Erenlai - Daring to Take Risks 勇於冒險
Daring to Take Risks 勇於冒險

Daring to Take Risks 勇於冒險

True wisdom helps us to take risks… True wisdom weighs the risks and shows us how to face them.Here is advice and experiences that will help you to decide when to take risks and how to survive them. An alternative cookbook for success!

有趣的人生不是多少冒點險的呢?我們活在這世上的短短數十年裡,你是隨時迎向挑戰,還是躲在安全的框架中希望人生就此一帆風順呢?帶著冒險精神生活是需要智慧跟勇氣的!

 

 

 

Sunday, 23 November 2008

【半聾半盲】笨篤藝術憂而不困

There is a growing number of movies and TV episodes that tell of conflicts between human intelligence and the artificial intelligence designed by humans for the control of human-like robots, machines that simulate human activity. A scenario envisioned by many scientists is to develop and manufacture humanoid robots that look and act, even feel and think as humans do. These humanoids would then be available to perform human tasks freeing humans for leisure activities. So long as there are no problems in the programs that control the robots, everything goes well. But suppose that some bad humans program the robots to attack and enslave the rest of mankind so they become the masters of the world maintaining complete control over the robots.

Another deviation depicted in stories is that the digital intelligence planted in robots develops into an independent intelligence no longer under human control and the robots then eliminate the humans to take over the world for themselves. Of course, in all the stories in the end some humans manage to instill a virus into the robot’s cyber system or come up with some bright idea that enables them to overcome the robots and restore the human domination.

In any case the age of cybernetics is here to stay and more and more sophisticated robots are being developed. I don’t understand the digital electronic program control systems or the complicated mechanical mechanisms that respond so accurately to computer control, but it fills me with awe.

Take for instance, the action of a human dashing at top speed through a heavily wooded forest with no path or level ground. It requires a keen eye to anticipate obstacles, an intelligence to transform what is seen into decisions about where to place the feet and directions to the muscles and nerves that will control the motion of the limbs and maintain bodily balance as I dash on without slowing down or injury. A human’s neurological, muscular and skeletal systems have developed over the years and he or she has the advantage of years of walking and running experience, but a robot has to start from scratch. First the mechanical structure of limbs, joints and movements, then the computer system has to be programmed to turn the images that come through the sensors of the visual system into commands that regulate every moving part so that the robot dashes forward without injury or fall. If successful, it can be cloned and reproduced.

Even more complicated are robotic representations of human emotions and intelligence. Is there some invisible line that no mechanical human-made creature can ever cross? Christians who accept the possibility of evolution believe that at some point in the upward evolution of some primate, the conditions were finally right for God to endow the creature with a soul and humankind was born with intelligence, free will, conscience, immortality and the moral responsibility to do good and avoid evil.

Is it possible that humans could develop the art of making robots to the point that conditions are just right for God to give them souls, endowing them with intelligence, free will, conscience, moral responsibility and immortality? Should this happen or seem to happen, what a raging theological discussion and controversy it would create!

The lesson to learn from all this is that no matter what humankind manages to develop and build, it can never relinquish the moral responsibility to use it well for the common good.

Here is a fable I wrote that illustrates this problem.

Attached media :
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Thursday, 30 October 2008

正確的冒險‧正確的時機‧正確的心態

十月份,我參與了一場由中歐國際工商學院(CEIBS)下屬的歐中企業領導力與社會責任研究中心(ECCLAR)所舉辦的兩場研討會。第一場研討會主題爲「履行企業社會責任真能提升中國企業業績嗎?」第二場研討會則是將焦點放在「領導力、心靈及共同利益」上。今天,隨著全球金融危機的出現,相信所有在場的與會者皆在心中提出一些早已預知但如今卻顯得更為急迫的基本問題,那就是:

什麼樣的價值觀與觀點可使企業領導者的風格更趨於重視社會福祉、更具負責任的態度並使自我更加圓滿?什麼是企業領導者的最根本責任及最佳特質?東西雙方世界是否可以透過互相學習來促進對企業倫理及經濟模式上更「心靈」層次上的實際做法?

