Erenlai - Items filtered by date: Tuesday, 27 March 2007
Wednesday, 28 March 2007 07:33

Where Am I ? My Little Environmental Space

It is easy to ask questions, but far from easy to answer them, because every question can only be answered by first asking ourselves other questions.

We are always being asked to identify ourselves. And every time we have to consider: “How much do they want to know?” “Why do they want to know?” “How much do I want to tell them?” In my pride I want everyone to know who I am and what I do. But also in my pride I don’t want anyone to know anything that might diminish their opinion of me. Then in my humility I don’t want to appear too high and mighty. But also in my humility I don’t want to appear too humble.

I mean, just take for instance, the simple question “What is your name?” “Who wants to know and why do they want to know?” “Should I give my full name or will a middle initial be enough?” “What about my nickname?” Then, (should I be a woman), “What about my title? Am I Miss, Ms. or Mrs.? Do I give my husband’s name or just my maiden name?”

On top of that there are all my other identifying tags: my email names, my bank account numbers, my social security, health card, credit card, identification card numbers and all my passwords and user names. Which of these do I dare to share with others?

Then there is the question “What is your address?” “Do they want to know my legal address for official transactions like paying taxes or where I am living now?” “Do they want my residence or where I work or both? or where I happen to be staying temporarily at the moment?”

Another question is “What is your phone number?” “At my home or at the office?” “During the day or at night?” “What about my FAX number and cell phones?”

A real headache is “Who or what are you?” “Do you want my nationality or my racial or national origin?” “My religion or political affiliation?” “My trade or my occupation?” “My present social status?” “Who wants to know and why?”

“What’s your opinion about so and so or such and such?” “Do you really want to know or are you testing my knowledge or intelligence?” “Do I want to say what is really on my mind or should I be more tactful and not irritate or upset this guy who I know disagrees with me?” “Do I have time to go into this or should I just let it pass?”

So you see, it is so easy to ask questions, but not always easy to answer them.

But to be honest, the only reason that I raised the above questions was to introduce what I really want to say here. There is one question that really matters and to which we should carefully address ourselves. Because the answers we give don’t affect only ourselves, but the whole world.

That important question is “Where am I?” Not “where am I in the course of my life?” or “where am I in this project I’m working on?” or “where do I stand on some political issue?”, but “where am I in relation to the world around me?”

I am occupying a space, a place, a specific location where I am being bombarded by sounds and sights, by temperature, by things in the air, by forces that are holding me in place or moving me about. I am in a state of constant interaction with all the things around me and because of that I am constantly in a state of flux with adjustments and reactions, most of which I am not consciously aware of, but which affect me all the same. And all the things around me are also in a state of flux as they adjust to and interact with my presence, even though I am not aware of that either.

I am not just “in an environment”, I am “part of the environment”. Take me out and the environment is no longer the same. What this means is that my responsibility to maintain and safeguard my own life, my health and my welfare cannot be discharged without taking responsibility for safeguarding those parts of the environment about me that are friendly to me and for keeping away from or correcting the parts that are harmful.

To survive in my immediate environment makes me a “local environmentalist” of the space where my gas emissions and trash are the only immediate threat and I and the people closest to me are the primary potential victims of the obnoxious elements of my immediate surroundings.

Whether or not what I do here and now in my environment ultimately affects the environments of others, it definitely affects my own. Maybe I don’t care what my place looks like or feels like. Maybe I don’t presently feel any discomfort from pollutions in my environment. Most people don’t. It is only years later, when they are suffering from ailments that built up because they did nothing for so long, that they regret their negligence.

And if they think the matter through, they have to realize that it wasn’t just the little sum of their own negligence’s that made the difference, but the combined accumulation of all the similar negligence’s of all their neighbors around the world that made the pollutions so lethal. Their guilt is part of the corporate guilt of everyone. And if things are going to change, then so must the attitudes and behaviors of everyone.
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國科會主委程建仁在這一段錄音談論他鍾愛的科學與信仰天主的平衡感,並提出教友在整個天主教會必須承擔的責任。

全文請見【人籟論辨月刊第37期,2007年4月】
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For some people life is like a succession of computer games. It is a constant state of war. The object is to kill the enemy before the enemy kills you. So long as you successfully eliminate the enemy the game goes on. If you are eliminated, then you start a new game. There is no peace, only the interval between games.

For some people life is just a confrontation between right and wrong. Right is what they believe is right. Wrong is whatever anyone else believes is right that is not the same as what they believe. There is no middle ground. There is no room for compromise, because compromise would mean either that you repudiate something you believe is right or accept as right what you believe is wrong. This means that life is a continual conflict. You must always defend what you think is right and attack what you think is wrong.

Some people don’t believe in either “right” or “wrong”. For them life is just a struggle between “mine” and “theirs”. The objective is to protect what is “mine” from becoming “theirs” and to increase what is “mine” by acquiring what is “theirs”. There is no middle ground that must be respected as off limits.

