This Happened When Mike Reported a Traffic Accident to the Police

When I told the story of my car accident here, there were different voices. Needless to say, making a report to the police is the most favorable. But sometimes what you know about the legal system or the Chinese society is not the same as you would have believed. And this happened to my friend Mike:

 

捕获

— Xi’an, Shanxi, 2013.7 | 陕西西安

 

Hello. I’m Mike, an educator and a manager of educators in China for the past 6+ years. It’s been a rewarding experience, one that has allowed me to learn much about Chinese culture, particularly the national language Mandarin. Chi kui is a Mandarin phrase that means “to eat a loss.” And Chi ya ba kui, literally means “to eat a mute person’s loss,” or to suffer losses or grievances in silence. I found myself with a new appreciation for this phrase recently, when as a cyclist I was involved in a traffic accident in which the other party ran a red light and collided with me, giving me a concussion and a shoulder injury—and I wound up having to pay him. If this sounds unbelievable or insane to you, then you can imagine how I feel.

 

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—Credit: Google | 图片来自:谷歌

 

For the past 3.5 years, I have been living and working in Kunshan, a city just outside of Shanghai, China. Last October, I rode a shared bike to work as usual. When I approached a green light at an intersection, I saw several jaywalkers crossing from the left side of the road to the right side of the road. Just as I was about to pass safely in front of them, one of the jaywalkers broke into a run, charging into my left side. His head slammed into my left shoulder and knocked me over, hard. My right shoulder slammed into the pavement hardest. My right hip also hit hard, and my head (despite not hitting the ground) was jolted badly enough to leave me with a mild concussion. Amidst shock and adrenaline, I didn’t take note of any pain or injury. The person who tackled me, an older fellow, was sitting on the pavement looking bewildered. In frustration, I yelled at him for his carelessness before getting back on my bike.

 

--- Shenzhen, Guangdong, 2016 | 广东深圳

— Shenzhen, Guangdong, 2016 | 广东深圳

 

Upon arriving, I mentioned the situation to coworkers. My bosses advised me that I must report the accident. We went to the police station. The older fellow had already made a report and had gone to the hospital for a thorough examination. It was later determined that he had broken a bone in his thumb, and this broken bone would require surgery to repair.

 

--- Xi'an, Shanxi, 2013.7 | 陕西西安

— Xi’an, Shanxi, 2013.7 | 陕西西安

 

Fortunately, the police were able to obtain video footage of the accident from traffic cameras. This footage confirmed that the accident occurred exactly as I remembered—he was jaywalking, he unexpectedly started running (to catch a bus), and he slammed into me. Unfortunately for me, none of this matters—the legal system favors him. He is older, I am younger. He is a pedestrian, I had a vehicle (even if only a bicycle). His injuries required expensive medical care, mine required time and rest. He is uninsured and has no income, I am apparently rich (or at least that’s the perception of foreigners). His financial damages included the cost of his surgery, his other medical costs, estimated future medical costs, and wages lost from his part-time job. The portion of these damages which I ultimately had to pay amounted to 23,000 RMB, roughly $3300 USD.

 

--- Xi'an, Shanxi, 2013.7 | 陕西西安

— Xi’an, Shanxi, 2013.7 | 陕西西安

 

The whole episode felt like a descent into madness. My side of the story mostly fell on deaf ears. I was eventually advised to stop telling it. What if I just stayed quiet, humble, and contrite (although there was nothing to be contrite about)?

 

--- Shenzhen, Guangdong, 2016 | 广东深圳

— Shenzhen, Guangdong, 2016 | 广东深圳

 

Now that it’s over, I am sharing my story to boost awareness among expats. In any case, if some good comes out of this, one way or another, I’ll feel better about the whole situation. Perhaps I’ll ultimately have to chi kui, to eat the loss. I can live with that. But I don’t want to chi ya ba kui, to suffer the loss in silence. Nor should anyone. If you agree, please share.

