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A Story of a Diplomat

13 Sep


If we want to be excellent in our chosen profession, we cannot have glory without working hard. My recent retrospection propelled me to tell a wonderful story about a Chinese diplomat.

First, let me share my reason to give you this wonderful story. At work, I was unpleasantly being called  the “dignified old lady” by a male colleague.  I naturally ignored this insult at first. I paused as if I did not hear it at all. Then, I acted as if I am passing him a secret, I whispered, … “are you a carefree young man?”  we both laughed because he was anything but young.

The story of a diplomat that I am about to tell was a story I heard by when I was a third grader, told by my classmate. The story was hidden in the back of my distant memory and triggered by my experience with my colleague mentioned here.

It was 1954, five years after the end of the last Chinese civil war that resulted in the communist party taking over the mainland of China. Countries were then separated into two major camps: the socialist big family and the western free world. The world was divided by an Iron curtain, a term coined by Winston Churchill. People on the both sides of the curtain were taken as enemies and  hostile to each other.

It was an international conference, in Geneva, hosted by United Nations, to negotiate peace in Indo-China, a region to the south of China. The first prime minister of the New China, Zhou Enlai, a top diplomat, was sent there for the peace talks.  This diplomat had studied as a foreign student in France when he was young and he was carrying out a hidden mission during the conference, which was to find allies for New China from the western world.

At the conference, a top diplomat of Israel was introduced to the Chinese diplomat by a French diplomat, who was a mutual acquaintance of the two diplomats,  the Chinese and the Israeli. They were supposed to shake hands while they were introduced to each other; and they did. But, the Israeli diplomat did it after putting his gloves on. That was very rude.

The Chinese diplomat noticed it but acted as if he did not, or he didn’t mind it at all. After the two done shaking hands, the Chinese diplomat politely took out his handkerchief, slowly wiped out his hand used to shake hands with the Israeli diplomat, and quietly walked to the nearest garbage can. He dropped his handkerchief in the garbage can.

The Chinese diplomat ignored his offender and came up with actions matched the insult on him quickly and diplomatically. The story had passed on orally. Since I was born and raised in China, I heard it long before receiving the title of “dignified old lady”.

In retrospect, in 1954, China was looking for allies from outside of the socialist camp because China was oppressed by Joseph Stalin, the dictator of the socialist camp at that time. Israel was approached by Chinese for an ally because both countries were young and had few friends. The Israeli diplomat had made an insult to the Chinese diplomat because Israel was created with the help of the United States and the United States was the staunch supported of the defeated government of the New China.

A country has no friends, only interests. –Charles de Gaulle

What would you do, or do you give an approval to the Chinese Diplomat with such an action? Who we act depends on what we have perceived in each circumstance. This Chinese diplomat was well known to the world as one of the smartest Chinese.  A diplomat should and ought to be the most capable people who can defend their national pride, and sometimes, who might have to swallow the obvious national pride for the sake of a mission undertaking.

Please do share your stories of diplomats with me 🙂


Understanding trademarks

18 Oct

My curiosity has served me well.  The action I choose this weekend is to go to a seminar and listen to presentations at the national trademark expo with the theme:

Protecting Your Trademark
Enhancing Your Rights through Federal Registration

It stimulated my thinking and I had a revelation on who we are as social beings.

 bourgeoisie as a class came about due to the important concept, trademarks.

Two contrasting views on who we are had led me to such a revelation.

On one side, it is the individualistic instinct in us; i.e., we need to be different and to stand out from others.
On the other side, it is the social instinct in us; i.e., we need each others approval.

Both instincts are necessary for us to compete. seeking for fairness in competition leads to the government involvement; thus, the patent & trademark office becomes necessary in civilization.

Who are we?

18 Oct

I am back! I am a writer because I believe in sharing my thoughts with others.

My new idea in writing is called “who are we?” It is going to be an introspective series of essays stimulated by what I did during my leisure time, such as reading, doing things, and chatting with people.

In general, “who are we?” is my pondering about interesting aspects of things throughout our daily activities.

As a bystander, which is my living philosophy of being an observer, I would rather write about what I see than what I can do with respect of getting the best of a situation for myself.

In this introductory blog, l am going to examine my motivation first:

 “unexamined life is not worth living.”

This quote is the most quotable saying of Socrates’.   Does the saying make sense to you? It might be too soon to tell if you have just started your journey in your adulthood. I started to examine my life a great deal more lately; and I found out that the quality of my living has increased substantially. If I share the examination of my living with you, will it be helpful to improve the quality of your lives as well?

Let’s see 🙂