For some people peace is when they can do whatever they wish without anyone trying to stop them and war is permission to do whatever it takes to make others give them what they want. There is no middle ground where “I’ll let you do what you want” so long as “you let me do what I want without interference”. Life is an ever present battleground because it is impossible to move without stepping on someone else’s toes.

There are some people who see only part of the truth and believe that the little they see is all there is to know. And they denounce as frauds, liars or idiots anyone who sees any part of the truth that they missed, because they won’t admit they didn’t see everything. There can only be reconciliation when everyone is willing to take another look and appreciate the perspectives of others.

For some people there is no “live” and “let live”. There is only “let me prosper” and “let everyone else keep out of my way”. I only care what happens to me. I don’t care what happens to you, so long as it doesn’t affect me. There is no “me and you”. There is only “me”.

For some people there is “no me” only “you”. It is society, the community that matters; the preservation of the race or the good of all that counts. All else is selfishness. There is no middle ground where you can just enjoy what you have without concern for or sharing with those who have not. But fortunately there is the privileged ground where those who enforce the hardships on all for the common good are rewarded with the common goods taken from the common people.

Then there are all the middle people who don’t believe in anything, who have no idea what is right or what is wrong, all those who have nothing worth fighting for. There is no middle ground for them either. Theirs is the only ground.

Whatever happened to “in between”? Is there an “in between”? Should there be any “in between’? Is there any room for “compromise” or “moderation”?

Yes, because peace is not the absence of war, a momentary cessation of hostilities, but the absence of hostility. It is the condition where I am willing to acknowledge the limits of what is mine and willing to let you keep what is yours. I insist upon my rights, but I let you keep yours.

Yes, because right and wrong are not always right or wrong. I am right to defend my right but I am wrong sometimes about what is right. You are wrong to deny my right because it is not right to think my right is wrong just because it is not your right. When and only when I am willing to examine and possibly correct what I think is right and can calmly consider and tolerate what you think is wrong, then and then only am I standing on the “middle ground”, the only place where the whole truth can be found.

Yes, because even though I honestly believe that what I believe is right and honestly do not believe what you believe, I also honestly believe that you have the right to believe what you honestly believe and that we should respect each other’s beliefs and do our best to live together side by side in peace.

True peace is not just a temporary lull between hostilities, it is the absence of hostilities. It is when the things that divide us no longer impel us to hostile acts, when we agree that the things we don’t agree on will be mutually tolerated.

True peace can only be found on the middle ground between extremes. It is not a no man’s land where no one meets, but the vast “in between” where everyone is free to express his ideas and put forth his views in an atmosphere that reduces hostilities rather than incites to war.

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Tuesday, 27 March 2007 09:55

聖神之風吹向高山部落

原住民在台灣天主教徒中,具有相當重要的比例。
他們為何願意接受遠自西方、比漢族更疏離的信仰?
一群「America」又如何不畏艱難,將福音種子撒在高山之上?
以下的故事,即是兩顆種子落地生根並且開枝散葉的傳奇。

一九四五年台灣光復,結束五十年的日據時代,國民政府開放原住民保留地禁區,讓基督宗教得以傳入部落。於是在戰後二十年中,台灣原住民大規模皈依基督宗教,其中皈依天主教的人數略估超過十萬人,占當時台灣原住民人口的三分之一,被視為天主教台灣原住民部落傳教史的奇蹟。
基督宗教在台灣原住民部落開枝散葉,不僅培育了許多優秀的原住民人才,也讓原住民文化的傳承得以展現新的契機。透過以下兩段故事,讓我們得以領略聖神的風如何以祂奇妙的方式吹向台灣中央山脈,使原住民族群面對歷史變遷及強勢文化的衝擊之際,卻能在基督宗教的陪伴與慰藉中,找到生命與活力的泉源。

汪光洋——家族聖誕行開啟傳教大門

一九五八年十二月,鄒族特富野社大頭目汪光洋(族名Voju-Peonsi)全家,翻越阿里山走了十四個小時,到南投縣信義鄉久美部落探親,同行的除了頭目夫婦,還有長女汪寶蘭(族名Motoyu Beongusi)、次女汪寶秀(族名Danivu Beongusi)、四女汪寶瑞(族名Baicu Beongusi)及一些親戚。
他們獲邀參加久美鄰村羅娜天主堂的聖誕節慶祝活動,彌撒中神聖莊嚴的氣氛和嘹亮動聽的歌聲深深打動汪家姐妹的心。回家後,長女、次女分別說服自己的先生浦照好(Avae Boécot)、浦一世(Voyu Boécot)兄弟(他們都是老師),希望他們設法把這個活潑的教會帶到阿里山。