 

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—Credit: Google | 图片来自:谷歌

--- Xi'an, Shanxi, 2013.7 | 陕西西安

— Xi’an, Shanxi, 2013.7 | 陕西西安

 

Mike’s story made me wonder, why do the innocent suffer?
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— Shenzhen, Guangdong, 2016 | 广东深圳

 

About Heather Cai:

Heather is the daughter of a subsistence rice farmer from Fujian Province, China. She tells stories from her experience as one of the poorest. She writes her dream to share with the world, a very personal place. She has now written two English literary novels and is looking to being published in the UK. Her passion is a splendid cocktail or milkshake of word, image, music and art. She likes collecting books, DVDs, papers, stones, shells and leaves. She desires for all forms of natural beauty. She is currently living in Shanghai and serving as Sergeant-at-arms (SAA) for Shanghai Leadership Toastmasters Club.

 

Copyright © 2018-2019 Heather Cai. All Rights Reserved. 所有版权归作者所有!

 

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When You Are Hit by a Car, and You Are Fine

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— Datong Yungang Grotto, Shanxi, 2016.8 | 山西大同云冈石窟

 

If you are hit by a car, then normally you would not be fine, but would know what to do, right? However, if you are hit by a car, and you are fine, what would you do?

 

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— Datong Yungang Grotto, Shanxi, 2016.8 | 山西大同云冈石窟

 

This question might confuse everybody. Let me tell you a fresh story, my story.

 

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— Datong Yungang Grotto, Shanxi, 2016.8 | 山西大同云冈石窟

 

One ordinary morning in April this year, I was hit by a car. It happened at a pedestrian crossing with no traffic lights in Jiangsu Road. I’ve crossed this two-way road for nearly five-hundred days since I moved to Shanghai. It was during the week but after the peak. And the traffic was not busy. As usual, I was enjoying some music with earphones plugged in and following a guy in the front. It was just another morning on my way to work.

 

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Then, all of a sudden, a car just missed the guy and drove straight at me. Scared, I slightly turned away and raised my right hand sending out a signal: “Stop!” But the driver didn’t stop. It first hit my right hip and made me lose balance. I fell towards the car. My right arm was pressing on the hood and my left hand holding my phone tight in the air. The speed was not enough to make me fly, but fast enough to lift me up. My feet were dragged along till the end of the zebra line. Finally, the car stopped. I fell onto the ground and rolled once. It happened too fast. But my subconscious was in slow motion, almost like a dream. There were no sounds, no colors, no pain, nothing. I couldn’t remember how I got up. The moment I started hearing sounds and seeing colors, I found my phone was missing. It took me several minutes to find it behind one of the front wheels. When I found my white earphones were stained black, I began to feel angry. All the while, the driver wearing glasses, remained in his comfortable seat. Thinking about this and realizing that I was supposed to be in a hurry, I couldn’t help shouting at the nerdy driver.

 

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— Datong Yungang Grotto, Shanxi, 2016.8 | 山西大同云冈石窟

 

“I was walking right after the guy. How could you just drive straight at me?”

 

“Sorry, I didn’t see you.” He didn’t even look at me. Or was he ashamed to look at me?

 

“Are you blind?”

 

“Sorry…” He said indifferently. I became more angry.

 

“Bullshit! You hit me!”

 

“Sorry…” He repeated it, throwing me a glance with the same indifference.

 

“Aren’t you going to say something?” My anger almost exploded.

 

“Sorry…” He turned into a stone, and the car horns were blowing behind him.

 

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— Datong Yungang Grotto, Shanxi, 2016.8 | 山西大同云冈石窟

 

I was too shocked to think further and too speechless to stay longer. In the end, I gave him a middle finger and left.

 

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— Datong Yungang Grotto, Shanxi, 2016.8 | 山西大同云冈石窟

 

By the time I entered the metro station, my mind spun. How could I forget to take a picture of his car number? Idiot! I should report him. But what would I do if I did? Would I like to deal with the police? Would it be worth reporting him?

