My Understanding of “Playing a Supportive Role”
(Minghui.org) I am a Falun Dafa practitioner from China and I would like to share my experiences with identifying attachments. At times, when sharing with practitioners or working with them, I often felt a little uneasy. That feeling lasted for quite some time and I simply did not want to be around other practitioners. On the surface, it seemed this was because I wanted to have fewer conflicts, but what was the true reason? I didn't enlighten to the root cause until recently. I realized that it was because I wanted to play the main role with fellow practitioners, not a supportive role. Regardless of the circumstances, if I wasn't playing the main role, it didn't feel right. That showed my strong egotism. If I didn't cultivate it away, I wouldn't reach the standard of the Fa.
Once I joined a sharing attended by more than twenty people. It was organized by a veteran practitioner. After everyone arrived, without checking with him as to the planned topic of the sharing, I went ahead and began talking about how some local practitioners didn't pay attention to the security issues of using cellular phones. I gave many examples and talked nonstop. Some agreed with me and others had different opinions. The excessive talking lasted for almost two hours. When it was near the end, all of a sudden, I remembered that the meeting was called by the veteran practitioner who sat there quietly listening to everyone.
Even today I still feel ashamed of what I did at that sharing. On that day, the veteran practitioner was supposed to play the main role. Perhaps he had some questions ready for everyone to discuss, but I – the person who was supposed to play a supportive role – messed it up. It was becoming clearer and clearer to me that every Dafa disciple was once a king who had strong opinions and was skillful in many ways. Deep in his thoughts, he was strong and once a question was raised, a complete plan would emerge in his brain. With his skills and wisdom, he would follow a set of procedures to work out a solution according to the best of his ability. If he didn't spell out his plan or take action, his holding back would make him very uncomfortable. It was usually at this crucial moment he forgot the key questions: “Who raised the question? Who is the main character? What role do I play regarding this matter?” If these questions weren't dealt with, it was easy to hurt the person that played the main role and mess up the whole thing.
I want to describe a lesson that I once learned. One day, two practitioners and I went to a friend's house. After small talk, one of the practitioners started clarifying the truth to my friend. He said a couple of sentences, then, very quickly, another practitioner joined in. The two of them spoke quite fast. My friend looked at both of them, nodded and smiled. But he didn't understand what the content was about. If only one person spoke and the other just sent righteous thoughts, it would have been more effective.
No matter how much ability or wisdom a person has, it is only the surface. When his realm is higher, his ability and wisdom will be greater. If we set ourselves above others, they tend to become small. When we emphasize ourselves, then it is easy to neglect the people around us. Only when we cooperate with others, playing a supportive role, can we truly improve. If we aren't willing to play the role of a “junior monk”, there is no way we can elevate in our cultivation.
The coordinators in my local area also had similar issues. Some never cooperated well with others, as they constantly had conflicts with each other. The root problem was because they didn't want to play a supportive role. It was okay for others to support but not the other way around. There was a female coordinator who was very capable. She did many things. But it was usually because others supported her. When this kind of situation lasted for a period of time, practitioners began forming exclusive groups like everyday people. This particular practitioner was quite opinionated and this created a loophole for the evil to sneak in. As it turned out later, she was detained by authorities and sentenced to time in prison.
The relationship among practitioners is like living at home. Every household has their ways of managing the family. When you visit a family, the minute you enter the door you say, “This cabinet should go this way, the cook should make that.” Whose family is that? Yours or his? If, for example, two enlightened beings meet, and one of them says, “Your paradise shouldn’t be this way. Do you see how wonderful my paradise is? You should make some changes!” Is this possible?
When practitioners work on a project and can’t cooperate well, it is usually because people aren’t clear about their roles. There was a coordinator in my local area who when he first started out, looked ordinary, uneducated and inarticulate. I thought, “This kind of person is better off staying at home. How could he be a coordinator? Would people trust him?” But later, I realized that he was a practical person. When a practitioner was being detained or experienced sickness karma, he quickly informed everyone to send forth righteous thoughts. He did many things, such as setting up material production centers, helping others to repair their computers, organizing a Fa conference, actively encouraging practitioners to write articles for World Falun Dafa Day, and so on. Along with another coordinator, he invited about 300 people to write sharing papers for the Minghui website. In the end, five of them were selected and posted and more than ten papers were published as a regular submission.
I admired this coordinator and usually supported him. But I thought to myself: Why did I have so many opinions about him at the beginning? It was precisely because I was selfish and conceited. When I couldn’t be the main character, I looked down on those that played the main role. Later, when I realized my shortcoming, I understood that regardless of who the coordinator was, even if it was a new practitioner, I should support him in a quiet way.
Being the subordinate does not mean that one cannot make suggestions. Just use your best communication skills when contributing to what needs to be done. It’s like being an assistant to the person who is weaving a basket; give the person what is needed, and occasionally ask them if they need this or that flower. Your help to complete the weaving of the basket is your cultivation and you are elevating yourself. Don’t elbow him out and play the role of the main character because otherwise the basket is done by you, not him. Being willing to play a supporting role is painstakingly cultivated.
Falun Dafa disciples come from everywhere, as the factors that form their lives are different. Therefore each life has its own characteristics. If all of them want to play the main role, things will become chaotic, and the old forces will control you and let you play the main part, but at the same time create many conflicts for you. On the other hand, if your mentality is to show understanding, to harmonize what needs to be done and do it in a selfless way, you’ll be in a different realm. In the end, you will see twice the result with half the effort.