Erenlai - Harmony and Conflict 和諧與衝突
Harmony and Conflict 和諧與衝突

Harmony and Conflict 和諧與衝突

Is Asia a continent of harmony or discord? How much harmony do we really want?  These materials explore the tensions and creative forces in families, schools, politics and society.


Monday, 11 August 2008

An American Perk

One of the perks of being American in Taiwan is being able to cash in on the general appreciation of the Chinese here for most things American, the general dislike and bewilderment at the crazy policies and behavior of President Bush being an exception. This is not always appreciated by non-Americans here who are always being mistaken as Americans.

In a recent article of the Frenchman Benoit Bouquin on cultural diversity he recounts his mixed feelings when young Chinese students mistake him for being an American. As an American in Taiwan over fifty years ago, being called American naturally made me feel good. It was also certainly better than being pointed out as a “foreign devil” or “big nose” which in those days was just as common. My Spanish companions, of course, hated to be called American, but I just laughed at them until one day I visited Chutung where the only foreigners were Spanish and the students pointed at me and said “Spaniard.” Then I knew what they were feeling.

As an American I was always approached by bold students eager to practice their English. This, too, must have bothered my Spanish friends who were forced to learn English because the Chinese language course was only taught in English.

My Spanish companions quite understandably spoke among themselves in Spanish every chance they got. One day they were on a public bus chatting away in Spanish while a group of Chinese boys sitting behind them were listening very carefully. When the Spaniards got up to get off the bus, they overheard one of the Chinese boys say “Wasn’t that great? We just had a free English lesson.”

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Tuesday, 27 May 2008

How well do you drive?

Learning how to drive a car is becoming more and more common as more and more families and individuals now own their own vehicles, convenient for them, perhaps, but making the traffic congestion worse and worse. It is not hard to learn to drive, especially with automatic transmissions, but that doesn’t make everyone automatically a good driver, given such a wide range of attentiveness, reaction time, mechanical handling skills, relaxation or tension, fear or confidence, aptitude and attitudes and temperaments. There are the speed demons and the cautious crawlers, the patient manipulators through traffic jams and the rude ones always cutting you off as they dash frantically from lane to lane in their perpetual hurry.

To be a good driver requires a modicum of manual control and attention to detail. To be a safe driver requires a high level of alertness, quick reactions and responsible avoidance of potentially dangerous speeds and conditions. When you get behind the wheel, you are not just putting your own life and that of your passengers on the line, but the lives of everyone your car draws near.

Given my present state of paralysis, there is no way I could now safely handle a vehicle on the highway, but for three years while studying rehabilitation in the United States I did buy my own van and had it fitted with hand controls and a lift gate for my wheelchair, so that I could travel about independently. What freedom it was to drive myself whenever I wanted to go somewhere without having to find a driver free to take me. How proud and satisfied I felt when I, who had always previously had to be picked up by others, could now go and pick others up. But I mustn’t kid myself, I was never a good driver, just a mediocre one with the good luck of not being involved in only one minor accident. My mother never had much confidence in my driving, because the very first time when I was in high school and my dad took me out for a driving lesson, I hit a tree.

Several scenes haunt my memory. There was the time that I forgot to raise up the lift gate on the side of my van, so that if I had pulled out into traffic, it would have struck anything near that side of the van. Fortunately, just as I was about to enter the street a passerby alerted me to the danger. Then there is the time that I in the darkness of midnight hurtled down the freeway at 140 km an hour with a load of sleeping passengers unaware of my recklessness. Finally, there is the time that I took my mother on a ride in a desert in Arizona and turned onto a dirt road I had taken before, but this time I somehow got off the road and soon realized I was going across the open field without any road in sight and the ground getting so soft I was afraid to stop. I didn’t dare tell my mother anything was wrong, but we would have been in a lot of trouble, because it was late afternoon in wintertime and the desert often got down to below freezing during the night. Then fortunately, I saw the top of a truck pass by behind some bushes a few yards away and found the roadway again. I never told mother the danger we had been in. Maybe she never wanted me to know she knew.