當然,這種種問題雖無法立即得到一個明確答案,然而,無形中卻已塑造了幾點共識:(a)過去,經濟目的及利益的定義似乎都太過狹隘,只看經濟活動及其對自然界或公共領域的影響,卻忽略了對社會及個人真正幸福來源的評估及重視;(b)企業一向都缺乏一種使領導者能夠真正傾聽自己內心的聲音並展現同理心、洞察力及道德勇氣的「心靈」培訓;(c)若是能提出具創造力的詮釋,東方與西方在心靈方面的傳統必能加速轉變現有的領導階層模式。

在參與這些會議的同時,我也記得這些年來由利氏學社/人籟月刊所舉辦的幾次活動所帶來的意義,其中包括日前與臺北縣政府共同舉辦的文化對抗暖化研討會,以及今年在上海、去年高雄所討論類似主題的會議。透過這些活動,我的確看到了一條明顯的脈絡正在浮現: 這些年來,與來自世界各地、生活型態迥異的朋友們密切合作的過程中,我們不斷地強調幾個重要信念。在這裡我回顧這四年來我們努力的過程,對我來說,某些理念實已透過這些重要行動完全被確認了。

--我們不斷地強調現今的世界經濟模式僅僅運用統計分析或只將焦點放在自然資源的運用,這的確是無法朝向永續發展的一項事實;並使人們的經濟認知受到挑戰;也提醒我們世界上多數的財富是由少數人所累積,然而卻有一半全球人口的最基本需求仍無法得到滿足,這之間的鴻溝亦日漸擴大。因此,我們必須重新以更人文與跨領域的方式來看待經濟活動。

--把永續發展與文化兩者結合起來將會對永續概念有更全面性的認識,且增添其豐富內容。這不僅表現出公民社會在重新塑造社會消費與生產典範上所扮演的重要角色,同時也展現出對生態及社會的擔憂並非是「保守派」態度,反而是一種提升創造力的方法,亦是試圖從我們的文化資源中尋找出創新的解決問題方式。

--一直以來,「心靈的力量」已被視為永續發展與文化多樣性的基石,如今更是迫切所需。因此,為了尋求並專注此研究方向,從2009年起,E人籟會將重點放在探討「心靈的力量」相關議題,特別對於在經濟、社會、政治及文化等各方面決策者,試圖提供一系列資源以協助發揮更敏銳的分辨力,引導他們走進內在生命,運用足以滋養個人與群體成長的方式去聆聽並做出正確決定。「心靈的力量」並非只提供少數者利益的高級品,而是一種達到「精神民主」的方式─也就是為建立完善、平衡及永續社群為前提,共同分享並持續累積有用的資源。

期待以E人籟做為溝通平臺的各地友人所連結起來的網絡,能匯集起更多文化與心靈資源的強化、分享及運用,並將之視為中心使命,這也是面對現今危機所急切需要的。

2008年11月

註: 上述兩場中歐企業領導力與社會責任研究中心(ECCLAR)的研討會,皆與國際經濟倫理研究中心(CIBE)、歐洲SPES論壇(European SPES Forum, 比利時魯汶)攜手合辦。

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

舞出永续的生命

舞出永续的生命

一九九○年,一群分别来自阿美族、卑南族、泰雅族、鲁凯族、布农族与排湾族的年轻原住民,相偕放弃原有的工作,重新开始学习这些值得珍惜、令他们引以为傲的歌谣与舞蹈。隔年五月,他们正式立案登记为演出团体,并为自己取名为「原舞者」。

泰雅族的瓦旦·督喜,是「原舞者」现任团长。多年来,「原舞者」除在台湾各地演出,更踏上国际舞台,积极参与艺术节和各种文化交流活动,足迹遍布亚欧两洲与美国。但是,或许因现实生计之故,舞团团员目前仅馀不到十位…


