“When I went to school, I learned Russian. My daughter said I was English-illiterate. I didn’t even know the 26 letters of the alphabet. I didn’t remember much Chinese pinyin either. Typing was my biggest challenge.
“At the end of last year, local practitioners started an initiative to encourage practitioners who hadn’t written before to write down their persecution experiences. Practitioners who had written before were encouraged to provide more up-to-date information. Even though I am 65 years old and only have a seventh grade education, I picked up a pen and learned to write. So far I have had over 20 articles published on the Minghui website.”
- From the author
Ever since the publication of “Expose the Evil Happening to the Local People” in 2003, more and more practitioners in China have recognized that exposing the persecution and exposing the evil are things that must be done and done well. However, many practitioners have not written about their own experiences of being persecuted for various reasons.
All Beginnings Are Hard
I am a 65-year-old female practitioner with a seventh grade education. I had never written an article before. When I was working, I didn't need to write to do my job. One day early this year, a fellow practitioner asked, “Why haven’t you written any articles to expose the persecution?” I replied, “I don’t know how. I've never written anything before.” She said, “I will take you to a place where you can learn.”
When we got there, I saw a group of young, educated practitioners. I was the only one with white hair. I felt uncomfortable and wanted to leave. But the other practitioner kept telling me that I could do it. I told her, “You can't teach an old dog new tricks.”
A practitioner taught us the basics about how to write an article, and we all wrote to expose the persecution. TI was then given two Minghui Journals to read and learn from. One was “How to write reports exposing persecution” and the other, “Write news reports better to save more people.” I went home and read both carefully and found them very inspiring. I remembered an article from Minghui, “From a Hoe to a Computer Mouse.” It helped many practitioners to learn how to use a computer. I also learned to use a computer at that time, and my daughter no longer calls me computer-illiterate. Learning anything is a process.
For a long time, I believed that only highly-educated practitioners wrote articles for Minghui. I had read many articles on Minghui, but never thought about writing anything myself. I looked inward to see what was blocking me. Old age and lack of education were just excuses. Behind these excuses were selfishness and a desire to gain, the worst human notions that I needed to get rid of. Besides, exposing the persecution could help stop the evil and save people. This is just what Master wants. It is sacred work.
Once I enlightened to this, I started with myself. I knew best what I had suffered. I wrote a laundry list and took it to a fellow practitioner and asked her to help me refine it. She carefully wrote comments on my written draft: where to have leading sentences, where to separate paragraphs and use subtitles, where to add details, where to omit details, and to include the economic damage and mental harm to family members. I took back my draft, modified it, added additional information, transcribed it neatly, and then gave it to another practitioner to type it up and send it in. A few days later, it was published on Minghui. I was very encouraged. So were nearby practitioners. I knew that it was the result of one-body cooperation.
Dafa Disciples Do Not Fear Hardship
Elderly practitioners in China generally do not have much formal education, so many have not shared their persecution experiences. After I learned some basic writing skills, I started to help practitioners in my area write or contribute to articles that expose the persecution.
My article usually starts out as five to six pages. After some minor changes, it gets messy and needs to be rewritten. Then I make more changes and rewrite it. It usually take three to four rewrites before it is ready. Since I was afraid others wouldn’t be able to read my writing and corrections, I always re-wrote it neatly before giving it to someone to type up. But who could type it for me? I saw that my fellow practitioners were very busy. I couldn’t bear to burden them with more work, so I asked my family to help. I asked them to save the article on a USB stick and then I gave it to practitioners to check and submit to Minghui. However, my daughter was very busy at work, and she had to help her son study at home. It usually took her a few days to type one article. My niece and nephew all helped me with typing the articles. Even though it relieved the burden on fellow practitioners, I couldn't rely on my family forever.
Soon after, my daughter told me about a software program for a tablet that recognizes handwriting. She bought the tablet and software for me. I didn’t know there was such a thing! My biggest problem was solved. My other problem of forgetting how to write Chinese characters was solved with a dictionary. This way, I could put articles I wrote on a USB stick and give them to fellow practitioners for proofing and submission to Minghui.