So be grateful that you can drive and always drive cautiously and carefully. Safety depends not just on you, but on all the other vehicles and road conditions that you just have to hope will not interfere with your progress.

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史汀森(William R. Stimson)撰文 Nakao Eki 翻译

我远从世界彼端来到台湾,在此地发现了鬼针草(Bidens pilosa)。这种野草遍及热带地区,是过去许多年间令我在南佛罗里达、加勒比海及中美洲地区步履维艰的物种。
在南佛罗里达,这种草叫做「乞丐虱」(beggar’s tick),因为它所结的大量瘦果每枝尾端都有著两条萼,会像「魔鬼沾」一样黏在裤脚、袜子和鞋带上。这种草一旦出现,就得煞费苦劲去把它们拔掉,否则就会长到满地都是。这植物会入侵草坪,深深扎根,以它那脆弱的茎基和强有力的根部,顽强抵抗被连根拔起的命运。因为若想要把这种植物从草坪上拔除,往往就会拔断了茎的基部,根却还是牢牢地植在土里。在惊人的短时间里,这野草就又会长回来,而且盛壮如昔。


Wednesday, 30 April 2008



史汀森(William R. Stimson)撰文 Nakao Eki 翻譯

我遠從世界彼端來到台灣,在此地發現了鬼針草(Bidens pilosa)。這種野草遍及熱帶地區,是過去許多年間令我在南佛羅里達、加勒比海及中美洲地區步履維艱的物種。
在南佛羅里達,這種草叫做「乞丐蝨」(beggar’s tick),因為它所結的大量瘦果每枝尾端都有著兩條萼,會像「魔鬼沾」一樣黏在褲腳、襪子和鞋帶上。這種草一旦出現,就得煞費苦勁去把它們拔掉,否則就會長到滿地都是。這植物會入侵草坪,深深扎根,以它那脆弱的莖基和強有力的根部,頑強抵抗被連根拔起的命運。因為若想要把這種植物從草坪上拔除,往往就會拔斷了莖的基部,根卻還是牢牢地植在土裡。在驚人的短時間裡,這野草就又會長回來,而且盛壯如昔。


Friday, 28 March 2008

The Anatomy of Communication

In every instance of communication there are three indispensable elements: the sender, the message that the sender sends and the recipient, the one for whom the message is intended. Unless the sender is face to face with the recipient and they speak the same language, the message needs a messenger, courier or medium to deliver the message and a route for the message to traverse. That makes five elements, namely, the sender, the message, the messenger, the route and the recipient, each of which is subject to many variables.

The sender. The sender of the message does so for some purpose such as to greet, inform, respond, request, blame, threaten, please, anger or refuse. The sender probably has some specific intended reaction and/or response that he/she wishes the message to produce in the recipient and composes the message accordingly.

The message. The sender might personally compose and write the message or dictate it for someone else to record or might just tell some trusted associate the gist of what the message should say, so that the actual composition is done by another, but approved and signed or sealed by the sender. If the recipient speaks a different language, the message must be translated either before it is sent or later after it is received. If the message is to accomplish its purpose, it must accurately convey the sender’s intentions expressed clearly and unambiguously, unless it is intentionally designed to confuse and deceive.

The messenger. Once the message is ready for sending it requires someone to deliver it or some other medium for its transmission. Nowadays some important messages are still delivered in person by couriers or other designated official representatives, but usually there are governmental postal services, special private companies like DHL or UPI or FedEx, to say nothing of telephone, FAX and e-mail. However the message goes, it needs to be received in good condition, unopened and not tampered with. In some cases the message and the messenger must travel accompanied by gifts to render the recipient amenable and/or to pay whatever taxes, tolls or bribes might be necessary to enable the message to go on its way.

