Real Charm over Race, Religion and Poverty

Since I read James McBride’s “The Color of Water” that touched me so much a few weeks ago, I stopped blogging and posting on social media to review my goals on peace and doing good through writing.

The Color of Water

The mother was a Jewish immigrant who was sexually abused by her own father and then disowned when she married a black man later turned pastor. She married another black man after her first husband died. Altogether she had twelve children with varying shades in skin color. They all turned out well in career and life due to her focus on their education and taking responsibilities in their upbringing.They all loved her dearly despite of her poor cooking and her having very little time to spare on each of them.

Her life of intense conflicts better illustrates the  teachings of Chuang Tzu that I have tried so hard to share on the Free Easy Mind book site, Freeasypeace blog, facebook and twitter. She just ignored any discrimination and got on with what needed to be done at the moment, providing the best examples of Chuang Tzu’s “treat the opposing as non-opposing” and the way of Zen.

Real life stories provide better insights than teachings of any kind. Though the life story of Su Shih’s conflicts, migration, love and loss or living in poverty had helped me to understand my roots in Chinese culture, tradition and mentality that I want to share with the world in the Millennium Charm book site, but the mother’s life is a better illustration.

The decapitation of a four-year-old girl near a Taipei MRT station had stirred a frenzy on local social media as well as the general media in  Taiwan from death penalties to revenge and locking up the mentally ill. Despite her grief, the mother was very sensible  and wise to state that legislation for death penalty or punishing the killer would not do any good and pleaded that netizens or the public to stop consuming her dead daughter on social media or any media. She called for all donations to be directed to charities instead of her family as well as Taiwan’s society, communities and families to work together to make random killing and violence disappear.What a strong and wise mother of charm!

I have been procrastinating on this post to wrap up my blogging until the final wake up call of the decapitated girl.Conflicts and violence affect us financially, emotionally and maybe sooner or later physically around the world. (See another post on Freeasy Peace Blog) I need to align my writing passion, bilingual competence and the real needs in the world to do good that can really make a difference and use more time and efforts more effectively.

Will stop posting and focus  on writing a novel to figure out how to do good more effectively when we don’t know what we can do to change that seems impossible for us to change. Meanwhile I will also keep my eyes open on more practical and feasible opportunities to make a difference in doing good locally or internationally as well as acquiring better knowledge on more effective social media posting and blogging.(However if I do come across a book or anything that compels me to share, I might blog once in a blue moon.)

Thanks for all your visits, likes and follows, but I will read the blogs I follow to gain better understanding of the blogosphere. May you all have freeasy peace and daily living charm!









Dilemma of Parent,Adult,Child Status

Though Eric Berne’s Transaction Analysis of parent,adult, child model may be archaic, I was stunned when a young music professional in a radio interview used the term “adult” for the older generation such as parents, teachers etc. She had traveled to South America and returned to Taiwan to promote S. American music, she chose to play a song of some S. American revolutionary and then proudly referred to the recent landslide election supported by her generation in the program.

Does  she still consider herself a “child” and not an adult? Do her parents still take responsibility caring for her? Was she involved in the Sunflower Movement whose participants were always referred to as “children” but mostly college students who cried and called their helicopter parents to bail them out at the police station when charged with destruction of public properties or violating some laws. A local English newspaper cited the movie “Rebels without a Cause” to describe their crippling of the economy and blamed the parents for nurturing irresponsible and irrational behavior and also the mirroring Hong Kong Umbrella Revolution. Regardless of the presidential, legislature or Taipei mayor election, the Taiwanese millennial generation orchestrated the victories with their social media savvy.

The responsibility of a parent is to care for the child and also to teach him or her to take responsibility for himself or herself and others in society. It’s not the age whether it’s eighteen or twenty-one, it’s when the child can take full responsibility for his or her own actions and secure independence in all aspects of life. The parent needs to let go of the child so he or she can learn to become an adult.