【得奖感言】

人终其一生负载的是什么?人生存的目的什么?人死后留给世人的是什么?这些是我在「原舞者」时常问自己的问题。

习惯了「神圣的」原住民祭仪乐舞所呈现的身体感觉,当要回到比较属于「人性的」身体层次中,是一种自我反省的历程。在排练过程中,「自我觉察」常变成我的心理工作。

而演出的当下,是一种回忆,也是一种自我唤醒。每个时代都有其沉重的文化包袱。在每次排演中,心灵都会遭到原住民历史遗留伤痛的打击,所以常自问:「真的是我在忍受那痛苦吗?还是另一个人在忍受?」有几次在过程中,感觉转为麻木,像艾蜜莉·狄金生诗里提到的「在巨大伤痛后,随之而来的是森漠的感觉。神经萧然肃坐,如墓。僵麻的心探问著,受苦的就是他。是昨天,还是几世纪前?」

我一直在想,是什么让我的心灵重生。泰戈尔说:「把我做成你的酒杯,让我的满杯供献给你,供献给你的人。」那么,装满杯子的是什么?那是我们一直忽略的东西,也就是「爱」。那样的爱,就如同阿里山邹族的高一生先生,在书信与歌谣中在在表达他对土地、族群、家人无私的爱。所以,我们「只愿做成你的酒杯,献给你。」

人对已逝者特别眷念。如果没有死亡的威胁,人就不会珍惜与反省,也没有所谓存在的问题。但以千言万语解释爱,却仍无从诠释与体验爱的本质。爱只能以自己衡量自己。不如打开心灵的窗,释放爱的感觉,就知道爱有多长,有多宽。

终其一生,人负载的是什么?而生存的目的又是什么?人死后留给世人的是什么?我想那就是「爱」、「希望」、「信仰」。

附加的多媒体:
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Wednesday, 29 October 2008

舞出永續的生命

一九九○年,一群分別來自阿美族、卑南族、泰雅族、魯凱族、布農族與排灣族的年輕原住民,相偕放棄原有的工作,重新開始學習這些值得珍惜、令他們引以為傲的歌謠與舞蹈。隔年五月,他們正式立案登記為演出團體,並為自己取名為「原舞者」。

泰雅族的瓦旦‧督喜,是「原舞者」現任團長。多年來,「原舞者」除在台灣各地演出,更踏上國際舞台,積極參與藝術節和各種文化交流活動,足跡遍布亞歐兩洲與美國。但是,或許因現實生計之故,舞團團員目前僅餘不到十位…

【得獎感言】

人終其一生負載的是什麼?人生存的目的什麼?人死後留給世人的是什麼?這些是我在「原舞者」時常問自己的問題。

習慣了「神聖的」原住民祭儀樂舞所呈現的身體感覺,當要回到比較屬於「人性的」身體層次中,是一種自我反省的歷程。在排練過程中,「自我覺察」常變成我的心理工作。

而演出的當下,是一種回憶,也是一種自我喚醒。每個時代都有其沉重的文化包袱。在每次排演中,心靈都會遭到原住民歷史遺留傷痛的打擊,所以常自問:「真的是我在忍受那痛苦嗎?還是另一個人在忍受?」有幾次在過程中,感覺轉為麻木,像艾蜜莉‧狄金生詩裡提到的「在巨大傷痛後,隨之而來的是森漠的感覺。神經蕭然肅坐,如墓。僵麻的心探問著,受苦的就是他。是昨天,還是幾世紀前?」

我一直在想,是什麼讓我的心靈重生。泰戈爾說:「把我做成你的酒杯,讓我的滿杯供獻給你,供獻給你的人。」那麼,裝滿杯子的是什麼?那是我們一直忽略的東西,也就是「愛」。那樣的愛,就如同阿里山鄒族的高一生先生,在書信與歌謠中在在表達他對土地、族群、家人無私的愛。所以,我們「只願做成你的酒杯,獻給你。」

人對已逝者特別眷念。如果沒有死亡的威脅,人就不會珍惜與反省,也沒有所謂存在的問題。但以千言萬語解釋愛,卻仍無從詮釋與體驗愛的本質。愛只能以自己衡量自己。不如打開心靈的窗,釋放愛的感覺,就知道愛有多長,有多寬。

終其一生,人負載的是什麼?而生存的目的又是什麼?人死後留給世人的是什麼?我想那就是「愛」、「希望」、「信仰」。


**
原舞者舞團 http://fasdt.yam.org.tw


附加的多媒體:

{rokbox size=|544 384|thumb=|images/stories/erenlai_cover_small/video_dancer.jpg|}media/articles/07Watan_zh.swf{/rokbox}

 

 

Monday, 27 October 2008

Right Risks, Right Time, Right Spirit

In October, I attended two conferences organized by the Europe China Center for Leadership and responsibility (ECCLAR) at the Shanghai-bases China Europe International Business School (CEIBS). The first conference was raising the question “Does corporate social responsibility improve the bottom line in China?” while the second one was focusing on “Leadership, Spirituality and the Common Good.” Due to the unfolding of the financial crisis, the participants were asking themselves a few basic questions that suddenly looked even more urgently that they had foreseen: what set of values and insights may foster an entrepreneurial style conducive of social happiness, responsible behavior and personal fulfillment? What are the ultimate responsibilities and the desirable ethos of an entrepreneur? Can East and West learn from each other when it comes to foster a more “spiritual” approach to business ethics and economic modeling? For sure, there were no definite answers to such questions, but a consensus was emerging on the fact that (a) the definition of economic goals and benefits had been too narrow in the past, neglecting to evaluate and valorize the social and personal happiness resulting from economic activities as well as its impact on natural and communal integrity; (b) the formation of businessmen has generally not been nurturing “spiritual” leaders able to listen to their inner voice and showing empathy, discernment and moral courage; (c) Eastern and Western spiritual traditions could foster alternative models of leadership, provided there are people able to creatively reformulate them.

When participating in these discussions, I was keeping in mind the lessons of the colloquium that Ricci/Renlai had just organized in Taipei County on culture and global warming, as well as our Kaohsiung 2007 and Shanghai 2008 symposiums. I do see a thread throughout this series of events: since a few years already, in close collaboration with friends from different countries and ways of life, we have been insisting on a few convictions. Let me restate them in retrospect, as they have been evolving during the last four years – it does seem to me that their overall validity is confirmed by the unfolding events:

-Stressing again and again the fact that the present world economic model was not sustainable did not come from a mere statistical analysis or a single-minded focus on the use of natural resources; it was a way to challenges some basic assumptions on profitability, to remind us of the growing gap between the accumulation of wealth realized by a few and the continuing non satisfaction of the primary needs of half of the world population, and to rehabilitate in contrast a humanist and inter-disciplinary approach of economic phenomena.

-Linking sustainability and culture was a way to give more content to this enlarged concept of sustainability, to show the prominent role that civil societies have to play for reforming our patterns of consumption and production, and to show that ecological and social concerns were not linked to a “conservationist” attitude but were really a way to foster creativity so as to devise innovative solutions rooted into our cultural resources.

-Finally, making “spiritual empowerment” a cornerstone of sustainability and cultural diversity was indeed pointing to a need that has proven to be dramatic. Consequently, pursuing and focusing its line of research, in 2009, eRenlai will be paying special attention to the “spiritual empowerment” issue, trying to offer an array of resources helping economic, social, political and cultural leaders to develop their capacity to discern, to listen and to decide in a way that relates them to their inner being and nurtures personal and collective growth. “Spiritual empowerment" is not a luxury for the happy few; it is rather a way to achieve “spiritual democracy” - to share and assess resources helpful for building up mature, balanced and sustainable communities.

May the network of friends that the eRenlai platform gathers take as their core mission the enrichment, sharing and implementation of the cultural and spiritual resources that the present crisis so urgently calls on us to mobilize.

November 2008

Note: The two ECCLAR conferences mentioned above were organized in cooperation with the Center for International Business Ethics (CIBE) and European SPES Forum, Leuven.


(photo: A.K.)


Wednesday, 22 October 2008

How to turn the desert into a sea of flowers

Many people often ask us with a tone of pity why we are planting trees in the desert! The reason is very simple. Environmental concern is not only about planting trees, it needs plans and organization, it needs to be sustainably developed from culture and environment, authentic environmental concern has also to be implemented in the hardest areas.
Some people think that the desert is too far away from us, that the tragedy of LouLan’s disappearance could never happen to us. But nature has already begun to take revenge and no one will be able to escape it! Only culture can make people know the importance of their environment, so as to make them change their immature behavior.