The route. There are many paths available, cables, wireless, satellites, airline routes, roadways, railways and sea routes, which are generally safe and reliable, but still subject to delays and detours to say nothing of accidents, piracy, theft or other interventions that can result in destruction or loss of the message. In olden times when so many ships were lost at sea and many routes were overrun with brigands and pirates or hostile natives or belligerent enemies, it was not uncommon for messages and messengers to fail to reach their destinations. Such failures still occur today, but fortunately on a greatly reduced scale.

The recipient. When the message arrives at its destination it must be accepted and delivered to the designated recipient. For the communication to be complete, the recipient must receive the message and fully understand what it was intended to say. He or she may first need to have the message translated, which if done inaccurately might lead to erroneous conclusions. Whether or not the message produces its intended reaction and response it is out of the control of the sender, but only in the hands of the recipient and his/her advisors.

From the point of view of the sender, the communication is a success, if its content is received by the recipient and its intended reaction and response are achieved or at least there is no response or repercussion that is undesirable or harmful. From the point of view of the messenger, success is when the message finally changes hands at the destination, especially if it is done expeditiously without pain, duress or injury. From the point of view of the recipient, the communication is a success if it clarifies an issue or produces a response or result that the recipient regards as appropriate.

With so many variables, it is amazing that so many communications successfully arrive and understandable why so many do not. One might feel anxious or threatened or lazy or hesitant to begin the communication process, given all the factors to be considered and all the things that might go wrong, but like a journey, whether it is short or very long, it still begins with a single step and continues a step at a time. The runner doesn’t halt after each step, but proceeds on his/her way until it is time for a rest or the endpoint is reached. Before the trip begins, the wise runner will have made whatever arrangements are necessary in order to reach the destination. And so should it be for the communicator. If you have something you want to say, just say it the best that you can, send it on its way as safely and quickly as you can and then sit back to await the response.

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Friday, 28 March 2008

Mind your manners

In a previous essay called The Anatomy of Communication I wrote about the elements that go into the communication process. It was concerned with the composition and delivery of the content of a message. But that is not the only way one person communicates with another. Your very presence, gestures, behavior and appearance also deliver messages that may or may not be intended. The very fact that you approach in person may say a lot about the importance of the contact or the importance of the person contacted. The way you dress, your facial expression, style of speech, the way you stand or sit or eat all convey information about yourself and your attitude and your respect or lack of it toward the one contacted.

This article is about the ways we behave that might please or displease, attract or repel the people around us. In this regard there are three terms commonly used: manners, etiquette, and politeness.

Manners or more properly good manners are sort of unwritten norms of behavior that are intended to put people at ease and smooth social relations. How often I heard my mother saying to me as I went off to a party or some other social function “mind your manners.” She meant “don’t be impolite”, “behave yourself”, “don’t forget all the proper etiquette we taught you for eating at table”, “know your place and act like a little gentleman”.

The social norms for interpersonal behavior are different from place to place and usually in a state of flux. It is still good manners to say “excuse me” if you interrupt someone or bump into them or just want to pass by causing them a little inconvenience. It used to be good manners for someone young to stand up and yield his/her seat to an elder. Nowadays it is considered more and more impolite to smoke in the presence of nonsmokers. There seems to be a growing number of people who consider it bad manners to speak on a cell phone in a crowded place or even to let it ring in a church or meeting. These norms usually arise through gradual consensus as some form of expression or behavior is accepted as pleasing and respectful and its negation or opposite seems impolite or offensive. A stranger’s ignorance of these norms or deliberate violation of them can be taken as rude, disrespectful or hostile.

Etiquette refers to issues connected with social decorum, such as proper ways to speak or act in public. Etiquette embraces sets of accepted and expected behaviors, many of which have been inscribed in printed rules of etiquette. There are etiquette rules for eating and drinking, for dealing with officials, for how to act in public places; there is office etiquette, business etiquette, internet etiquette (netiquette), etc.; etiquette can govern when and how to speak, what to wear, what is considered rude or inappropriate. The so-called rules of etiquette can be quite arbitrary, are seldom universal or applicable all around the world or in every cultural or social group. They develop and become codes of conduct gradually through common acceptance and expectation.