 

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— Datong Yungang Grotto, Shanxi, 2016.8 | 山西大同云冈石窟

 

All day long, I was looped by questions. I didn’t feel any pain until the water ran over my body in a shower. There were bruises on my knees, my palms and my hip. And my left little finger couldn’t move. But this didn’t worry me. I actually laughed. Because my family’s newest superstition says that my luck would turn in 2019.   

 

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— Datong Yungang Grotto, Shanxi, 2016.8 | 山西大同云冈石窟

 

Now, two months have passed. The only thing that still bothers me is my little finger. I often play with it, in a way like one long-bearded philosopher would touch his beard. And meantime I would wonder: If you were me, what would you do? Would you report him right there? Or would you walk away feeling shocked and lucky?

 

About the Author:

 

Heather in Sri Lanka, Mar 2015.

Heather in Sri Lanka, Mar 2015.

 

Heather is the daughter of a subsistence rice farmer from Fujian Province, China. She tells stories from her experience as one of the poorest. She writes her dream to share with the world, a very personal place. She has now written two English literary novels and is looking to being published in the UK. Her passion is a splendid cocktail or milkshake of word, image, music and art. She likes collecting books, DVDs, papers, stones, shells and leaves. She desires for all forms of natural beauty. She is currently living in Shanghai and serving as Sergeant-at-arms (SAA) for Shanghai Leadership Toastmasters Club.

 


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Reflections on a WeChat Moment

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The Wechat Moment | Crow’s Solo Exhibition in Shanghai M50 Art Zone, 2019.4.22

 

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Me & Crow | Photograph: Shan He, 2019.4.22

 

This speech, inspired by a WeChat Moment I posted recently. Here it is. What do you see? And what do you think of this Moment? Particularly this photo – me & Crow standing on the black feathers in front of his paintings that I like. Doesn’t it look normal to you? Yeah, pretty much. Right?

 

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Exhibition Poster, courtesy ART OF CROW

 

But to my family, it is not normal at all. The instant my mum saw this post in the morning she sent me tons of voice messages. “Don’t take a picture with a guy that ‘big’.” “Don’t share in public any man who is not your boyfriend.” “Don’t let a foreigner take advantage of your body.” “Don’t smile like you are having an affair with him.”

 

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Crow’s Solo Exhibition, 2019.4.22

 

Oh, isn’t my mum lovely? I adored her sense of humour. She is illiterate, she can only read pictures. If you were me hearing that, how would you react? If it was your mum telling you that, what would you say? Would you think it is absurd? Would you feel it is funny? 

I did.

 

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Crow’s Solo Exhibition, 2019.4.22

 

But… but when my old sister called me in the evening and said the same thing, I was shocked. She is half illiterate, as she didn’t have a chance to finish primary school. Undoubtedly she cannot read any English. Imagine her mood when she was asking me these questions – “Why did you take a picture with a guy that old?” “How could you post such a Moment?” “Don’t you think it’s too ugly to be graceful?” “Isn’t it bad for you to find a good husband?” “Do you know the others might take him as your real boyfriend?”

 

What? Wait, wait, wait…

 

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Crow’s Solo Exhibition, 2019.4.22

 

All of a sudden, I realized how much I’ve embarrassed my family and what they were worrying about was true. Probably having lived in a big city for a long time, I almost forgot what happened in a tiny village. Who would have thought the small thing in a remote corner can affect your current life in a busy center? Especially a surprising rumor that I didn’t give a damn about?

 

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Crow’s Solo Exhibition, 2019.4.22

 

In December 2013, I returned to my home village with my English editor Mike. He wanted to see where I grew up and was keen on taking his children to visit some dying villages on the edge of China. Before they came in the summer of 2014, I took Mike to my birthplace – the first man ever. 