After several articles were published on Minghui, some practitioners gave me addresses or phone numbers and asked me to “interview” practitioners I didn’t know. I was asked to help them organize their own articles that exposed the persecution. Some of those practitioners lived far from me, and I had to take a bus to see them. And when I came across details that were not clear or information that was not accurate, I sometimes went back and forth several times. When I finished writing an article, I took it back to the person, read it to him/her, and corrected anything that was not right until it was accurate. Then I sent the article to other practitioners for proofreading and submission.
When I hear that a practitioner who had left home to avoid persecution has recently returned home, or an elderly practitioner from a rural area is visiting, I go see that person, exchange understandings of the Fa, and help her write an article to expose the persecution. As long as she doesn't mind my poor skills, I am happy to help. I felt very honored to help fellow practitioners.
I spend five half days a week in group Fa-study. There are four people in my family, and everyone else works or goes to school. I take care of all the shopping, cooking, and cleaning at home. I travel far for interviews during the day. At night when the children are in bed, I write in peace, often late into the night. With my limited education, writing does not come easily to me. I am not exaggerating when I say that I wrestle to find the right words. While interviewing people and organizing articles, I've cried over what my fellow practitioners have had to endure. I've also been proud of their righteous thoughts and actions. Some practitioners had not been diligent in their recent cultivation, so when they recalled how they went to Beijing to appeal for Falun Gong at the beginning of the persecution, they cried. They found the determination to cultivate again. I also purified myself and raised my level in the process. When Minghui published my articles, I asked fellow practitioners to print them out. I took the articles to the practitioners and shared the joy with them.
I don’t look like I have aged from staying up late at night. On the contrary, many practitioners are surprised that my hair has turned black and I look younger. I've only put forth this little bit of effort. Master gave me so much encouragement. I have no words to express my gratitude. I can only be diligent in my cultivation to repay Master’s kindness.
Moving Forward on the Path to Godhood
As of now, I have helped over 20 practitioners to write or edit articles that expose the persecution. Their articles have been published on Minghui. I used to worry that, with my poor writing skills, I couldn’t accurately describe how fellow practitioners were being persecuted or their righteous thoughts and actions. I've asked those who are good at writing to give me their opinions. Fortunately there are practitioners with good writing skills to review my articles, and with editors at Minghui also checking them, there have been no mistakes.
The process of writing is also a process of improving my own xinxing. During this process, I got rid of the fear of suffering, fear of hardship, and fear of troubling other practitioners. I also learned a lot from fellow practitioner’s comments and the editing of the Minghui editors. I learned to summarize an article into a few sentences at the beginning in an introduction. I also learned to put the most important information at the beginning of an article and less important parts later on, and I learned to not just create a laundry list of ideas but to use complete sentences. For example, in one article I wrote, “at 1.64 meters tall, she weighed a little over 90 lbs and was thinner than a yellow flower.” The editor deleted “thinner than a yellow flower.” Her weight is self-explanatory, so adding “thinner than a yellow flower” is like adding feet to a snake. It also showed that our articles do not need fancy words.
Now I have a mini printer and can print my own corrected articles and other truth-clarifying materials. I also learned how to submit articles to Minghui myself so that I basically operate independently.
Moreover, I tried my hand at writing an article that wasn't about the persecution. A practitioner who returned to cultivation did very well in clarifying the truth and advises people to withdraw from the Chinese Communist Party and its affiliated organizations. I found this topic to be very useful, so I interviewed the practitioner and wrote an article called, “Master, I Have Come Back.” The editors at Minghui modified the title to “Master, I Have Truly Come Back,” so it became more appropriate and more touching. There were also many edits, and even a few of the words here and there were changed, but the result was much better.
Finally, I hope that my example will inspire more practitioners to pick up divine pens and learn to write and to not just depend on those practitioners who have more education. Let us write down our own experiences and the experiences of practitioners around us and thereby help Master with Fa-rectification and saving people and send them to Minghui. It helps our own website and helps us to maintain this cultivation environment where we can compare our studying and our cultivating and be diligent together. It also helps us to blaze our own paths in validating the Fa. I’d like to express my sincere thanks to all the practitioners who have helped me.
Please kindly point out anything that is not appropriate. Heshi.