Persons are not born with the rules of etiquette instinctively embedded in their personalities. What they do hopefully possess is an instinct to please others and be accepted by others, so they absorb through observation and instruction the proper ways to speak and act according to their station in life and social class. Thus, as they grow up they learn what is expected of them and how to deal appropriately with others in order to please them and get from them what they desire for themselves in return.

There is a time and a place for everything and if you don’t know what these are you might get into trouble. When is it acceptable to use slang or swear? When is it right or wrong to wear shoes or remove your shoes when you enter a church or a mosque or enter a Japanese or Chinese friend’s house? Don’t go to a formal American banquet without coat or tie unless you are a Filipino wearing a barong tagalog or an African wearing a traditional robe, but even then you might get into trouble if the host is a prejudiced or insensible ass. When and where is it appropriate to eat with your fingers? What places require coat and tie or refuse entrance to those in shorts or barefoot or sleeveless or shirtless? When and how soon afterwards might you be expected to acknowledge a gift or write a thank you note? When and where might arriving late for an engagement or appointment be considered impolite? Is it good manners or bad manners to telephone someone very late at night or very early in the morning or to arrive unannounced at a person’s doorstep?

Politeness is the practical application of good manners and etiquette. Its expression depends upon the social status, cultural values and practices and the choice of vocabulary and expectations of the one addressed. Politeness is a sign of respect, face-saving, and shows the polite person is aware of his/her station and wishes to conform to the expectations of the person addressed. Any speech or behavior, intended or not, that violates what the person approached considers polite behavior will be taken as impolite or at least inappropriate. In some places, like in Japan, the very vocabulary of politeness is different for different levels of social class and position; in some places as in France it is impolite to use the singular form of “you” to others than family, close friends or peers; in some cultural groups to look into a person’s eyes is impolite, while in some others it is impolite not to look at another’s face; in some places politeness requires standing in the presence of another or removing one’s hat or bowing, shaking hands or avoiding physical contact, etc. Thus any time you need to approach someone of another culture or nationality, it is a very good idea to find out first how you should act and what to say, so you don’t commit any faux pas or cause embarrassment.

Sometimes, however, there are persons who are deliberately impolite and use bad manners to make a statement. There are those who consider it demeaning or hypocritical to have to conform to another’s pretensions. It is a way of saying “I despise you”, “I don’t like what you stand for”, “I spit in your face”, “I don’t need you to tell me what to say or how to act”, “I’m just being myself and if you don’t like it, that just too bad”, etc. Well, it’s a free world. If that is what you think and how you want to act, it’s your call, but don’t expect to make many friends or gain any respect or acceptance or cooperation from those who don’t speak and act as you do.

The social repercussions of bad manners and impropriety underline the importance of etiquette and politeness for maintaining understanding and peace in the world.

Unless you are about to encounter a different unknown culture, you probably don’t need to buy a special book of etiquette or rush to the internet for particulars. Anyone with good will and common sense and powers of observation should have a fairly good idea of what is appropriate and acceptable behavior in his/her own environment.

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Friday, 28 March 2008

Postmodern civility

There are rules of civility for every time, every place and every culture… Politeness is to be reinterpreted, reinvented and lived in new fashions according to technological and social evolutions… How can we all behave with more civility in the public spaces that we are passing by in today’s world? Let me just list a few issues for the sake of our common self-examination….