 

捕获

The smoking house, my home in Fujian Province, 2014.8

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Mike, Kat, Chris & Craig in my home village, Fujian, 2014.8

 

If later no one had spread the rumor that Mike was my boyfriend, with my ignorance and innocence, I could have never understood the fact that when a girl brings a man back to the village, the man must be her husband-to-be. And if my family didn’t remind me of such a fact behind the rumor, I probably wouldn’t be talking about this shit right now. It feels like a shame that was filmed for someone from an alien planet yet my family have been bearing it for me in silence.

 

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Details, courtesy ART OF CROW

 

Strangely, wherever I go, that part of my world with those who live under the sky as big as the mouth of a well, never stops haunting me at night.

 

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Details, courtesy ART OF CROW

 

And the strangest thing is, now I seem to be consciously aware of not taking a picture with a guy who is not my boyfriend. Can you believe that? I can’t even believe myself. A WeChat Moment begins to miraculously influence a rebellious leftover woman. Is it the power of something almost skeptical or my love for my family? Frankly, I don’t know.

 

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Photograph: courtesy Shan He, 2019.4.22

 

Do your family tell you what you should do and what you shouldn’t? Have they criticized anything about your lifestyle? Or are you free to do anything?

 


 

 – Art of Crow –

捕获

Artistic credo: “You can also paint a song”

 

Crow is a  German painter, rock musician, and performance artist. His paintings and installations are as energetic and passionate as his rock songs, inspired by the natural elements earth, air, fire, and water, and by a wild and free spirit.As the founder, vocalist and songwriter of the Heavy Metal band Medusa`s Child (1999-present), Crow toured through Europe and Asia, and his artwork was exhibited in China, Japan, Switzerland, Finland, Germany, and the USA. Alternating between microphone and brush, Crow follows his artistic credo – “You can also paint a song.“

 


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现代人 The Modern People

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—听老家村里唯一一位活了将近百岁的裹脚老奶奶“唠叨” (照片拍摄:Mike, 福建槽坑村,2014.8 | Fujian) A nearly 100-year-old and the only woman Yu with bound-feet in my home village.

 

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—西方周游过世界的Mike 与东方从未离过村的裹脚老奶奶之间的对话。 (照片拍摄:Heather, 福建槽坑村,2014.8 | Fujian) A conversation between the western Mike, who has travelled all over the world, and the eastern Yu, who has never left the village.

 

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—一双裹脚鞋,摄于美国作家Amanda的深圳公寓,2014 | Writer Amanda’s, Shenzhen

 

请问谁没有听过老一輩的人說,我們那個年代有多苦多苦,現在的人應該懂得知足?

 

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—摄于福建寿宁,2014.8 | Shouning Town, Fujian Province

 

時代在突飞猛进,为什么还没有一项科技可以完全消除人类的烦恼呢?

 

捕获

—摄于广东深圳,2014.11 | Shenzhen, Guangdong

 

物欲持续横流,钢筋水泥下人心不乏孤独,请问现在的人都在焦虑什么呢?有人会忧国忧民吗?有人感到怀才不遇吗?有人买不到好房好车吗?有人找不到真爱吗?有人认为工作压力太大工作收入太少吗?有人害怕世界末日资源能源快要耗竭吗?有人怀疑社会不公平生活毫无乐趣吗?有人觉得自己太少受关注吗?有人叹息这人生没有目标没有成就感吗?

 

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—摄于福建寿宁,2014.8 | Shouning Town, Fujian Province

 

既然人类如此焦虑,那我们跟上时代的步伐了吗?还是跟着时代的机器一个轮子一个齿子的滚着?那我们还算是现代人吗?

 

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—摄于福建老家,2013.12 | My home village, Fujian Province

 

维基百科生物学上有提到,現代人類是在約20萬年前的東非大裂谷演化成形的。我很好奇,这20万年到底积淀了人类多少的智慧与烦恼呢?我也很好奇,这20万年过去了,现代人是不是比古代人更聪明呢?请问有谁能够认为自己是铁铮铮的现代人呢?有谁能够站出来称自己是现代社会主义的接班人呢?又有谁能够考虑人类的生存条件而当一名真正的现代人呢?