Life is so brief. And we shall leave this world in utter destitution. Although we do not know whether we can achieve our dreams, we will still be able to say proudly: ‘I have already lived for myself!’
New Loulan Project

Attached media :
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Wednesday, 01 October 2008

福田引退,外交归位?

撰文│何思慎 辅仁大学日文系副教授


日相福田康夫以迅雷不及掩耳之势请辞,距其上台未满周年。接替安倍晋三出任首相的福田,不断受制于「扭曲的国会」(ねじれ国会),以致重要法案无法通过,国政无法顺利推动,百姓生活每下愈况。其间福田虽力图振作,月前改组内阁,以求挽回民心;然此举对拉抬内阁声望效果有限,媒体民调数字更显示改组效果为零。福田的下台,应验前首相小泉「改组后若仍不得民心,福田须下台」的政治判断。

福田内阁声望持续低迷,不仅造成自民党支持群众流失,亦冲击自民党与公明党的合作气氛。自、公两党除对「恐怖主义对策特别措施法」各持立场,在解散众议院的时机上,进退维谷的福田虽不急于解散众议院,但公明党却希望于今年底或明年初解散它,竭尽全力在明夏东京都议会选举中放手一搏。两党各为一己政治利益盘算,不合传闻亦成「永田町」最令人感兴趣的小道消息。因此,福田虽对外说明「下台乃希望为陷入僵局的日本国政寻求突破契机」,但自、公已非琴瑟和鸣,应是让福田萌生去意的因素之一。

在内外交迫下,福田感到势不可为。「解散众院」已箭在弦上,但在内阁支持率仅二成的情况下强渡关山,无疑是政治自杀。此时改选自民党将可能失去政权,且无法如一九九三年沦为在野般,迅速离间执政联盟,重返执政。福田不愿成为全党罪人,且成为自民党史上最不堪的总裁。让新人上台,重燃选民对「自公联合内阁」的支持,应是福田延续自民党政权的最后一帖猛药。惟若新首相仍唤不回民意,政党轮替应是必然结局。

面对自民党一九五五年结党以来最大的生存危机,自民党内应会暂时抛开派系利益恩怨,共推高人气政治明星,在即将到来的众院大选中吸票。迹象显示,在自民党总裁参选者中,麻生出线的机率最高。

根正苗红的麻生太郎为「吉田路线」正牌继承人,其外交政策与福田高举的「新福田主义」必有出入;被束之高阁的「价值外交」将重回日本外交政策思路,而「美日同盟」亦会先于日中关系。麻生的「价值外交」与美国共和党总统提名人麦肯(John McCain)提出的外交理念「以团结民主国家对基轴的夥伴关系」不谋而合。若其顺利出线,将令美国对日本更为放心。

其间日中关系虽不必然回到小泉内阁时期的低潮,但缺乏能与中国「以心传心」的福田首相穿针引线,日、中能否暂搁置争议,实现「第四份公报」揭橥的「战略互惠关系」,不无疑问。麻生的保守立场,令中国似乎对其缺乏足够「信任」,这将成为左右日中关系发展的最大变数。

附加的多媒体:
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Wednesday, 01 October 2008

希望交响曲

阿根廷音乐诗人艾瑞拉是国际知名的钢琴家,时时不忘履行对人类的许诺:将音乐的执著化为国际行动。他号召「社会艺术家」,为世人谱写希望…

撰文|魏明德

阿根廷音乐家米格尔·安杰·艾瑞拉(Miguel Ángel Estrella)不是一般的钢琴家:他出生在阿根廷北部,十八岁开始学钢琴,后来成为国际知名的钢琴家;他的志向是将艺术与最弱势的人分享,他带著他的钢琴到工厂、乡间以及南美洲的印第安村落演奏贝多芬乐曲…他的坚持与他的个性密不可分:「他不只是一位出色的钢琴家,他是个诗人。」另一位享盛名的法国女音乐家娜迪亚·布兰洁(Nadia Boulanger)这么形容道。

