Collecting Signatures to Support H. Res. 281, and Clarify the Truth to People

PureInsight | September 17, 2014

[] Greetings Master!
Greetings fellow practitioners!

I'm not one of those practitioners who have sudden realizations or deep insights. Instead I seem to stumble, sometimes stagger along in my cultivation. When I first began practicing, cultivation seemed clear cut and straightforward. I studied the Fa every day and did the exercises. In the beginning, as all practitioners do, I encountered large tests from my family. I just kept reminding myself that I had an eons-old karmic relationship with these people and obviously owed them a lot. I tried hard to have compassion, since, as Westerners, they did not understand what Falun Dafa is or why I needed to participate in projects.

Within a couple of years, my family stopped interfering. A few times I even overheard my spouse bragging to people that, “All these Falun Gong practitioners are highly educated people. Some of them are university professors, one is a doctor and most of them are engineers with six figure incomes!” From time to time, tensions between us would flare up again. I finally began using my husband's attitude as a mirror to reflect on my cultivation state.

The reason I'm mentioning this is, by observing that my husband is usually fine with my practicing, sometimes he will suddenly become upset and start complaining, and I will have to clarify the truth to him all over again. This gave me insight into how we need to clarify, and then sometimes re-clarify, the truth to people even though they seemed to understand and be satisfied.

In order to help more people know about the crime of forced organ harvesting, and to raise awareness of H. Res.281 our coordinator suggested that we begin collecting signatures.

I live near Detroit, a once wealthy and powerful city that has become increasingly blighted, derelict and covered with graffiti. Because of the high crime rate, most people who had the money to move fled to the surrounding suburbs. However, they were not willing to abandon the 120-year-old farmer's market, which has always been a cherished landmark. Even though it's surrounded by burned out homes and high weeds, every week thousands of people come to the farmer's market, and our coordinator felt it might be a good place to collect signatures.

We know that Shen Yun is primarily for mainstream society, and the audience members are usually wealthy or highly educated people. My understanding is that this is the way Master arranged for them to be saved. Each time I went out to sell Shen Yun tickets there were always people who deeply admired the show and wished to watch but felt they could not afford the tickets. Fellow practitioners felt that the signature drive would be a great way to clarify the truth and offer people the opportunity to position themselves. The signatures collected from their constituents would also encourage local government officials to co-sponsor the resolution.

Since I was born in and grew up in Detroit, I feel I have a deep understanding of the African American community. After I became a practitioner and began studying the Fa I became very concerned about saving people in Detroit. All the practitioners lived out in the suburbs, and there were no practice sites in Detroit. I also felt it was not a coincidence that both my sons were marrying African American women. Whenever I could I went back to my old neighborhood and clarified the truth to people, handing out fliers. I was especially worried about the homeless people wandering the streets. Another practitioner and I participated in the local university's International Student Festival a couple of times, and demonstrated the exercises. Unfortunately we couldn't think of an effective way to clarify the truth to larger groups of people.

Last year, as soon as I heard that we would go to the farmer's market in Detroit to collect signatures, I knew this was the opportunity I had been hoping for. The market is held every Saturday, and opens before 7 a.m. Every Saturday right after the time to send forth righteous thoughts, I would hurry to the market. It truly was a group effort, and every week several elderly Chinese practitioners came from miles away to help.

One young practitioner who recently moved to our area was kind enough to take time out of her busy schedule to drive the aunties to the market, and also spent hours helping.

I was deeply touched by them. Even though most of the aunties cannot speak English, they have strong righteous thoughts. While I just stood there, asking one person at a time to sign, they worked as a team. One auntie who couldn't speak English would stand by, either sending forth righteous thoughts or doing the exercises. One who could speak English would stand in front, asking people to sign the petition. If one person stopped to sign, they would quickly get the others in the group of passersby to sign.

One practitioner who just came from China and spoke no English was able to collect hundreds of signatures just by sending forth righteous thoughts and pointing to the clipboard.

Since we couldn't nail up a sign and sometimes had to move to a busier entrance, one talented auntie made an easel board from which to hold the poster and hang clipboards. It was obvious that people's knowing sides were touched, and many people hugged me and asked me to thank the Chinese practitioners for coming to Detroit to let them know about the terrible human rights violations in China. Some people wept. Several people brought their friends over and told them to sign the petition.

Even though people from all social levels and different areas in Michigan and the US signed the petition, I was very happy that most of the signatures I collected were from African Americans. Every time I spotted a homeless person, I would make sure they signed the petition.

Thanks to Master's arrangement for giving us this opportunity to work together, the congressman in the district that the market is located in decided to co-sponsor the resolution. We collected thousands of signatures, and it truly was a breakthrough!

Unfortunately the resolution was not immediately voted on, and local coordinators felt it was an opportunity to save more people. This summer we resumed collecting signatures, and focused on areas where we hadn't clarified the truth, or felt we hadn't done a good job.

I began standing outside my city's main office, and on weekends a couple of fellow practitioners joined me at our market. Even though we have a practice site in my area, I was surprised to learn that some people hadn't heard of Falun Gong or the organ harvesting.

Since farmer's markets seemed like a good place to talk to several people, we went to one in a city we hadn't been to yet. Last weekend, after the other practitioner left and I had stood there for a couple of hours, my voice must have begun fading. One woman turned around and said, "I can hardly hear you. You wait right there! I'll come back." She soon returned, and I explained why I was asking people to sign the petition. After she signed she said, "This is so important! You need to make everyone sign this! You're being too quiet and gentle!"

When the next person I asked kept walking, she yelled out, "Hey! You need to sign this! Don't just ignore her, she's asking you to sign something important! You'll feel good about this later!" The man immediately turned around and signed the petition.

For the next ten minutes she stood next to me, insisting that those who ignored me or refused to sign had to sign the petition, and they did. On the one hand, I felt bad. After all, I'm the practitioner, yet this everyday person was helping me. On the other hand, I was very happy for her. She probably came exactly when her beings were walking by, and she did her part to make sure they were saved.

Before she walked away, she pointed her finger at me and sternly said, "Remember, you need to speak up! Look at all those people walking by who haven't signed this!" I felt Master had sent her to remind and encourage me.

This year we were not able to collect thousands of signatures. I can only talk about how I have not done my part this year.

Master said, “With any project or any project or any task, if you decide not to do it, then don’t do it; and if you do decide to do it, then you definitely have to do it well and carry it through to the end" (Fa Teaching Given at the 2010 New York Fa Conference).

Looking inward, I feel that I've been too attached to Detroit, and did not pay enough attention to the people waiting to be saved in other cities. Even though Fa-rectification is not over yet, I already feel regret when I look back and see opportunities I've missed or didn't do well.

At the beginning of my cultivation, I had some tense moments with some of the Chinese aunties. They compassionately overlooked my mistakes, and came to help with the signature drive last year. It was truly amazing! We could barely communicate, yet we really did work together as one body to save people.

I ask that fellow practitioners please point out any mistakes I've made, or anything I've said that is not on the Fa.

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