Erenlai - Displaying items by tag: trouble
Friday, 28 January 2011 16:00

eRenlai and life's unexpected troubles

Translated by Jason Chen

People hate running into unexpected trouble. It catches us off guard and makes us feel helpless. Hackers are the greatest threat to websites and, being an administrator of the eRenlai website, my most feared type of unexpected trouble.

We are now 10 years in to the 21st century. The internet has been in rapid development since the end of the 20th century, evolving from a simple channel of communication to something that has become inseparable to everyday life. On the internet people learn new information, express their opinions and voices, create interpersonal networks and activity centres, share their everyday life experiences and so on. Through web-based texts, sounds and videos, we have developed a new kind of life and alternative social circles: the different experiences available in this new sphere have become important elements for many of us.

eRenlai is a new life for Renlai. This website allows us to share more of our stories, videos, sounds and relevant information with our readers. We can also get feedback from our readers and use this as the basis for improving our magazine. This is why we really treasure eRenlai; we are always thinking about how to make it better and to encourage more feedback from our readers.

Despite our best intentions, unexpected trouble has hit eRenlai. One day we were suddenly unable to upload pictures to our website because the folder path was gone and some functions of the website were lost. We were shocked and had no idea about what was happening. Not only were we in panic mode, we were also worried that the website - which we put so much time and effort into building - was going to go bust. Luckily the situation didn’t get worse and at least all the already-uploaded articles were still there.

We urgently called the system maintenance engineer and he undertook some chaotic investigations. The definite cause of the website’s problems was apparent - eRenlai was hacked. Our first reaction were that “Why? How could this ever happen to us?”. Like all unexpected trouble, everyone wants to know “the reason”. However, finding out “the reason” after something has already happened does not necessarily help the situation and can even delay the time available to solve the problem. Trying not to panic or fly into a rage, we asked the system maintenance engineer to urgently fix some functions of the website for us so we could at least keep it running. However, we knew that even if eRenlai is restored the nightmare wouldn’t just stop there. Not only do the website functions have to be fixed, we have to so improve security and change everyone’s username and password to prevent something similar from happening again in the future. A week after eRenali was hacked, all the staff in eRenlai were still reeling from this turmoil.

Although this unexpected trouble only happened on the internet and it didn’t cause any physical harm to me, the lesson it taught me was tougher than if it had. When expected troubles come, one can only face them, accept them, try and solve them and then let them go. Just as someone should carry on with his or her life regardless of whatever may have happened, a website should not stop running because it comes across moments of anger or sadness. For eRenlai to get back running and become a bigger and more secure website is a responsibility we owe to our dedicated readers. When such unexpected trouble arises we should learn to look forward as this is the only way we can turn such an adversity into an opportunity!

Photo: C. Chuang

 


Friday, 14 September 2007 00:28

Five easy ways to turn your friend into your enemy...

A friend is someone you can always count on to support you in time of trouble. A friend is someone with whom you are not afraid to share your darkest secrets. A friend is someone you would not hesitate to sacrifice your self for to protect from harm. A friend is someone you enjoy being with because you think alike and have fun together. A friend is someone you can always count on to come to your aid when you’re in a pinch. A friend is someone you are not afraid to share your money or your goods with because you know they will be used carefully and returned in due time. A friend is someone who will always come running when you need him or her. A friend is a companion you enjoy being with. A friend is someone who is not afraid to tell you to your face what you are doing wrong.

Sometimes the most unlikely people become friends. Their backgrounds are different, their interests are not the same, but they seem to like and trust each other and complement one another. Sometimes acquaintances become friends by association: they don’t know anyone else, there is no one else to play with, one of them needs protection and the other needs someone to protect, or circumstances just pulled them together and no new circumstance has happened yet to pull them apart. A friendship built only on gratitude or personal need or one that is not equally reciprocated is on shaky ground.

Not all our acquaintances are friends. Some people we just don’t like, others we just can’t get along with, some disgust or repel us, some there is no reason or opportunity to associate with. Not everyone we don’t like or try to avoid is an enemy. We generally reserve that term for those who wish us harm or are standing in the way of our goals deliberately obstructing us.

An enemy is someone who hates you or wants you dead or transpires to defraud you of what is rightfully yours. An enemy is someone you hate or fear because you believe he or she is a threat to your life or livelihood. An enemy is someone who refuses to come to your aid in time or need. An enemy is anyone who is the enemy of a dear friend. An enemy is someone who insulted you or embarrassed you in front of others. An enemy is anyone you want to overcome or destroy.

It sometimes happens that circumstances change, events intervene that turn friends into enemies or former enemies into friends. There are several sure ways of alienating and losing a friend. Fall in love and run away with your friend’s fiancée before the wedding or seduce her to run away with you after the wedding. Divulge your friend’s deepest secret to his or her enemy or someone sure to be offended by it or get him in trouble. Help your friend to reach the top and then take it for yourself tossing him or her out on his or her ear. Refuse to help when urgently needed. Betray him to his enemy or creditor. Appropriate for yourself what he or she depends upon. Throw in the towel with his or her worst enemy.

The first step of turning an enemy into a friend is to begin treating him or her as a friend. Then the rest is up to him or her to reciprocate.

Some people have trouble making friends. Some people have trouble keeping their friends. Some friends stay close through thick and thin. Some friends stick through the thick and run from the thin.

Having a dear good friend is a blessing that we must cherish and preserve.

Photo: C.P.

 

Published in
Focus: Living Together

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