being shocked and taken aback.
You try to get it right. You try to be judicious. You try to be wise. You try to balance interests given what you have learned. You realize that the ability to use experience is understood to be one of the central tenets of maturity, but at the same time you fail to use it in a way that is seen to be mature. You doubt yourself. You second-guess your own approach, as you have done a million times before.
Then, you set your jaw and you pursue it. You pursue it based on the only judgment you have. You consider and consider again and still you fail. Always you will fail. Failure is the human condition.
A LETTER FROM AN ORDINARY CHINESE
When we were seen as “Sick Men from East Asia”, we were called The Peril.
When we strived to get stronger, we were called The Threat.
When we closed our doors to the world, you forced them open with drugs and guns.
When we finally embraced Free Trade, you blamed us for taking away your jobs.
When we were falling apart, you marched in your troops and robbed us blind.
When we put the broken pieces back together again, “Free Tibet” you screamed, it was an invasion!
So, we tried communism, you hated us for being communists.
Then we learned from capitalism, you hated us for being capitalists.
When we had a billion people, you said “The planet is starving.”
So we tried to limit our population, and you said it was Human Rights Abuse.
When we were poor, you thought we were dogs.
When we were able to loan you cash, you blamed us for your debts.
When we build our industries, you blame us for global warming.
When we sell you goods you can afford, you blame us for dumping inferior products.
When we buy oil, you call that exploitation and assisting genocide.
When you make war for oil, you call that liberation.
When we were lost in chaos and rampage, you insisted on the rule of law for us.
When we uphold our law now, you call that violating human rights.
When we were silent, you said we had no free speech.
When we are silent no more, you say we are merely “brainwashed”.
“Why do you hate us so much?” we asked.
“No” you answered, “we don’t hate you.”
Truth is we really don’t hate you either, but do you understand us?
“Of course we do,” you say, “we have BBC, CNN and AFPs.”
So we ask you now: “What do you really know and want from us?”
“And why do you find it so hard to accept us?”