实践关注穷人的志向,使得艾瑞拉在乌拉圭饱受三年牢狱之灾与酷刑,甚至有人威胁要砍断他的手掌。一九八○年,在国际艺术家全力动员施压之下,他才被释放。我记得他被释放以后,我曾在广播中听到他的声音,让我印象深刻的是他的声音很温柔,温柔得像是星空下的一首夜曲,彷佛道出阿根廷大草原上的农民发现巴哈赋格曲时的心醉神迷。

他扩大行动规模,创立「音乐·希望」协会,捍卫人权以及每个人的音乐权。这个非政府组织于是创立「和平乐团」,犹太音乐家与巴勒斯坦音乐家占居各半。这个团体旨在培育「社会艺术家」,鼓励艺术家到南美洲的农村与贫民窟举办演奏会并进行艺术教育,而且同时蒐集该地正在消失的音乐遗产。

然而,艾瑞拉并不是孤星。我们同时想到的艺术家,例如同是在阿根廷出生的钢琴家与指挥家的丹尼尔·巴伦波因(Daniel Barenboïm),他不懈地推动以色列与巴勒斯坦的和解,更广地来说,是为了增进中东的和平而努力。我们也会想到美国女演员安洁莉·娜裘莉(Angelina Jolie)为难民而战,以及法国女演员桑德琳·波奈儿(Sandrine Bonnaire)为唤起精神疗养院中对人权的重视而奔走。

这样的艺术家清单列不完,但他们都有一个共通点:勇气。他们以其名声为理想与信仰奋斗,甘冒受人误解的风险,即使公众抛出敌意与冷嘲热讽也甘之如饴。不管我们是否赞同他们的信念,不管我们是否喜爱他们的艺术风格,他们履行许诺的行动使人敬重。艺术家尤其提醒我们「美的权利」是普世人权,艺术和音乐应该能够富人与穷人齐聚,而不是造成社会不同阶层的陷落。


「美」和「音乐」相互给予、接收、交流,像一份永恒的礼物。它们两者不属于任何人,在被人演绎的同时,永远活在世人的心中。

附加的多媒体:
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Wednesday, 01 October 2008

希望交響曲

阿根廷音樂詩人艾瑞拉是國際知名的鋼琴家,時時不忘履行對人類的許諾:將音樂的執著化為國際行動。他號召「社會藝術家」,為世人譜寫希望…

撰文|魏明德

阿根廷音樂家米格爾‧安傑‧艾瑞拉(Miguel Ángel Estrella)不是一般的鋼琴家:他出生在阿根廷北部,十八歲開始學鋼琴,後來成為國際知名的鋼琴家;他的志向是將藝術與最弱勢的人分享,他帶著他的鋼琴到工廠、鄉間以及南美洲的印第安村落演奏貝多芬樂曲…他的堅持與他的個性密不可分:「他不只是一位出色的鋼琴家,他是個詩人。」另一位享盛名的法國女音樂家娜迪亞‧布蘭潔(Nadia Boulanger)這麼形容道。

實踐關注窮人的志向,使得艾瑞拉在烏拉圭飽受三年牢獄之災與酷刑,甚至有人威脅要砍斷他的手掌。一九八○年,在國際藝術家全力動員施壓之下,他才被釋放。我記得他被釋放以後,我曾在廣播中聽到他的聲音,讓我印象深刻的是他的聲音很溫柔,溫柔得像是星空下的一首夜曲,彷彿道出阿根廷大草原上的農民發現巴哈賦格曲時的心醉神迷。

他擴大行動規模,創立「音樂‧希望」協會,捍衛人權以及每個人的音樂權。這個非政府組織於是創立「和平樂團」,猶太音樂家與巴勒斯坦音樂家佔居各半。這個團體旨在培育「社會藝術家」,鼓勵藝術家到南美洲的農村與貧民窟舉辦演奏會並進行藝術教育,而且同時蒐集該地正在消失的音樂遺產。