Airport civility: Nowadays, once you are stuck in an airport you generally wish you never went there… Congestion, shortage of security personnel, annoying boarding procedures, stress all around you… all of this makes airports a kind of portable hell…Hard not to get angry or frustrated… And yet, airport drama is not to be blamed on airlines or airport operators but rather on clueless passengers. Some people are just infuriating travel companions, because they never thought about how to manage their travel and the one of the people they will meet with. For instance, we now all know when we are going to be asked to remove belt or shoes, so it’s best to plan ahead. Do we need to travel with all these laces or belts with metal buckles? Cannot we make sure in advance that our pockets are free of change? Do children really need their own suitcase? Also, do so many people need to check their Blackberries while waiting in line?... Airports are truly the place where efficiency and good behavior become one and the same thing. I do not need smiling travel companions, I need efficient and quick-minded ones. Of course, if she or he can also offer a smile, suddenly the airport hall does not look so awful after all… Hell is sometimes closer from paradise than we would think.

Emailing etiquette: Emailing is far too easy…Mass email’s first problem is that information spread that way is often not accurate and can create a big problem for people whose name has been associated with the massively-spread rumor, even when the sender’s intention was not malignant. So, don’t hit "forward" to everyone in your address book before you check out the veracity of mass e-mails. A strange development of the plague of mass emails is that it hits the working place in a most dramatic way: people are inclined to send every bit of information to all their colleagues, and we are often immersed in a mass of irrelevant bits of news that do not help in the least the efficiency of our common work. Information used to be a rare commodity. Information and spam are now closely related commodities. So, it is not the abundance of information that makes us work in an efficient way, it is rather the care with which we check and distribute information. Talkative people can become awful bore. The same applies to abundant, mass emailers.

Phones and planes. Now, this one is a tricky one… Even when they hide for doing so, some plane passengers are now sending text messages and e-mails. A few companies are preparing to go one step further and break the taboo: once a plane has reached its cruising altitude, passengers will be able to switch on their cell phones and make and receive calls. On some companies, the new system is already on trial… Actually, surveys have found that many passengers are very much against the idea, but others have said that they would very much like to text, access the internet or make calls. We are still in the testing stage. Some low-cost carriers are now allowing limited Wi-Fi service on board, but not voice calls, while Air France is already starting to test voice service. Technology is not a problem any more, but the rules governing its use will have to be decided by passengers and airlines. Will there be a new battle on civility raging on the air? The question is especially tricky as airports and planes bring together people from different cultures and nations. One more reason for treating this possible change in rules and etiquette with as much caution as possible…

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Friday, 28 March 2008

A Noxious Weed

I came over here to Taiwan on the far side of the world and found the pantropical weed Bidens pilosa, a species that in years past I had stumbled across in South Florida, the Caribbean, and Central America. In South Florida it’s called “beggar’s tick” because each of the small thin seeds it produces in startling abundance has two clasps at the end that enable it to attach velcro-like to pant-legs, socks, and shoe-strings. The seeds have to be picked laboriously off when one comes indoors, otherwise they get all over everything. The plant invades lawns and sends down deep roots. It resists being pulled up by a strength in the roots and a weakness at the base of the stem. When someone tries to uproot one of these plants from a lawn, the base of the stem is apt to break off, leaving the roots firmly planted in the ground. In a surprisingly short time the weed grows right back again, as big as ever.

Here in Taiwan, I went out of my way one day to pull up by the root a huge unsightly clump of the plant despoiling the lawn out front of the public library across the street from where I lived at the time. The window of the room where I wrote looked out on that lawn and I felt that to get rid of the big weed would be an improvement. It took all my strength and tact to get the thing up by its deepest roots. After a long struggle, I rose from my knees in victory, with soiled hands and sore fingers. I tossed the big ungainly weed on the pavement to die in the hot sun. Just at that moment, a small Taiwanese girl scampered across the lawn in glee to another smaller clump nearby that I hadn’t noticed. With joyous delight she set about picking the white and yellow daisy-like flower clusters one by one.

Having learned long ago how aggressive a weed the species is around the world in tropical places, I’d completely forgotten until that instant that when I was that little girl’s age, I too had thought this plant special and felt its flowers to be so pretty. Seeing the way the little girl lovingly fashioning a pretty bouquet of the flowers made me unexpectedly remember.