傅神父引人歸主

一九五九年初,經由嘉義教區牛主教的安排,曾經在中國甘肅傳教的聖言會德國籍傅禮士神父(Rudolph Frisch)自願接受這個任務,當時他已經六十一歲。他於一九六○年來到特富野,這在當時需要極大的勇氣和毅力,除了交通、生活極為不便,鄒族非常剽悍、有砍人頭習俗的傳說,也讓一般人裹足不前。
傅神父在很短的時間內便吸引許多村民皈依,包括特富野、達邦兩大社頭目。頭目是族人的領導,也是決定族人信仰的指標,頭目領洗後全村也跟著領洗。傅神父傳教成功的因素,除了歸功於兩對浦家夫婦的協助,及他在當地的社會服務工作外,他鼓勵恢復被基督教禁止的瑪亞士比(Mayasvi)祭典,是當時頭目願意皈依天主教的重要理由。

讓文化繼續傳承

長老會及真耶穌會於一九五○年左右到阿里山,他們排斥鄒族傳統信仰,強迫族人砍掉傳統祭典中的聖樹雀榕(eono),並在樹根灑鹽巴防止聖樹再生,傳統祭品也全部燒掉,瑪亞士比停辦將近十年,讓汪光洋頭目非常憂心鄒族文化會因此消失。經過汪家姐妹的解釋,汪頭目發現天主教教義與鄒族宗教非常接近,聖經故事與鄒族神話也很相似,因此選擇皈依天主教。汪頭目領洗後,短短三年,天主教教友人數遠超過早來十年的長老會,八個村落都有教友團體。領洗後,汪頭目跟長老們決定重新種樹,他們認為聖樹如果長大,鄒族文化就會繼續傳遞下去。
一九六三年,傅神父徵得汪頭目同意,在會所(kuba)廣場舉行特富野的第一台彌撒,當時的彌撒尚未融入鄒族傳統舞蹈,村人對金髮藍眼的「America」(當時原住民稱呼每個白種人都叫「America」)神父非常好奇,整個kuba擠滿了人。彌撒連辦三年,第三年由汪頭目負責全部儀式,瑪亞士比祭典的恢復,顯示了傅神父及汪頭目在那個年代已經意識到本位化信仰的重要性。
汪頭目在過世前曾說:「鄒族的文化慢慢沒落了,希望我們能夠在教會保留鄒族的文化。」因此他交代子女三件事:一、不能偷東西、不可以欺負別人;二、不可以放棄自己的傳統文化;三、相信教會,在教會內保持鄒族傳統文化。

信仰與生活兼顧

此外,傅神父很重視人才培育,積極協助青少年讀書求學,希望培養有信仰、有知識的領導者,從中尋找神父和修女的聖召,他所推動的社會發展計畫及慈善、教育服務,為族人帶來很大的希望。在當時物資缺乏的年代,他也對外勸募不少救濟品,村子裡大家都穿著尺寸大好幾號的衣裳。為了改掉村人喝酒的習慣,傅神父把整個店鋪買下來,不讓店鋪賣酒。數年後,道明會修女到村子辦托兒所,村裡的小朋友開始有牛奶喝、有糖果吃,得到妥善的照顧。
一段頭目家族的聖誕之旅,讓天主教由玉山腳下的布農部落傳到阿里山,當年同行年僅十三歲的四女汪寶瑞,現在是中華道明會的修女。浦一世的第三個兒子浦英雄(Pasuya Boécot),在當年道明會到村子辦托兒所時,他只有四、五歲,是托兒所第一屆小朋友,現在是嘉義教區的神父,對原住民牧靈及傳統文化保留工作一直不遺餘力。

全紹仁——從戰火炮灰成為開教先鋒

昭和十七年(西元1942年),二次世界大戰打得如火如荼,許多台灣原住民被日本徵召為「高砂義勇軍」,美其名為「義勇軍」,其實是送到戰場當炮灰。廿一歲的全紹仁(族名Nagas Magogo)是其中之一,他被派到菲律賓馬尼拉。
Nagas是一位黝黑的布農族青年,民國八年生,南投信義鄉地利村人。大戰結束後,Nagas僥倖逃過一劫返回故鄉,他是第一個邀請神父到中部山區傳教的原住民,也是台中地區第一位領洗的原住民。天主教以地利村為開教據點,先後傳到羅娜、眉溪、霧社、和平、阿里山等地區,影響非常深遠,Nagas因而於後來獲羅馬教廷頒發「開教有功」獎狀。

