Some Thoughts Regarding the Call for May 13 Papers
(Clearwisdom.net) Each year around May 13, practitioners submit articles detailing their remarkable stories. I felt that the articles published these past two years were particularly powerful in clarifying the truth. Practitioners from all over China told real and vivid stories from different angles in simple language. Their experiences clearly validate that Falun Dafa is good. Their stories woke people up around the world and deterred the wicked people. They also helped those practitioners who lagged in cultivation recall how they had obtained the Fa and become diligent in cultivation again. The stories also attracted people who learned the truth to submit their own articles. During that period, Chinese Communist Party (CCP) special agents launched non-stop attacks on Minghui (Chinese version of Clearwisdom). Clearly Dafa disciples' articles rattled the evil's nerves. The evil is most afraid of people knowing that Dafa is good.
The call for this year's papers has begun, and I would like to share my thoughts with fellow practitioners regarding the articles' topics and story selection. Let's broaden our understanding together, so that we can write our articles well and achieve better results as a whole.
1. Our target audience is mainly everyday people
The articles published around May 13 each year are mainly for clarifying the truth to people. Therefore, we have to explore the theme in a way that everyday people can understand and target their hearts. The papers need to tell the stories of our experiences, as well as those of the people around us, including historical events, etc. The goal is to allow people to learn about the benefits of Dafa.
In terms of language, style and content, we need to avoid talking at too high of a level or just talking to fellow practitioners while disregarding our audience. Within the same article, we can share experiences with fellow practitioners and also say a few words to everyday people.
Let's just imagine that a reader is sitting in front of us. We should write about our stories in a way that he or she can understand and appreciate.
2. Selecting a theme
What subject matters should we choose? I would like to reference a few articles that I have read on Minghui.
(1) Stories from the period when Dafa was spreading around the world.
Several articles published around May 13 in 2010 and 2011 talked about practitioners' first-hand experiences. There were stories about how people obtained the Fa and their experiences with regard to healing, fitness and improved morality. There were also stories of Master teaching the Fa, the grand history of Dafa spreading around the world, media reports at that time, etc.
We should write our stories as informatively and as detailed as possible.
For example, a very short story, “Early Days in China: A Food Vendor Learns About Falun Gong” (http://www.clearwisdom.net/html/articles/2010/5/18/117151.html) talked about how practitioners in Shandong Province organized a group Fa-study in borrowed classrooms back in 1992. The story was about a food vendor collecting money during lunch time. The food vendor went from counting the money carefully in the beginning to finally just putting out the buns and the money box in the middle of the courtyard and knowing that the amount collected from practitioners would be exactly right, without him having to count it. From the expression and mentality of an everyday person, people reading this story learned about the honesty of Dafa practitioners. Dafa disciples all know such stories, but everyday readers may be surprised and intrigued.
Another example is “Witness to Master Spreading the Fa in Early Years in Changchun - Metal Pipe Fell on My Head” (http://www.clearwisdom.net/html/articles/2010/5/14/116969.html), a story about an elderly practitioner. She attended the first class that Master taught. She is the person mentioned in Zhuan Falun who was struck by a metal pipe falling from a high-rise building without getting hurt. The author recalled her experience in the article: “My home was near a construction site. One day when I passed there, a metal pipe suddenly dropped from high above onto my head. It punched my head, then stuck standing in the ground next to me. My head had a small depression, but no bleeding or pain. I said, 'Who patted me?' When I turned around, I saw a white Falun turning and ascending upwards! This practice is too good, I truly believe that.”
When the author wrote this experience sharing in 2010, she was already 81 years old. She said at the end of the article: “I am very strong, waiting for Master's return. I want to be a witness for Master; all I said is true. I am living evidence.”
Two more examples, “Falun Dafa Gave Me a New Life” (http://www.clearwisdom.net/html/articles/2010/5/20/117209.html) and “After Practicing the Exercises for Just One Hour, My Severe Diseases Went Away” (http://www.clearwisdom.net/html/articles/2010/5/18/117148.html), are stories about healing and fitness. The two authors are far apart in age, and they relate their experiences in their own styles. The elderly practitioner recalled her conversations with her children, while the young nurse clearly listed the name and pathology of the disease. The purity and genuineness of practitioners are reflected in these articles. The stories are not told in the same way, but both are detailed and credible.
(2) The stories of validating the Fa during the persecution over the last 13 years.
As mentioned in the Clearwisdom's call for papers, during the last 13 years, every practitioner has experienced a lot. So, how can we help everyday people understand why practitioners have persisted in practicing Dafa and clarifying the truth for so many years despite the persecution? How do we address this question? Sometimes one or two specific examples are very convincing. This is a process of clarifying the truth in depth using our wisdom. When people truly understand and support us, it means they have a deep understanding of the truth.
I think we can give a detailed description of our experiences and stories in a way that lets everyday people identify with our experiences and feelings. We've all had moments of touching the hearts of everyday people while clarifying the truth. Everything Dafa disciples do is based on compassion. Many times it's how Dafa disciples do things and not what they say that moves everyday people. An average person might not have an in-depth understanding of a Dafa disciple's mindset, but people can feel that Dafa practitioners are different from everyday people, that they are kind and considerate of others.
We can think more from this perspective and share our stories regarding this. The following are a few very impressive published articles that we can use as examples.
In the article “Police Officer Stops Beating People After Being Reprimanded by Practitioner” (http://www.clearwisdom.net/emh/articles/2005/3/25/58777.html), the compassion of Dafa disciples woke up the true, kindhearted nature of an everyday person. The officer had routinely beat practitioners in front of his impressionable, young son. However, after the practitioner reminded him that one day the child would be ashamed of his father's evil deeds, the policeman stopped. In relaying remarkable events taking place amidst the sometimes trivial details of life, the author enabled readers to feel the benevolence and righteousness of Dafa disciples from the basic perspective of being human.
The title of another article quoted a villager: “If Everyone Practiced Falun Gong, Society Would Be Better” (http://www.clearwisdom.net/html/articles/2011/10/3/128483.html). The story described events taking place following a big flood, the scale of which had not been seen in a hundred years. People were looting goods, and businessmen were taking the opportunity to raise their prices. However, two elderly farmers who practiced Dafa did not take advantage of people during the disaster. In the dangerous environment of rapidly declining morality in China, in their hearts people are longing for a land of purity. Dafa cultivation is such a pure land. It is mankind's only hope.
The article “Police Officer: 'Everyone Says Falun Dafa Is Good, and I Witnessed That Today'” (http://www.clearwisdom.net/html/articles/2012/1/19/130822.html) told of how when a child was struck by a car, a practitioner was the only person who stopped to help. As police arrived, the driver prepared to flee the scene and tried to divert attention away from himself by pointing out that the kindhearted person helping the child was a Falun Dafa practitioner. The police officer was moved by the practitioner's compassion, instead.
“Director of a Public Security Bureau Learns the Truth about Falun Gong and Persuades Thousands of People to Withdraw from the CCP” (http://www.clearwisdom.net/emh/articles/2009/1/14/103891.html) told a story of an everyday person's righteous speech and actions while facing adversity after learning the truth. During the last 13 years when Dafa has been persecuted by the CCP, so many new practitioners are still obtaining the Fa. Everyone has an unforgettable story and experience of eliminating the CCP's lies from their hearts. Describing this process in detail is also a viewpoint that people can easily accept.
The above are just a few examples from my limited perspective. Everyday people who don't understand the truth may have many obstacles, such as their adherence to atheism, misconception that we engage in politics, or other issues. However, if an article can provide a convincing viewpoint from one aspect of an issue, it will play a significant role.