I stood there and watched, as her father took her by the hand and led her away down the street, the way the child so lovingly clutched her precious posy in her other hand. The two of them walked right past the big sprawling plant I’d tossed in the street. A car had already run it over and crushed it.

William R. Stimson is an American writer who lives in Taiwan. His other published writings are posted at

Thursday, 27 March 2008



沈秀臻 整理




曼德拉是南非武裝衝突的起始者與推動者司令,他是非洲民族議會(African National Congress, ANC)的靈魂人物,有一陣子他穿西裝拿手槍,並組織民族之矛。剛開始非洲民族議會走的是甘地式非武裝的路線,曼德拉將這樣的計劃改為武裝路線,他不願為了被釋放而放棄武力鬥爭。
非洲民族議會(African National Congress, ANC)在通過自由憲章之前,原先走的是激進路線,欲建立純粹黑人的南非,經過曼德拉的努力,才修改路線,走向族群和解,可見曼德拉對南非的貢獻。後來,非洲民族議會遵守和解的精神,不建立黑人政府,而建立黑人與白人都有機會當總統的政府。




Wednesday, 12 March 2008


杨昊 撰文

Political scientist are not historians(政治学者并不是历史学者)...是 Colin Elman与Miriam Fendius Elman两位ASU政治系的年轻学者,就国际关系研究与国际史研究途径及关切的差异,所落下的注脚。这段话,其实还有下文"..., nor should they are(或者说,政治学者也「不该」被视为历史学者)"(2001: 35)。这短短的四个字,甚至比前一句的主张更加强烈、也更具批判意味。

在探讨这句话的实质内涵前,或许,我们可以仔细想想英国政治哲学家Thomas Hobbes的著作与论述,以藉此理解政治学者的思考逻辑。众所皆知地,Hobbes在1651年出版的The Leviathan是他最具代表性的著作。相较之下,很少有人会知道,在他尚未出版The Leviathan之前,他是第一位将希腊版的History of the Peloponnesian War带入英语世界的译者。

对于Hobbes而言,战争的纪录与史实的叙述,让他了解人类世界的现实与残酷。在The Leviathan一书中,他极力开始主张政府作为维系稳定秩序的绝对权威之重要性。Hobbes认为,人类自然状态中,因恃强凌弱而产生的各种暴力与战争,都将危及人类的生命安全。为了确保自身的安全,人们将权力透过社会契约授予足以统领社会、确保秩序的国家,以脱离自然社会的混乱状态,从而让人们所构成的社会,能够进入在主权国家确保下的秩序与稳定的状态。

Hobbes对国家起源的分析,立基在强而有力的简单假设与推论基础之上。尽管后世政治学知识社群将Hobbes定位成政治哲学的代表人物,但类似的概念化(conceptualization)过程,俨然成为后世「政治科学」(political science)知识体系建立的重要依据。

尤其在国际关系领域中,这种将微观层次的个体需求与个体抉择,反映在国际社会与国家生存的实际状况中,并进行行为类比与预测的主张,其实可以从现实主义学派(realist school,包括结构现实主义)的基本假设中一窥究竟。无论是Hans Morgenthau或者是Kenneth N. Waltz,现实主义者大多坚信Hobbes所谓的自然状态,将会是导致人类社会莫名悲剧的关键因素。据此假设所建立的后续推论、演绎甚至是批评,其实一再强化国际关系「理论化」(theorizing)过程在相关研究中的关键地位。就此,大部分的国际关系研究均期望透过理论主张的建立、或者是基本变数(variables)的界定、变数关系的厘清,以推导出一系列足以解释(explain)大部分事实(facts)、或者预测(prescribe)特定国际现象未来走势的分析架构。