烽火歷險遇天主

Nagas在馬尼拉的烽火歷險是他最津津樂道的,當時每個人的生命都飽受威脅。Nagas的一位日本班長常帶他到教堂,結識了當地廿五歲的女子Abin,Abin在教會工作,鼓勵Nagas要常上教堂,教堂裡的菲律賓神父送了一串十字架項鍊給他,叫他戴在身上常劃十字聖號可以保平安。
Nagas在日本軍艦負責大砲瞄準的工作,在一次關島戰役中,他們的軍艦遭美機擊沉,艦上的同伴都被炸死了。Nagas落海,在槍林彈雨中抓著浮木慢慢漂流,海水被鮮血染紅一大片。他游了三個多小時,直到晚上九點多才被日本巡防艦救起。他相信自己能倖免於難,是身上的十字架在護佑他。
一個星期後戰爭結束,時為昭和廿年(西元1945年)。美軍發給戰俘每人五百元,並將他們遣送返鄉。跟Nagas同去的有三十多人,回來只剩他和一個平地人。他們用那筆錢買了黃金準備回台灣結婚。在高雄下船後,他們把黃金偷偷埋在樹下,以免被憲兵沒收,一個月後相約返回原處,沒想到那兒正在修馬路,黃金早已不翼而飛。
Nagas回家那天是颱風夜,他在風雨中站在門外興奮大喊:「Dama(爸爸),我回來了!」家人驚喜萬分不敢相信自己的耳朵,因為他們以為Nagas已經死在戰場,家裡還保留了日本人交給他們的指甲、頭髮。

帶領全村入教會

回到地利村後Nagas當選村長,當時長老教會已經傳入,他帶著全村加入並幫忙傳教,但是因為基督教沒有劃十字聖號及舉行彌撒的習慣,所以他心裡一直覺得迷惑。一年後,他在南投認識一位會劃十字聖號的教友,恍然大悟那位教友信的「Catholic」才是他尋找的教會。一九五二年某日,Nagas專程拜訪負責台中縣霧峰鄉新傳道學校的瑪利諾會賈振東神父(Armand Jacques),邀請他到南投山區傳教,第一個開教的部落就是地利村。Nagas不斷跟村人解釋,於是一大票人跟著他從長老會到天主教。Nagas的影響力很大,他帶著神父拜訪信義鄉其他部落,在羅娜成功吸引一位當地的巫師阿Mun(他的父親Ibi〔史忠厚〕是巒社群非常厲害的黑巫師,專門施法詛咒,影響力很大)聽道理,阿Mun後來受洗成為熱忱的傳道員,協助羅娜天主教團體發展。
Nagas後來又帶賈神父到仁愛鄉泰雅/塞德克族的眉溪部落,請當地的一位警察朋友(現任立委林春德的父親,警察在當時有很大的影響力)協助賈神父。一九五三年,賈神父選定眉溪為山區傳教據點,自己負責霧社(目前仁愛鄉)的傳教工作,信義鄉則由伏智神父(Henry Faucher)負責。一九五四年八月,台中教區第一座原住民天主堂在眉溪部落落成,瑪利諾會繼續派遣年輕有活力的神父協助傳教,天主教會在和平、霧社、信義三個鄉迅速發展。
一九六三年,Nagas投入政壇,先後擔任九年鄉長、八年縣議員。他對布農族的族群遷徙、傳統藝術、神話故事、祭儀等瞭若指掌,退休後也持續熱心協助教會,家人也都投入教會工作。在鄉長任職期間,Nagas曾經在現任原住民委員會主委瓦歷斯‧貝林的陪同下,舊地重遊到菲律賓,並見到當年的Abin。
二○○三年八月,全老先生接受輔大神學院原住民神學研究中心訪談,隔年四月蒙主寵召,享年八十五歲。

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Tuesday, 27 March 2007 09:39

電子產品毒化大地

台灣若無法建立電子產品廢棄物的完善管理機制,
資訊科技時代的電子毒浪,終將淹沒「綠色矽島」!

當你望著iPod的流線外型,讚嘆其為美感經濟的象徵;當你敲著鍵盤,游動滑鼠,魔法師練功及打寶的誘惑讓人著迷;當你緊盯著新買的平面電視,心情隨著資訊股的漲跌起伏波動…此刻的你會在乎眼前這一台電腦,耗用了兩百四十公斤的燃料、一千五百公斤的水,排出二十二公斤的化學物質嗎(註1)?而隱含在這些數字的背後,那些在廢電路板堆中爬行的嬰孩、褐色的河川與翻肚的魚、被迫放棄土地的農民們,似乎只是拉美小說中魔幻寫實的場景…

