Treasures and Waste: On Writing Articles
(Clearwisdom.net) A practitioner once noticed that a large quantity of Falun Gong "truth-clarification" materials had been discarded in a waste disposal site in Northeast China. Fellow practitioners were very sad to hear this news, and began to think about why this had happened. They asked the question, "Practitioners took great risks and spent a lot of money to produce these materials. Why were they abandoned in such large quantities?" Here, I'd like share our understanding on the situation.
First, I would like to talk about the importance of writing articles for use as truth-clarification materials. In Chinese history, Cao Pi, from the Three Kingdoms, once mentioned the importance of writing articles for use in society. As practitioners, we shoulder a large responsibility and have to be upright and write articles well. The purpose of our reporting or writing articles is not to provide a means of entertainment, but rather, it's for giving people an opportunity to know the truth, improve their moral standards, and distinguish right from wrong. When we write articles, we should have a strong sense of responsibility for saving people, and we should not write articles just for the sake of doing it.
Why do readers find some of our articles very touching, whereas other articles seem less so? An article can express our feelings and is where we can put our arguments forward. The result depends on the height of our realm and ethical standards, or how in-depth the article is. If we have very little compassion for others or have a very strong competitive mentality, it will be difficult for us to write with language that creates a peaceful atmosphere for the reader. When an article cannot touch the reader's heart, it could be that our heart was not sincere enough. When our articles have many shortcomings, it could be due to having many loopholes in our cultivation. When we cultivate well, our articles will be written well.
Many westerners have come to learn the truth about the persecution of Falun Gong through the articles that reported on Ms. Chen Zixiu. Why have these articles been able to touch people's hearts? From the standpoint of being objective, fair, and having compassion coming from the words, the author was sincere in expressing comments with kindness and tenacity. So, when we write articles we must consider others first as to whether readers will be receptive to our articles, and we should let go of our own feelings and emotions. If we do not have empathy, then when we write articles we will subconsciously portray our own feelings of hatred or complaint, and the articles will not seem peaceful to the reader.
Why are good articles passed down through so many generations? The poet Jia Dao, from the Tang Dynasty, thought over and over on each word in his poem. Cao Xueqin painstakingly wrote Hong Lou Meng. This tells us that to do anything well, we not only have to possess great aspirations, but also be able to put our hearts into it. If every sentence in our articles makes sense or is agreed upon by the reader, and every paragraph has been checked and re-checked, then surely readers will be willing to read and cherish these pieces of work. With the pace of modern society, people tend to go for speed, and as a result become careless. For sure, this method will not produce good articles. One has to be able to withstand loneliness and hardship in order to write good articles.
Finally, we need to coordinate well to ensure the quality of articles. When the very knowledgeable and talented Cao Xueqin was writing Hong Lou Meng, he reviewed it for 10 years and changed it five times. So, when we write articles, we not only need to revisit it, we need to ensure that our articles are of a high standard. A person's knowledge and capability is limited, but we can work well if we cooperate well with each other. There is an everyday system of "reviewing it three times, proofreading it three times, and reading through the entire article once." If practitioners have the mentality of washing their hands of an article as soon as they have finished it and then send it out, this mentality could easily lead works of inferior quality.
The reason why some of our articles do not achieve the best effect, is that we do not put our hearts into writing them. Only by doing so can others be touched by our articles and be saved. When we truly want to do things well, when we truly treat sentient beings as our family members, care for them and save them, will we be assisted by the gods, and will gods display their mighty power to grant us great wisdom to do things well.
The current society is full of chaos, flooded with articles offering all kinds of information. However, it lacks good quality articles. We must be clear: only if we have compassion and kindness in ourselves, and are down-to-earth and diligent in doing things, can our articles go beyond being plain, and become more valuable.
We should not criticize others for disregarding our efforts in writing articles, we can only put the requirement on ourselves to produce good quality pieces of work that are appealing to people, so that they can be saved. We must let go of anxiety, fear of hardship, and resentment. Nothing can compare to articles that can save sentient beings. We should truly treat writing articles as something that will last forever; we must not do things in haste or without thinking them through.