Fulfilling My Oath While Working in the Media
(Minghui.org) Greetings, Master and fellow practitioners.
I joined one of Dafa practitioners’ media companies after I emigrated from China to the U.S. I used to work in the media before the persecution started, which gave me the opportunity to learn professional skills from top media talent in China. Such experiences made me feel proud. Before I began to work in the U.S.-based media group, I had all kinds of imaginations of my role in the media.
Soon, however, I discovered that the environment is very different from what I had imagined. My excitement and enthusiasm of coming to the U.S. and joining the media company quickly disappeared. Instead, I was depressed and felt that I couldn’t make a big impact and was just wasting time. Thus, I thought about moving on.
I went to work reluctantly. At the surface I looked fine, but I didn't feel comfortable. My physical body was in the media, but my heart was not. Even when I recall that feeling now, I still feel uncomfortable.
“Sometimes when a media outlet utilizes you or when a project lets you participate, your ways of thinking, those extreme ways of doing things that come from Party culture, your lying, and your halfhearted way of working really exasperate [others].” (Fa Teaching Given at the 2014 San Francisco Fa Conference)
Master's words opened my eyes, and I knew what he was talking about. Thus, I started to rectify myself.
Dealing with the CCP Indoctrination
I ran into the president of the company on the way to work in November 2017. He told me that the mainstream media in Western society offer a daily program of “what to watch today.” This kind of programs is very popular online. He suggested that I give it a try. I agreed to do so but had a thought: “I can read the news and record it. But, who will write the script?” I was still contemplating leaving the media soon.
Given my short time in the states, I didn't realize that my behavior reflected the indoctrination I had experienced in China. I soon forgot about this program. But the president didn't forget. A few days later, he came to my office and asked if I was prepared. I was embarrassed and told him that I was not ready.
The president asked me to talk to a supervisor immediately and asked us to get ready as soon as possible. I then realized that he didn't just casually talk about this idea; he was serious. But, I had no clue how to do it.
A few days later, the president approached me again and said that he needed to see the production that week. I then talked to the supervisor about it. Since there was no script writer available, I said I could give it a try, though I was not sure if I could do it. When I worked at a large media company in China, other people wrote the scripts, and I just read them.
The supervisor recruited a highly experienced script reviewer and another practitioner to do the video recording. Just like that, a four-member team for the program “News Watching Points” was formed.
The reviewer lives in a different town, so the communication between us had to be online. Unfortunately, I was heavily influenced by CCP indoctrination, and my script needed a lot of revision. Without much ado, I made the changes.
When she reviewed the script, she did not revise it but only told me the problems and asked me to fix them. Sometimes a draft required multiple revisions. Although it took time, it helped me learn. She rarely used a declarative or imperative tone when talking to me, only a discussion tone.
Her attitude made me see my problems. When I talked to others, especially my family members, I often ordered them around. I would be angry if they didn’t listen. The reviewer pointed out multiple times that my scripts had an extreme tone and repeatedly told me to tone it down.
I often see my shortcomings from these communications with her. With her help, my writing improved, and there were fewer problems. My wife said, “You have so much Communist Party culture, whoever collaborates with you has to have a broad heart!”
Last March and April, I suddenly felt it was difficult to write scripts. I felt tremendous pressure and was always exhausted. On Sundays, I lay in bed and didn't want to do anything.
Once again, I thought about leaving the company. I told my wife. She tried to comfort and encourage me. She said, “It is exhausting. But what was your goal of coming here? Didn't Master give you the skills and abilities for you to use in the media company?” It was amazing that I always felt tired at home, but in the office I felt fine as soon as I started to work.
Getting a Grip on Writing News Scripts
The reviewer probably also sensed that my state was not good. One day she told me that every morning she reads the Fa before she starts to work. She suggested that I read the Fa for 30 minutes before writing the scripts. She then told me, “Writing two scripts every day is not something an everyday person can do. You need Master's help.”
I agreed. I usually read the news on the subway. But, after talking to her, I started to memorize the Fa while on the subway. As soon as I walked out of my home, I started to recite Lunyu and other teachings I had memorized. On the first day, the script writing went very well. I know it was Master's encouragement.
After I started doing this every day, I found that I could write faster, and my work needed fewer revisions. Writing two scripts used to take me seven hours, sometimes eight or more, but now I could finish in under six hours.
