Raising Awareness of Falun Dafa Without Pushing People Away
(Minghui.org) When I made a phone call to explain the facts about the persecution of Falun Dafa, a young man's remarks made me question whether we are really being effective with our outreach efforts.
He said he was not a policeman, but since he changed to his phone number a month ago, he often received calls from Falun Dafa practitioners who mistook his identity. No matter how much he tried to clear up the matter, these practitioners did not believe him. So they kept talking about issues they thought he should be aware of. This man felt helpless!
After he hung up, the practitioners would often call back. He stressed that because of this, he began to develop a negative impression toward Dafa practitioners. I patiently listened to his grievance.
“I fully understand your feelings,” I said. “If you feel I have offended you, then you may hang up the phone, I will not disturb you anymore. And I am really sorry.” He did not hang up and the tone of our conversation became more cordial. He listened to a lot of facts and finally expressed his gratitude for my patience.
Truth-clarification Is Very Serious
After years of truth clarification work, I feel more and more that reaching out to help save people is a very serious matter. Every word must be considered very carefully, otherwise we may end up harming someone's predestined opportunity to be saved.
When at tourist sites, I noticed that regardless of whether the Chinese tourists were receptive, our practitioners would keep following them until they agreed to quit the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and its youth organizations.
When these tourists don't agree or are disrespectful, some practitioners would argue with them loudly in front of a lot of people. Because of over-zealousness, many people hold negative opinions about Falun Dafa.
Proper Behavior During Truth-clarification
When I chat with people I listen rationally, and politely ask after they finish, “May I express my point of view?”
Some practitioners may feel that we cannot let people dictate the conversation, but I believe our courtesy is actually a manifestation of the truth.
If you want others to believe you, then you should first establish trust. Otherwise, regardless of how well you talk, it may be difficult to achieve the desired result.
My approach has had a very good effect. Often, more than a dozen people gather to listen to me. Before they depart, we often shake hands, bow, and even exchange contact information.
When I handed a newspaper to an elderly man, he told me to leave him alone.
“Sir, do not get angry,” I said with a smile. “Traveling abroad is a good thing. If you feel I offended you, I will leave immediately.”
I bowed and stepped away. Then I continued to distribute the newspapers to other tourists. If I occasionally walked by him and our eyes met, I smiled. After a while, I found him picking up a newspaper and reading it carefully.
Everything we present to people is important. Do we pay attention to our clothing and personal hygiene? Is our smile sincere? Do we speak with a self-confident, but modest tone? And are our opinions rational?
I often calm down and carefully think about whether my efforts have really played a role in what I want to accomplish. I wonder if there is any unnoticed shortcoming that had a negative impact on someone?
Committed Despite Hardships
Some practitioners have been committed to doing truth clarification at tourist sites for many years, despite all kinds of hardships. This is a great sacrifice, yet in my opinion, their approach to talking to people often displays over-zealousness. And exchanging my understanding with them often has no effect.
Of course, our understanding of the Fa principles may not be the same, and I cannot impose my ideas on others. Yet, I still feel anxious when I see people's negative reactions to what they hear.
If we cannot save people, we might have pushed them away. If you read this article, I sincerely hope that you can carefully reflect on the effect you are having.
Problems with Media Activities
I also saw a problem with our media reports. After the interview, due to the need for a desired effect or a commentary, the reporter would sometimes even quote the person out of context.
The report looks “perfect,” but the core meaning of what the interviewee said had changed. I wonder when the interviewee sees such a news report, what he or she would think of us?
Some articles also seem to go to the extreme or exaggerate some of the facts and, as a result, we may lose credibility. Practitioners work so hard to do interviews, clips, and reviews. It would be a pity if such news ended up being counterproductive.