追溯電子零件的「前世今生」

我們總是習於拆解電腦,想像著主機板與音效卡的更替所帶來的增益,但卻從未跟著各個零件,好好地沿著它們的生命週期追索其身世。撫摸著金屬外殼,盯著電路板上的節點,不論是否看見其金屬的色澤,但鉛、鋇、鈹、鎘確實存在。因此,我們不妨先從原料開採階段出發,想像每個礦坑的塵土飛揚。當然也別忘了,以聚氯乙烯(PVC)為主要原料的電路板製程中所排放的戴奧辛,以及溴化阻燃劑的添加。
接下來,我們跟著半導體進入廠房。廠房的周圍,過去原是一片水稻田,你耳畔突然響起那位管理局長的話:「農民的土地被徵收也是對社會的貢獻,而且他們可以讓下一代子孫不用再過著與他們同樣的生活…」
沿著廠房走廊走去,你看見穿著無塵衣的同學們,竟對有機溶劑與可能導致婦女流產的高度危險渾然不覺。而要製作電腦中小小一片二‧五公克的存取晶片,竟需耗用三百多公升的水以及七‧一公斤的化學物質。當我們相信這座工廠人力微薄的環安部門能有效處理製程的廢液時,也請同時祈禱RCA的地下水污染事件不會重演。而當你盯著新的VAIO廣告發愣,可能也想不到你剛丟棄的電腦,將會被中國或印度的兒童敲打著,彷若玩具,只不過他們的遊樂場卻瀰漫著有毒氣體。

歐盟兩大指令 降低環境污染

面對上述電子電機產品的環境衝擊,歐盟提出了WEEE(註3)及RoHS(註4)兩大指令,試圖降低污染。WEEE乃是根基於「延伸生產者責任」的概念,要求製造者負起產品最終處理的角色,並規定各產品的最低回收率,以促進製造者將拆解與回收皆納入產品設計準則之中。而RoHS則限制了電子電機產品內特定有害物質的含量,為「清潔生產」概念的具體落實。並且,由於產品內所含的有害物質減少,將可使得後續回收過程的環境衝擊因而降低(註5)。
然而,現行的WEEE及RoHS指令,是以產品為管制出發點,擴散至上、下游的供應及生產鏈。針對前述提及高科技的環境衝擊,能夠降低金屬原料開採、製程添加及後端回收所造成的污染。但RoHS目前所規範的物質只有六類,並未將其餘的重金屬及化學物質納入管制清單,使其效力受到限制。

台灣人才培訓仍弱 法令欠周全

二○○四年,台灣輸歐的電機電子產品產值約為新台幣兩千四百多億,因此,面對RoHS/WEEE的頒布,台灣成立了RoHS服務團,由工業局永續發展組進行產業輔導。其輔導機制包括逐廠輔導、到廠訪談、舉辦諸如歐盟環保要求與對策課程、綠色供應鏈人才培訓等研討會等等。然而,針對產品端有害物質的現行管理措施,以及綠色生產鏈的推動,台灣仍有缺陷。例如:當中小企業在一般零件產品之品質管理尚且捉襟見肘,要他們針對產品內所含有毒化學物質進行管理,自然更為困難。另外,傳統環境工程人才培訓多著重於污染物的管末處理,缺乏對製程改善、清潔生產之概念的認知。而化工與材料領域方面,則缺乏對毒性物質對人體及環境衝擊的認知。
再者,台灣本土的RoHS與WEEE法規仍然闕如:目前環保署的綠色標章規範中,已將RoHS限用物質納入標準(註6),但對於不以取得綠色標章為目標的產品卻無力規範。另在輸出輸入方面雖有法規規範,但由於未能與海關有效配合,造成許多有害廢棄物假借原料之名得以輸出。

我們不要「毒浪洶湧」的綠色矽島!

面對「電子毒浪」的環境衝擊,短期而言,民間團體能施力之處為要求政府以此兩大指令為基準來改善現行法令及管理機制,並試圖扭轉將國際環保法令視為貿易障礙的行政思維。另外,無論是製程無毒化或是妥善回收方式的要求,均與勞工安全息息相關,且在高科技產業吸納大量理工科系畢業生的同時,此議題更是環保運動與勞工運動合作的極佳契機。
面對高喊「拼經濟、衝衝衝」的行政院長,以及荒誕的「經濟」永續發展會議,環保團體的責任就是戳破「綠色矽島」的光亮牛皮,揭示更多產業發展的可能性。因為「另一個社會是更好的,且是必須的!」

註釋
---------------------------------
註1Computers and the Environment: Understanding and Managing their Impacts. R. Kuehr and E. Williams (eds.). Kluwer Academic Publications 2004.
註2同上註。
註3Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive,即《報廢電子電機設備指令》。WEEE網頁:http://ec.europa.eu/environment/waste/weee_index.htm
註4Restriction of the use of certain Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive,即《電子電機產品之危害物質限用指令》。RoHS網頁:http://www.rohs-news.com/
註5Puling the plug on dirty electronics, Greenpeace,2005.
註6http://greenmark.epa.gov.tw/greenmark/criteria.asp
趙家緯的部落格

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Tuesday, 27 March 2007 09:31