I know that it is Master who helps me. Master is just using me to write down the text and has me cleanse myself during this process.
Once, I was stuck on a news topic. I searched for a long time and found very little material and didn’t have much to say about it. However, I had a deadline. I tried to write, but my mind was chaotic. I only had a few hundred words by noon.
I stopped working and started to send forth righteous thoughts. After that, I deleted all I had and started over. It took me 40 minutes to finish the script of 2,000 words. I told another practitioner about this experience, and he was amazed.
I also had other extraordinary experiences much like this one. For example, my computer is an older model, and my scripts often got lost, forcing me to start over. However, I could always finish the rewriting very quickly, and the rewrite was often better than the original.
Editing video clips on this computer was also difficult and time-consuming. I often asked the IT group for help. The problem was never completely solved, but the company did not have a better computer for me.
One day, the computer stopped working. A practitioner from the IT group checked all the settings and the hardware. He then asked me if I had used this computer. I told him that I used it daily. He said, “Isn't this amazing? The video editing software needs eight gigabytes of memory to start, and your computer has only eight gigabytes in total. In principle, the software would not run on it at all.” He repeated, “Amazing, amazing.”
Back then, I was in charge of another program, “Hot topics.” I worked more than 16 hours every day and thought about quitting the second program. The practitioner at Human Resources was surprised: “Haven't you been doing very well? We all think that you’ve improved a lot recently. Why do you want to quit?” I told him it was because doing two programs at the same time was too tiring. He said, “Just because it’s exhausting? Is there anything bigger?” I laughed too. My wife also said: “It is a little exhausting. But if you can do it, you should persist. In the old days, you were able to endure everything to make money. Why can you not persist now for Dafa projects that save people?”
A few years ago, when I was first released from prison, my wife was still detained. We had no money. My sister bought all the food for me. To make a living, I got up at 2 a.m., and rode a bicycle to a job that few wanted to do. Sometimes, I could not go home on winter nights and had to sleep in a train station. One night I worked too late and the bus stopped running. To save money on a taxi, I walked six miles for two hours.
“You’re willing to endure so much hardship to make money, you’re willing to endure so much hardship for other matters—can’t you endure a little hardship for your cultivation?” (Teaching the Fa at the Assistants’ Fa Conference in Changchun)
I knew that I was pursuing comfort and that I should enlarge the capacity of my heart.
Last September and October, the host of a Sunday program asked to take two months off, and I needed to take over. Thus, I only had a half-day break every week. In October, the other host of “Hot topics” also needed to take a week off, so I needed to do two episodes that Monday and Friday. Then, on Wednesday, the host of a program told me she did not feel well and hoped that I could fill in for her on that night’s program. We only had six hours to write the script, and I was a little nervous. Fortunately I was familiar with the topic, and other practitioners also helped me collect the materials. With Master's help, the program went smoothly.
Looking back, that period was short but intense. I persisted in studying the Fa and doing the exercises every day so that I would not get trapped in the state of an everyday person doing a Dafa project.
During that process, I kept receiving feedback from different people.
A French practitioner told me that an experienced media worker highly praised the “News Watching Points” program and said it was high quality with accurately selected topics, clean language, and a righteous and elegant talking style. He also suggested not using over-the-top language, and I accepted the idea.
Another practitioner, a reporter, received a message from a Chinese consultant of the President of the United States. The consultant collects the materials in Chinese and reports to the president's team. He watches “News Watching Points” every day, and it had been six months. He also highly praised the program.
After the program was moved to an earlier slot on April 1, 2018, I changed my schedule. Every day I get up at 2 a.m., read the news, and then do the exercises. Around 5 a.m., I leave for work.
During the Hong Kong protests in July and August, I did a few live broadcasts. Although it was exhausting, I felt the work was meaningful. After every live broadcast, I felt that I had won a battle.
“Each of you involved in the media are in the process of cultivating yourselves, and this work that you are doing is part of it. That is for sure. And that’s the case regardless of what role you play at the company or what work you do.” (2018 NTD and Epoch Times Fa Conference, Team Yellow Translation)
Thank you, Master and fellow practitioners.
(Presented at the 2019 NTD and Epoch Times Fa Conference)