen other managers to come learn the practice. Thus, Dafa was spread to the store. After teaching them the five sets of exercises, the Western practitioner in our group clarified the truth to them further and told them about the persecution in China. Some people looked confused because they couldn't understand that somewhere out there, people could get persecuted for doing those exercises.
There was only a month between the Holiday Wonders and the New Year Splendor shows. The schedule was very tight. I plunged into the project of working with the store's headquarters, in order to gain permission to sell tickets in their stores. Once, at the dinner table, I told the store's general manager frankly that my English was not that good and I didn't know what type of information his headquarters would be looking for, so I really needed his help. After that, I visited him a few times in his office. Because it was during the Christmas rush, he was so busy that he couldn't even talk to me for 5 minutes without being interrupted, let alone helping me prepare the materials. I was sitting there, watching him rushing in and out of the office. He kept apologizing. I asked myself: What is the number one thing in the universe today? The Fa. What is the most urgent thing? It is saving people. That means the things I am doing are more urgent than what he is doing. Yes, I should understand and handle this better in order for ordinary people to understand and follow correctly.
Starting from that day, I stopped going to the manager's office. I invited him to visit me in Manhattan. At least twice, we worked on the informational package together from 1:00 p.m. to around 11:00 p.m. in the office. During a dinner, he said to me, "Since I met you, my life has changed." I told him, "It wasn't I who changed you. It was the Fa and Master who changed you." He questioned me over and over again, "What is happening? What is happening? This is the busiest time for me, and many of my people couldn't even talk to me for one minute, yet I am spending so much time here helping you with something that has nothing to do with me. What is going on?" I smiled and said, "All this has everything to do with you. You are doing a wonderful thing." He said he believed that.
After finishing the preparation work, we sent out a package to the store's headquarters. The manager told me that he was going on holiday and I had to rely on myself for the rest. He said he had done what he could. I knew he had given his best. I was very grateful to him and also happy for him. He didn't know what he was receiving back in the future, but what he did was coming from his knowing side after he had learned the truth. Thanks to our benevolent Master who is here to save sentient beings, the manager has also obtained Dafa. He is now a practitioner among us. Not only did he embark on the path of cultivation, he also spread the practice to his family and his colleagues. His younger brother and one of his colleagues also obtained the Fa as a result.
Headquarters contacted me. In total we had 20 outlets approved for the sale of tickets.
Over the twenty-plus days of intensive ticket sales, we had the cooperation of all Dafa disciples. When I went to each outlet to check on how things were going, the managers were all telling me how incredible it was. They had never thought that tickets could be sold so fast. Our goal actually was not to reach a particular sales figure--our number still paled in comparison to the number of sentient beings we needed to save, or to the overall seating rates.
The manager told me an episode: a Chinese man brought his son to do some shopping. When he saw us selling the tickets inside the outlet, he got angry and asked to see the general manager. He said he would file a complaint to headquarters to forbid New Tang Dynasty to sell tickets. He asked the manager, "Did you know they were Falun Gong?" The manager had just finished reading Zhuan Falun then, and had learned a lot of the truth. He asked the man, "What's wrong with Falun Gong?" The man repeated the lies spread by the CCP, but he couldn't really say what was wrong with Falun Gong. The manager then told him, "My entire family went to see their Christmas show. The show was well-meaning and contained nothing but your own traditional culture. There is nothing wrong with overseas Chinese celebrating Chinese New Year, is there?" The manager asked the man what he thought of China. The man told him how great China was. The manager said, "See, you said how great China was, but you chose to live here. The U.S. respects freedom and rights. She allows you to be here and you must allow others to be here as well." The man understood and laughed, and left with his son without further questioning.
Thank you Master, thank you everyone. Kindly point out anything that is inappropriate.