The majority of my friends in Taiwan have adult children living at home with or without jobs or caring for the grandchildren and still paying for daily living expenses for the entire household with “children”. I am probably the only one who had thoroughly enforced independent living and finance for my only adult child so he would take full responsibility for his own life, after paying for his taxes,bills and other financial obligations when all his bank accounts were down to nothing every now and then for a few years yet I live on less than US$3 a day for food and basic amenities even now. He is far ahead of his peers in having a respectable position as R&D engineer in a world renowned car company of his own choice despite his addictive collecting and compulsive shopping of expensive model cars. (Addictive behavior is very challenging whether it is drugs, alcohol, gambling, sex,internet or objects. Only those families who have experienced it would really know.) We avoided conflicts with the independence but he also avoided any contact with me. Most people would consider my decisions wrong, my child is just following his passion. The loss by inevitable choice is tragic.

Ang Lee, stay at home dad  Ang Lee with Oscar.jpeg

The world renowned director Ang Lee was probably a problematic child for his father, a high school principal . He was one to a few points shy of passing the college exam two years in a role and then attended a junior college of arts to find his passion for movies.To ensure a better future, his father insisted on his studying abroad later. Before his first success he stayed home for six years and took care of the family while his wife worked to support the household, he was probably considered an irresponsible adult child by parents from both families. Did perseverance on his passion, destiny or both account for his success? Ang Lee’s movies are charming just like his personality and life.

Around the world many parents struggle with adult children amidst economic slumps, high unemployment and all kinds of problems whether they are sweet or bitter burdens. There is a fine line between responsibility and selfish indulgence. What is choice and destiny? What is right and wrong? We all want to save others, whether they are our most beloved or strangers; but sometimes we can only save ourselves and that is the least we need to do in fulfilling our purpose in life.

“When the world is in order, one can fulfill (in life);
  when the world has no order, one can only survive.”
  Chuang Tzu





Jordan Queen’s Charm of Wisdom

All around the world, everyone’s heart was shattered by  the drowned Syrian child Aylan’s photo when his body was found at shore last year.

migrant-child-dead-beach-turkeyAylan's photo

It was a shock to read about the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo recently published a cartoon depicting Aylan Kurdi as an adult sexual molester relating to Germany’s New Year’s Eve unfortunate incidence.

Charlie Hebdo on Aylan as adult
I was deeply touched by Jordan Queen Rania working with Jordanian cartoonist to draw Aylan as a doctor if he had the opportunity to grow up.

Aylan's cartoon

That is an example of wisdom, charm and grace illustrating Chuang Tzu‘s “To transform opposing voices, just treat them as not opposing.” 

Queen Rania also wrote on Facebook after Charlie Hebdo attacks: “As a Muslim, it pains me when someone derides Islam and my religious beliefs. It also pains me when someone derides other religions and other people’s religious beliefs……This is not about Islam or being offended by the Charlie Hebdo magazine. This is about a handful of extremists who wanted to slaughter people for any reason and at any cost.” (from Independent

We cannot change human nature but we can change opposing voices to a more positive light, not with opposition but nonviolent communication towards a brighter future. Do what we need to do and what we can do, speak up or stand up for the innocent and voiceless abused by injustice even if we are not a queen nor can we change the nature of the world today.

Who’s Right & Who’s Wrong?

A Hong Kong Columnist used the headline”Hong Kong-China split: warring in not just soccer, but even entertainment at large.” He condemned a famous singer and judge’s comments at a TV singing contest about a Hong Kong singer’s “performing an old song from twenty or thirty years ago instead of creating or exporting any excellent culture”.

A contributor in Asia Weekly counter-attacked with the same singer’s highly praising the Hong Kong pop song “Stone Myth” that condensed  in 144 words the great literary classics “Dream of the Red Chamber” in Chinese culture (comparable to what “War and Peace”means to Russians).