然而,艾瑞拉並不是孤星。我們同時想到的藝術家,例如同是在阿根廷出生的鋼琴家與指揮家的丹尼爾‧巴倫波因(Daniel Barenboïm),他不懈地推動以色列與巴勒斯坦的和解,更廣地來說,是為了增進中東的和平而努力。我們也會想到美國女演員安潔莉娜
裘莉(Angelina Jolie)為難民而戰,以及法國女演員桑德琳‧波奈兒(Sandrine Bonnaire)為喚起精神療養院中對人權的重視而奔走。

這樣的藝術家清單列不完,但他們都有一個共通點:勇氣。他們以其名聲為理想與信仰奮鬥,甘冒受人誤解的風險,即使公眾拋出敵意與冷嘲熱諷也甘之如飴。不管我們是否贊同他們的信念,不管我們是否喜愛他們的藝術風格,他們履行許諾的行動使人敬重。藝術家尤其提醒我們「美的權利」是普世人權,藝術和音樂應該能夠富人與窮人齊聚,而不是造成社會不同階層的陷落。


「美」和「音樂」相互給予、接收、交流,像一份永恆的禮物。它們兩者不屬於任何人,在被人演繹的同時,永遠活在世人的心中。


Tuesday, 30 September 2008

One day at KPS

9-minutes documentary directed and produced by the eRenlai team (2008).

 

 

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

One small step for man...

One giant leap for mankind!

On July 20, 1969 the astronaut Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon for the first time in history and proclaimed, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” Transferring a foot from the bottom rung of a ladder to the ground was indeed a small step, but its significance for mankind was great.

Neil knew that his small step was going to be a great leap. But history if full of small steps that inadvertently became giant leaps. One example that stands out in my mind took place in Montgomery, Alabama on December 1, 1955. In those days racial segregation was rigidly enforced in the Southern States. One of the laws was that whites and blacks could not occupy the same row of seats on a bus. Blacks had to sit in the rear, the first four rows reserved for whites only. Rosa Parks, a 42 year old Afro-American, was sitting in the fifth row. When the first four rows were all taken by whites and another white person entered the bus, the driver insisted that Rosa yield her seat and move to the back. She refused and was arrested. For her it was only a small step to stand up for her rights, but in fact her defiance was the catalyst that led to the United States Supreme Court declaring segregation laws unconstitutional and jumpstarted the largely successful Civil Rights Movement.

It would be foolish to think that every small step we take is of earth shattering significance. It would be equally as foolish not to take a small step because it is not significant. If a small step is important for you, it is significant. If your courageous step inspires someone else to do the same, it is doubly significant. In all likelihood, you won’t be the next Rosa Parks, but if no one dares to take small steps, there will never be a Rosa Parks again.

Tuesday, 03 June 2008

加強心靈力量

On May 12th, the disaster happened in Sichuan. My tears are on my face when I watch the news on TV and the internet.. In Sichuan, my home province, my parents are still living there. Every time I hear a Sichuan dialect or see Sichuan persons, I am always excited. I considered being a volunteer in Sichuan during this crisis, but I unfortunately am unable to do it. I only can donate some money through the Red Cross and pray for them in silence.

This shock leads me also to think of Napa village. I came to the small, beautiful Tibetan village in Shangri La of Yunnan in 2006. I was attracted by the villagers’ kindness and the beautiful surroundings. At the same time, I was pained to see the villagers damage the forest, chopping down the trees, not fully understanding the long term effect of this. The trees that have grown for hundreds of years became construction lumber. We cannot blame the villagers, because now there are few other ways to survive.

In 2007, we started to organize volunteers to teach the village children Mandarin, promote better personal hygiene, and help the villagers to make family records. To make a change of their thinking, we tried to help them make their village attractive to tourists instead of selling their nonrenewable timber. Of course, this was just the beginning of our many wishes for them. For us to really make their life much better, we still have a long ways to go.

This summer, we again will have a two-month stay in Napa to make more improvements. Hopefully, we will get your support. Your suggestions and thoughts will motivate us to accomplish our plans. Together, we can make the world better by doing well in every small job that we do. Because we are together!
The Project of Volunteers Plan for Napa Elementary School 2008

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