国际关系学科领域对于理论角色的重视,其实只是政治科学长期关切理论研究的缩影。几乎大部份政治学者所关切的是,如何从一系列模式化的行为或事实发展中,整理出最关键的因素,并建立起精简(parsimonious)的模型(无论是statistical或者是formal),来解释在特定范畴中最为复杂的现象。 就此而论,在手法上,「理论」的引导角色成为了整个政治科学(特别是国际关系)知识体系中,最重要的一个环节。


或许,Elman & Elman在"Political scientists are not historians, nor should they be"这句话里所要表达的,其实是对现今政治学研究社群有更多的期待以及更多的提醒,而非对某些不愿被实证主义(positivist)教条所箝制的政治学者给予无止尽的苛责、也不是在道德上批评历史学研究的不是。个人以为,这句话的言外之意,其实只是希望现今的政治学者能清楚了解自己的学科定位,并且在众所认定的研究责任上有所坚持。



Thursday, 28 February 2008

Sweet memories

When I face this mention “of an unknown father”, I am brought back to memories which are sweet and heavy at the same time. I had been raised by my grand-parents without knowing who my parents were. It was countryside and we were quite isolated so that this situation never bothered me, until my second year at primary school…

Suddenly, I had a mother, along with two little brothers and a little sister and most of all they were accompanied by a “father”. Is it because blood ties are so strong that I and my brothers and sister became very close in no time? Why then did my relationship with my mother look more like the one between a sister and her little brother? Maybe because our age difference was not that big and also because she couldn’t prevent herself from feeling guilty towards me, so she couldn’t accept me as her son. As for the man who was called “dad” by my brothers and sister, he was still a stranger to me.

Then there was a day when he and my mother had an argument. He took his bicycle and asked me if I wanted to go for a ride with him. At this time, the idea to go have some fun was enough to convince me, and the both of us went to the park which surrounds Chengching Lake close to Kaoshiung. He remained silent and gloomy all the way along. When we arrived to the Zhong-xing tower in the park, he started to tell me with a very sad voice that he was alone when he arrived in Taiwan, he met my mother in Taipei and they got married at the city hall. He had never heard of my existence and couldn’t accept it when he knew about it. But now in his heart he loved me, he just couldn’t find the way to express himself. He also talked about the place where he came from, his family, his pain of being parted from them, also the problem of the age difference between him and my mother, the misunderstandings with his step family… He had no one to talk to, except to me.

On our way back, I sat behind him, my arms around his waist, my heart was warm again. Finally, I also had a father, he just couldn’t tell it to me. I had the feeling of having grown up all of a sudden. The dearest impression left by my father is the image of us two sitting on Zhong-xing tower: it is a warm and beautiful recollection that I will never forget.

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Wednesday, 27 February 2008



沈秀臻 撰文

大家都认为家庭是组成社会的基本单位,然而法国哲人李维史佗(Claude Lévi-Strauss)还进一步提出家庭是对社会的反叛。他的看法点出了家庭与社会之间的基本矛盾,组成家庭的人往往以为自己尽了社会责任,但更可能反而把社会摆一边。

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《家庭会伤人:自我重生的新契机》(注3)一书揭露了家庭的负面实相,家庭其实并不像大家想的那么美好,这本书的作者是约翰布雷萧(John Bradshaw),美国知名的心理辅导专家,同时也是电视节目主持人。书中对家庭上下关系的交互影响有精辟的分析,希望人们追溯自身感受、习惯的来龙去脉,但是阅读这本书时必须避免把错全部怪罪给别人,引用时必须注意不同文化背景及大环境的因素。






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注1.沈清松(Vicent Shen), "Harmony Among Men, Nature and God. - A Comprehensive Vision of Optimal Harmony"(三层存在关系与充量和谐论),国立政治大学哲学学报第三期,1996年12月,页1-31。
注3.约翰布雷萧,《家庭会伤人:自我重生的新契机》(Bradshaw On : The Family-A Revolutionary Way of Self-Discovery),张老师出版社,1993年。

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