(Minghui.org) Note: In the United States and many areas of the Western world, October 31st is "Halloween." People carve faces and pictures into hollowed-out pumpkins and place candles inside, so the image is lit from behind and can be seen at night. These are called 'Jack-O'Lanterns.'
In the area where I live, many of the people my age are not well-educated or well-raised. They love to discuss being tough, conflicts and fights, casual sex, and their love for alcohol.
My wife and her sister are very close, so I am often in social situations with ordinary people whom it is hard to clarify the truth to. Most of my sister-in-law’s friends have always been difficult to clarify the truth to until just recently.
My wife and I were invited over to carve pumpkins a few nights ago and on the way there I thought to myself: “I am no trained artist, but I have some skill at carving pumpkins. What I produce must be beautiful and live up to a practitioner’s standard. It would also be good if the carving displayed a truth-clarification message.”
From "Teaching the Fa at the Discussion on Creating Fine Art," July 21, 2013, Washington D.C.:
“Those artworks of yours that aren't good or aren't upright can't be presented to the public, because it will impact mankind. So you should not only do it in a traditional and upright way, depict what's good, depict compassion, exalt Dafa, and give glory to Gods, but also, at the same time you need to demonstrate a high level of excellence in terms of skill, and demonstrate a traditional and upright standard.”
I wracked my brain over what to do until I decided I would carve an image of a Chinese dancer, like those in Shen Yun Performing Arts. At first I was concerned that I would be dismissed as irregular: they were carving ghouls into their pumpkins and I, a man, was carving a beautiful dancer. I feared they would disapprove of the image. And my wife doubted my ability to carve something so precise and beautiful.
About six people showed up: all of my sister-in-law’s closest friends. While her friends talked about their attachments and drank beer as they carved, I very patiently carved my design into the pumpkin until it was nearly perfect, considering how I could use it to clarify the truth to my friends, sentient beings from my world.
Eventually, one of them asked me what it was. That gave me the opportunity to explain what Shen Yun is and how it is unique because it has Eastern and Western elements. Although my wife is not a practitioner, she could tell what I was leading to and articulately complimented the show, highlighting the martial arts displays in some of the scenes: the other guests were interested.
I concluded with how the company is not allowed to perform in China: Communism is destroying traditional culture, and they even persecute and harvest organs from practitioners of Falun Dafa, a traditional Chinese meditation. He was shocked by this and I knew we had reached him: he understood just how evil the Chinese Communist Party is.
This led me to reflect upon the myriad forms that exist in human society for us to use in clarifying the truth. Most people carve gruesome faces into their pumpkins. As an ordinary person, I followed this trend and developed my carving skills, hoping to show off.
The wisdom I’ve been given from Dafa showed me the appropriate type of content for art and helped me realize that not only artistic skills or speaking/writing skills, but any human skill might be a tool to assist in saving sentient beings, no matter how unimportant or common the skill is.
Through my dedication to the effort, I knew Master had given me the ability to carve the pumpkin so precisely: I have never depicted human forms well in drawing or carving pumpkins and would usually have given up.
If there is anything shallow in my understanding, please point it out.