速度迷失

有一天,小海馬做了一個夢,夢見自己擁有七座金山。小海馬覺得這是個神祕的啟示:牠現在擁有七個金幣,但總有一天,這七個金幣會變成七座金山。於是,牠毅然決然地離開了家,去尋找夢中的七座金山。
海馬是豎著身子游動的,所以游得很緩慢。牠邊游邊想:也許那七座金山會突然出現在眼前。
不過,金山並沒有出現,眼前出現的卻是一隻鰻魚。鰻魚問:「海馬兄弟,看你匆匆忙忙的,你幹什麼去?」海馬驕傲地說:「我去尋找屬於我自己的七座金山。只是…我游得太慢了。」
「那你真是太幸運了。對於如何提高速度,我恰好有一個完整的解決方案,」鰻魚說,「只要你給我四個金幣,我就給你一個鰭,有了這個鰭,游起來就會快得多。」海馬戴上了鰭,發現自己的速度果然提高了一倍。
然而,金山並沒有出現。眼前出現的,是一隻水母。水母問:「小海馬,看你急匆匆的,要到哪裡去?」海馬驕傲地說:「我去尋找屬於我自己的七座金山。只是…我游得太慢了?」
「那你真是太幸運了。對於如何提高速度,我有一個完善的解決方案,」水母說,「你看,這是一個噴汽式快速滑行艇,你只要給我三個金幣,我就把它給你。」海馬用剩下的三個金幣買下這小艇。牠發現,這使牠的速度一下子提高了五倍。然而,金山還是沒有出現,出現在海馬眼前的,是一隻大鯊魚。鯊魚說:「你太幸運了。對於如何提高速度,我恰好有一套徹底的解決方案。我本身就是一條飛快行駛的大船,你要是搭上我這艘大船,就會節省大量的時間。」大鯊魚說完,就張開了大嘴。
「那太好了。謝謝你!」小海馬一邊說,一邊鑽進了鯊魚的口裡,向鯊魚的肚子深處歡快地游去…
在一個「速度崇拜」盛行的時代,不少人把諸多的管理問題歸結為速度問題,又把速度問題簡化為加速問題。他們像小海馬一樣,對「慢」的焦慮成為他們的基本焦慮。
於是,他們把發展戰略簡化為「買入、擴張」戰略──用金錢來購買速度,或者美其名為資本運作。如同故事中的小海馬一樣,為快而快的發展模式,最終可能使企業被「速度之魔」耗盡資源,並且歡快地走向滅亡!
一個人如果沒有明確的目標,也往往會滋生出很多零碎的愛好和荒誕的「浪漫情懷」。混亂的戰略、模糊的目標,極可能使人陷入一種可怕的「商業浪漫主義」之中。而在一個市場化程度不高、客戶成熟度低、營運環境不佳的大環境中,可能會有企業以浪漫的管理手法獲得成功,然而隨著市場逐漸成熟、客戶的鑒別力和意識的增強、競爭的加劇,此類企業會漸漸絕跡。這幾年在大陸翻雲覆雨的企業紛紛落馬,就是一個旁證…

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Tuesday, 27 March 2007 09:25

庭園、公園與菜園

西歐建築師路西安•克若(Lucien Kroll)曾經說過:「世上沒有壞庭園。」人類在創造花園的時候,都將自己的夢想、對大自然的情誼與尊重、個人的美學風格以及自己最好的一部分放進去。隨著年代與空間的不同,庭園、公園與菜園都呈現不同的多元風貌。在中國式及日本式的庭園,我們可見到一道橋、一座小湖、幾棵樹、奇石錯落,我可以從庭園看出東方宇宙觀所提煉出的景致。不管東方或西方、不論北半球或是南半球,菜農都以愛心照顧菜園,有時種植一兩朵小花加以陪襯。法國凡爾賽宮內的公園井然有序,英國城堡內的園景採用不對稱造景,偶遇叢木裏的私密空間,讓人彷如回到家一般安心…

庭園規劃的秩序反映出每個文化的精神內涵,更傳達了不同文化的宗教觀。塞內加爾的庭園傳統上大都和村莊相連,往往分出下列四個類型。國王的庭園是一個禁地,裏面種植珍貴的品種;實用庭園,村民以有毒液的植物所圍起的菜園;公共庭園,村莊的中央有一口井,旁邊有一棵樹,人們圍著樹談天說地;神木,居住著護佑村莊的神靈…某些亞瑪遜河流域的印地安人是庭園達人,他們會在自己的庭院裏面種植野生植物與家用植物,庭院裏植栽分佈幾乎就是家附近森林的縮小版圖。他們認為神靈是森林的園丁,而森林就像是容納超自然生物的庭園。

根據《聖經》的記載,上帝不正是種植了一個灌溉樂園,然後把人類安置在庭園裏?耶穌不也在園子裏復活的嗎?抹大拉的馬利亞(Marie Madeleine)不是看到復活後的耶穌,還以為祂是園丁嗎?當《聖經》提及耶穌的時候,常常與兩種職業人的形象息息相關,一個是園丁,一個是制陶人。這兩項工作都需要懂得細心照顧、長久的耐心以及智慧…