That was during the time of the protests against Chinese from Mainland crossing the border on weekends to plunder milk powder and consumer products in supermarkets like locusts.The protesters were holding up UK’s Union Jack flag.A few people held a banner “Hong Kong is not China” and booed the Chinese National Anthem, the same kind of banner was posted on the democracy wall at a university.

When a young college friend visited a Hong Kong scholar teaching in Quangzhou, they went for tea and Cantonese BBQ pork bun was served. The young friend asked,”How come they have BBQ pork bun in Quangzhou?” She cracked a joke, “Don’t you know they sneaked through the Hong Kong borders like smugglers?”

“How can I know what I say I know is actually what I don’t know? Likewise, how can I know what I think I don’t know is not really what I do know? ” Chuang Tzu.

In contrast to conflicts among Chinese,Elsie Tu, who  died on Dec.8,2015 in Hong Kong at the age of 102, was a British teacher, campaigner and political activist who was the social conscience of Hong Kong during colonial rule.

Elsie Tu's book

She came to Hong Kong as a missionary’s wife in 1951 after being expelled from Communist China.She was shocked by the vile, overcrowded living conditions and unregulated child labour she observed in the colony with many refugees from mainland China.Frustrated by the mission’s disinterest in social work, she ended up in divorce.

She had helped to found an English School in an old army tent at a squatter area of Kowloon, subsidised by wages from her second teaching job at Hong Kong Baptist College and married the school’s co-founder, a native of Inner Mongolia.

She  exposed the endemic corruption to which colonial authority turned a blind eye, notably in police officers, who collaborated with gangsters to extract protection money from street hawkers and minibus drivers. Her tireless campaigning resulted  in establishment of the Independent Commission Against Corruption.

The couple promoted public justice for human rights of  Filipino domestic servants and others. They  campaigned successfully for decriminalisation of homosexual acts.

When the last governor of Hong Kong, embarked on democratic reforms that threatened  the 1997 handover, she called his proposals hypocritical in the final days of a disgraceful colonial era in which Hong Kong never had any democracy to destroy.  She lost her seats on the Urban and Legislative Councils because of it. But she remained the  only worthy, authentic, popular hero on China’s side.  She once said,“I am proud to be British, but it does not mean I support British imperialism. I stand by social justice and support China’s sovereignty to reclaim Hong Kong.” She was appointed as consultant on Hong Kong affairs by China.

She discounted the initiator for the Umbrella Revolution against China’s governance as corrupt democracy through foreign friendliness and claimed  what was called democratic after the handover actually was undemocratic actions holding up democratic progress.

Her recent birthday wish every year was “a world at peace instead of all wanting to fight.”

Free from Conflicts and Loss with 8 Steps of “Do Without” Charm

Conflicts arise when people have different views and then we are trapped in a tug of war. We are trapped in loss when we attach, would not let go or associate with whatever or whoever we are dealing with.

The meaning of Hanji or Chinese Characters of “Danshari” is detach, let go and dissociate.(Some parts are similar to Chuang Tzu’s teachings and Zen).

Problem at Hand : (e.g.Conflicts and Loss)

Free Easy Ways of Danshari

  1. What am I determined to do?
  2. Identify problem, understand cause and nature of things? 
    Problem: Conflicts and Loss
    Cause and Nature of Conflict: (Zen and Chuang Tzu)
    Cause and Nature of Loss:
  3. What cannot be changed?
    Identify. Accept. (Chuang Tzu) Detach, let go and dissociate .
  4. Rise beyond and view from above.
    (Chuang Tzu. Also remember “See one and not the loss”)
  5. What can be done?
  6. How to innovate unique interpretation?
    New Unique Interpretation:
    Need (Is there a real need?)
    Fit (Does it fit?)
    Comfortable (Do you feel at ease with it? Chuang Tzu)
  7. Self-reliant, free and easy (Chuang Tzu)
  8. Love and affirm