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A tribute to photo journalist James Wright Foley

by on Aug.23, 2014, under Posts>Literature>Essays

I did not know anything about photo journalist James Foley until his death. But I have never been so shocked by anyone’s death as by his. His mother is right in saying that he was courageous to the end and that he had a big heart. In his execution, he looked shaken, probably from subconscious fear of what was going to happen to him. What shocked me and made me really admire him and unable to forget him was his determination to face it despite of that fear. He is human. So he had the fear that all human beings would have had. But he had the courage to overcome that fear, a courage that is not often seen. From the courage that he showed, I guess he was very willing to sacrifice for the greater good. Only a very strong desire to serve the greater good could have given him that kind of courage.

James Foley reminds me of what has been said by a famous Chinese poet Zang Kejia: “Some people are still living, but they are already dead. Some people are already dead, yet they are still living…” James Foley has been living in my heart since his death.

I think James was trying to send us a strong message with his death. If we have not got the message he was willing to die to tell us, he would have died in vain.

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Portrait of a Scam Artist

by on Oct.07, 2009, under Posts>Literature>Essays

First of all, I should thank the scam artist I am writing about for inspiring me to write this article and to dream of a reality TV show about a scam artist. Or at the very least, I should give her credit for giving me the opportunity to get insights on how scam artists think and what normal people are up against.

I consider anyone like her as a psycho. But she is normal in every way. She just has a mindset that is not normal.

She openly said that she loves animals and hates human beings. She cheered when she heard news of other people getting killed in a mass shooting. She spent more money on her pet (and even trail animals) than the people who work for her.

She despises almost everybody except those who she is not able to take advantage of. She runs false ads to get people to contact her. When they asked her what they had to bring to see her, she whispered to me (who happened to be next to her): “just bring your money”. When they asked her how long the meeting will take, she whispered to me: “as long as it takes to get money out of your pocket”.

There are positive things to say about her though. She works very hard. To make enough of money to support her lifestyle, she does not just have to be a good scam artist. She has to work very hard on her scam business. Also, there is time when she is very nice to people. That is when she wants them to give her money or help her out in her business or her personal life. She is also very open to her friends. That is why I am able to get to know her thoughts. And she likes to have friends to hang out with. So she does share her knowledge on many things that she has done research on with her friends and she gives them the opportunity to share her life experience. Also, she is generous to restaurant waiters and waitresses and like to make friends with them, but probably partly because she wants them to charge her less for food.

I am not sure if someone likes her is a great burden to our society. She wastes a lot of people’s time with her false ads. And she wastes human labor by ordering food that she may not eat. Money comes to her easily through her scam business. So she can afford to order food in expensive restaurants just to taste it. But most of the money she gets through her scam business is spent here and there: her apartment rent, restaurants, salons, clothing, bills, etc. It may not be much more of a waste than if she just stays home doing nothing.

The only thing I want to say is that in a society where there are people like her who hate other people so much, a lot of harm can be done to a lot of people. And this may be the reason why America has not been doing well.

I lived in Asia for 28 years and I never heard anyone saying openly that they hate human beings more than animals. People may have conflicts of interests. But human beings can not survive without a human society in which human beings work together and prosper together.

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The Michael Jackson in All of Us

by on Jun.27, 2009, under Posts>Literature>Essays

Most people like Michael Jackson. And I am glad this is true. It tells me that there is some innocence in most of us. Michael Jackson represents the innocent nature in human beings, something that is taken away from most of us as we grow up. A lot of us like him so much because he gives us some of that innocence back when we watch his music videos or listen to his music.

Michael Jackson also represents the common bond in the human race. That is we are all human beings who can share the love for music and entertainment and forget about all the conflicts in our real life.

Maybe for some people, Michael Jackson was guilty of some sick crimes and so should be condemned. But for most of us, he was wrongly accused because he lived a life that was not understood by those who believed that he was guilty. He was made a victim by the uninnocent and paid a huge price for it. This is what happens to most of us as we grow up.

May Michael Jackson Rest In Peace.

Michael Jackson Flashmob Tributes Around the World:

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A Tribute to My Mother

by on May.14, 2008, under Posts>Literature>Essays

My mother is the most independent woman I have known in my life. And because of the way she has lived her life and the way she brought me up, I have learned how to be a woman with the kind of self-respect that all women need to have but a lot of other women are lack of. As I look around and see how many women ruin themselves for the lack of self-respect, I feel so grateful to my mother for being the best role model for women and having expected the same from me.

My mother was born to a Chinese father in Vietnam. She lost her parents when she was still a young child. Her father was involved in politics and was poisoned to death by an unknown assailant. Her mother was killed by the French army. Without parents, she had to support herself by doing manual jobs. Still, she managed to finish school and went to college and became a medical researcher.

At work, she worked hard and smart. She never counted on personal connections. Because of that, she never got promoted. She was disappointed with the corruptions at her work place. And she thought that it was because of the corruptions in the Vietnamese government. So when a war broke out between China and Vietnam and Chinese Vietnamese like my mother were asked to leave Vietnam, my family left Vietnam. However, instead of traveling to Hong Kong for an opportunity to resettle in North America, Europe, or Australia, where my parents would not have to work and could get plenty of assistance through welfare, my mother decided to resettle in China where both her and my father could start working as soon as they settled down. To her disappointment, she found a lot of corruptions in China as well. She again thought that it was because of the Chinese government and that capitalist countries such as the United States would be better.

Because of my mother’s influence, I tried my best to get a chance to come to the US. Thanks to her demand that I had to excel in schools, I always did well in school and so got the opportunity to come to the US to study and got a higher degree in the US which helped me find jobs in the US.

I used to hate my mother for being too harsh on me since I was a child. But now I think that it was better that she had high expectation of me. She wanted me to be able to support myself and be independent. It is very important for women to be able to support themselves and be independent. When people are independent, there are fewer corruptions. Corruptions do not help society as a whole. Neither do corruptions help build people’s self-esteem or gain them respect.

What I most admire of my mother is her courage to accept the fate of not being able to see me while she is dying. My mother only has two children, me and my brother. My brother has already passed away in a plane crash. It was a huge blow to her because she loves my brother the most. I think the sadness of losing her son eventually brought her cancer. She was diagnosed rather late. And I was not able to go home to be with her when she had to go through very painful cancer treatments. Luckily she survived it. However, she has always been suffering from the pain of cancer treatments since then. Now she has become so weak, she does not think that she can survive much longer. She really wants to see me again. But because she knows that if I go back to China to see her, I will not be able to come back to the US any more, she is willing to miss that last chance to see me.

I feel so guilty that I do not go home to see her as she is dying from so much pain. But I know that she wants me to be able to stay in the US more than anything else. I don’t want her to worry that I can not come back to the US.

In order to comfort myself, I have asked journalists from major news organizations to go to interview her for her life story because of her unique family and historical background. I have not got any response yet. I hope that with the publication of this article, someone will go to interview her.

This article was published on givehercredit.com on Mother’s Day.

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