我們可以從某些跡象看出文明危機的徵兆,那就是成排的大溫室所種植的小黃瓜、草莓、水生蕃茄。這些果實不受日曬,也沒有味道;企業公司在運送時用玻璃紙包裝,大量消耗可用能源。我夢想一個更有人味的世界,希望每戶人家都有一個小庭園。每個人用雙手耕種水果與蔬菜,體會春日裏植物茁壯的欣喜以及收成的快樂。大家學習引水灌溉、施用天然肥料、留住昆蟲與鳥兒在園裏優遊、假日時分邀請友人在樹蔭下棲息。

只有在照顧菜園時,我們才能學會如何照料世界。我們是否也應該給自己機會,讓地球變成一個大庭園,讓生命變得更簡單自在呢?
Tuesday, 27 March 2007 08:33

A (very short) trip to Yangjuan

The readers of eRenlai know well the Yangjuan primary school. We are planning to go there again during summer 2007, with projects related to micro-hydraulics and green houses. Also, we would like to expand your English training program to more areas in Liangshan. I went there in March, staying in the village, from the 19th to the 21st only. Here are a few snapshots…

It was quite a marathon!
First, I took the plane from Chengdu to Xichang. Thanks, Benoit, for reminding me that the plane for Xichang is at the corner of the airport and that it takes some time to get there. I do not know what the reason was, but I was not allowed to register my luggage and had to carry it in the cabin. I skipped the breakfast at the hotel, and that was a wise decision!

Arrival in Xichang was great: Ma Fagen (whose Chinese articles you can read on eRenlai) was there and as soon as I opened the cell phone I found messages from her, and it rang immediately.

The first move was to the office of Mrs. Luo, the Chairwoman of the Friendship association of Liangshan n prefecture –an old friend. We discussed the possibility of sending native English speaking students already studying in China for teaching English in Liangshan. I knew that schools restrict the use of their precincts for security reasons during the summer vacation. (Last summer in Baiwu a notice was posted on the bulletin board of the school with the announcement of our English classes stating that schools decline responsibility for whatever happens during these summer activities on their ground.) For that reason, Mrs. Luo prefers to keep the activity in Xichang because it is easier to ensure the cooperation of schools there and also because the place is safer than remote villages in the mountain. She says that schools in Xichang will accept to accommodate these foreign students and English teachers and also give boarding facilities to students from outside. Length of the course: two weeks starting after the beginning of summer vacation. Every foreign student will be with one or two local college students, either Chinese Han or from a minority.
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Fagen was boosted by her trip to Shanghai. She is very eager to do things for Yangjuan and is taking seriously the project of installing in some families small greenhouses to diversify and increase culture of vegetables in order to enrich the local diet and provide a little income from sales on the market. She says that there are more young people in the village who are willing to stay and to start new things in order to improve their livelihood.

In the afternoon I went to the hardware market to check on the water pipes available for possible hydraulic work this summer in Yangjuan.

It is to be reminded that a trip to Yangjuan is always a sort of adventure. Half way, after crossing the river and before arriving to Pingchuan, the engine of the bus gave up and left us on the side of the road for a little more than one hour. Thanks again to Fagen, Wuli, her younger brother was waiting for me in Yanyuan and put me in the bus to Baiwu.

A little while after I arrived in the school, with teachers Ma Guohua and people of the sixth brigade we went to see the spring we want to drain off to provide water to their houses. The chief of the village (living in Baiwu), who is also acting chief for the 6th brigade, came also. Nice diner afterwards in a house of the 6th brigade. I took a lot of pictures of eroded parts of the place so that friends may provide expertise on how to control the damage.

On the second day I went with Li Wen (now certified teacher in the school where he lives with his wife) for a tour of the little water distribution network realized during summer 2005 in Pianshui (brigades 3 and 4.) Everything is working well! I was happy that they replaced all the faucets with this kind of faucet that can be open only with a key. Kids cannot play with water. Though there is not much water in the stream they say that there is sometimes a shortage only in the morning (pipes frozen?). I think that this installation can be improved by draining off the spring instead of taking the water directly from the stream 200 meters down the spring. It seems to me that they care for the maintenance of the network. Question pending: are the keys of the faucets available for everybody in the brigade? I hope so.

A visit to the well dug in 2004 showed me that in fact there is no water now. People say that it is dry two months a year, and that it cannot be dug deeper because there is sand at the bottom and no source below. But people stress that that water is clean and good to drink and that many people come there to take their supplies of drinking water. Questions pending: the pump is actually broken. A neighbor told us that they are going to repair it, maybe better to change it, it is not a big expense.

Other wells. (a) The school. The school is not using presently the water of the well but takes the water directly from the Gangou. This is not easy as recently there are a lot of power shortages (because of lack of water for power plants?) Ma Zipo is taking care of refilling the water tank above the school and says that the tank can provide supply for three days. They complain that there is a deposit of white mud at the bottom and are afraid that it might be dangerous for their health. It seems that it is rather a limey, chalky deposit. I heard that it could be good for the bones but also give you calculi. The presence of this white deposit was confirmed by Fagen who said that in their well there is the same phenomenon when the water is at its lower level.
(b) On the other side of the road, opposite the house of Fagen two wells have been dug recently. One of them is giving water now. Surely along the road there is a source underground. Worth to be noted is the fact that these two wells were dug by two families after the one dug in 2004 by Hydraulics without borders.

9:30 AM beginning of the classes. This seems late but in fact it is about the time outdoor temperature get warmer at that time of the year. Classes stop at 3:30PM. It seems that there is one hour break at noon (12:30~13:30). I cannot absolutely guarantee that all classes end at 3:30 PM. General feeling is ok though there is a little more disorder in the rooms and storage.

I went back to Yanyuan, taking the same bus as a youth from Yangjuan (around 18 year old?) heading for Shandong with a group of people from Muli. He was going there to work…

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Tuesday, 27 March 2007 08:25

In Between Right and Wrong

 

For some people life is like a succession of computer games. It is a constant state of war. The object is to kill the enemy before the enemy kills you. So long as you successfully eliminate the enemy the game goes on. If you are eliminated, then you start a new game. There is no peace, only the interval between games.

For some people life is just a confrontation between right and wrong. Right is what they believe is right. Wrong is whatever anyone else believes is right that is not the same as what they believe. There is no middle ground. There is no room for compromise, because compromise would mean either that you repudiate something you believe is right or accept as right what you believe is wrong. This means that life is a continual conflict. You must always defend what you think is right and attack what you think is wrong.

Some people don’t believe in either “right” or “wrong”. For them life is just a struggle between “mine” and “theirs”. The objective is to protect what is “mine” from becoming “theirs” and to increase what is “mine” by acquiring what is “theirs”. There is no middle ground that must be respected as off limits.

For some people peace is when they can do whatever they wish without anyone trying to stop them and war is permission to do whatever it takes to make others give them what they want. There is no middle ground where “I’ll let you do what you want” so long as “you let me do what I want without interference”. Life is an ever present battleground because it is impossible to move without stepping on someone else’s toes.

There are some people who see only part of the truth and believe that the little they see is all there is to know. And they denounce as frauds, liars or idiots anyone who sees any part of the truth that they missed, because they won’t admit they didn’t see everything. There can only be reconciliation when everyone is willing to take another look and appreciate the perspectives of others.

For some people there is no “live” and “let live”. There is only “let me prosper” and “let everyone else keep out of my way”. I only care what happens to me. I don’t care what happens to you, so long as it doesn’t affect me. There is no “me and you”. There is only “me”.

For some people there is “no me” only “you”. It is society, the community that matters; the preservation of the race or the good of all that counts. All else is selfishness. There is no middle ground where you can just enjoy what you have without concern for or sharing with those who have not. But fortunately there is the privileged ground where those who enforce the hardships on all for the common good are rewarded with the common goods taken from the common people.

Then there are all the middle people who don’t believe in anything, who have no idea what is right or what is wrong, all those who have nothing worth fighting for. There is no middle ground for them either. Theirs is the only ground.

Whatever happened to “in between”? Is there an “in between”? Should there be any “in between’? Is there any room for “compromise” or “moderation”?

Yes, because peace is not the absence of war, a momentary cessation of hostilities, but the absence of hostility. It is the condition where I am willing to acknowledge the limits of what is mine and willing to let you keep what is yours. I insist upon my rights, but I let you keep yours.

Yes, because right and wrong are not always right or wrong. I am right to defend my right but I am wrong sometimes about what is right. You are wrong to deny my right because it is not right to think my right is wrong just because it is not your right. When and only when I am willing to examine and possibly correct what I think is right and can calmly consider and tolerate what you think is wrong, then and then only am I standing on the “middle ground”, the only place where the whole truth can be found.

Yes, because even though I honestly believe that what I believe is right and honestly do not believe what you believe, I also honestly believe that you have the right to believe what you honestly believe and that we should respect each other’s beliefs and do our best to live together side by side in peace.

True peace is not just a temporary lull between hostilities, it is the absence of hostilities. It is when the things that divide us no longer impel us to hostile acts, when we agree that the things we don’t agree on will be mutually tolerated.

True peace can only be found on the middle ground between extremes. It is not a no man’s land where no one meets, but the vast “in between” where everyone is free to express his ideas and put forth his views in an atmosphere that reduces hostilities rather than incites to war.

(Photo: B.V.)

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