 

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—摄于广东深圳荔枝公园,2014.6 | Litchi Park, Shenzhen

 

半年前,带着这些令人抓狂的问题,我写下了这一篇日记:
彼时的我在生命的长河正顺流醉入声势磅礴的瀑布之中。这纵然一跃是蜕变,也是解开一个千缠百绕的扭结。那扭结缠绕的松紧是人和环境的摩擦与交融。因为一次偶然的机缘,加入大都会后,更觉得环境是自己的血肉之躯,而人就是多巴胺。

 

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—摄于福建老家房顶,2013.12 | The rooftop of my home dirt house, Fujian Province

 

在上海一个缘故也没有,却决然选择做保险,就是想要在不可能中创造一种可能!
好比如当初笃定自己一个人死了就死了,不可能会有“杂念”。但自从落地这个大魔都后,发现越是迷恋一座城市,越是向往一种新生活,对求生的欲望就越强,从而危机感便油然而生, 成为了可能。
正是如此,我开始领悟从不可能到可能只要一个想法或观念的转变,开始反思自己过去对保险的无视,开始追问为什么国人都不大爱投保,开始明白为什么国家近年重视保险教育了,也开始相信保险其实能解决社会很多问题。想想,要是人人都有了保障,这个社会不就更安定更和谐了吗?有了保障,还会焦头烂额可怜兮兮的搞轻松筹吗?有了保障,还会怕一个人病塌一个家吗?有了保障,还担心要是顶梁柱倒下了剩下家人该怎么办吗?有了保障,面对风险还会手足无措吗?

 

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—摄于广东深圳荔枝公园,2014.6 | Litchi Park, Shenzhen

 

我很喜欢这份工作!它不仅充满爱与责任,让我学到很多东西,认识很多有趣的人,还能在极限中挑战和突破自己,做一些不喜欢做的事情却可以带来意外的惊喜。

 

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—摄于福建老家,2013.12 | Inside my home dirt house in Caokeng Village, Fujian Province

 

假如参加活动是一艘帆船要启航了,那认识人就是乘风破浪。这是一次冒险的旅行。旅行的目的就是大胆地传播爱,传播福音,传播正能量。请记住,船长不是倭寇,也不是加勒比海盗,而是一个敬畏生命、连只蚂蚁都舍不得踩的小女人。她的名字叫蔡太莲!

 

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—摄于福建老家,2013.12 | My home village, Fujian Province

 

很坦诚的说,历经一个蜕变的过程犹如在一个黑暗的瓶颈里奋力求生。此时此刻,我特别感谢并珍惜跟我见面的人!

 

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—福建老家:最左边那栋土房,2013.12 | My home – the left house, Fujian Province

 

记得胡适先生有说过:“保险的意义只是今天做明天的准备;生时做死时的准备;父母做儿女的准备;儿女幼时做儿女长大的准备。今天预备明天,这是真稳健;生时预备死时,这是真豁达;父母预备儿女,这是真慈爱。能做到这三步的人,才能算作是现代人。”

 

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—摄于广东深圳荔枝公园,2014.6 | Litchi Park, Shenzhen

 

敢问我们究竟有多少人堪称自己是“现代人”呢?

 

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Mindset

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—Hongkong, 2014.1, 摄于香港

 

Note: This is my third speech in Shanghai Leadership Toastmasters Club.

 

Does it ever occur to you that your keys are in your hand but you cannot find them? Why is that? Why does it often occur to me? Perhaps my mind was traveling, my memory terrible, my habits awful. But I never realized this could be a problem, my problem, until after the smart Michelle Wu told me, “Novel language is all about liberating the soul of the author, while public speaking is about making an instant connection with different souls.” 

 

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—Hongkong, 2014.1, 摄于香港

 

This immediately helped put my bizarre thoughts together – my soul seems to linger in the past, my spirit seems to thrive in the future, yet my body seems to float in the present. I wondered hard how to connect my soul in the past with different souls in the present. Her words made me think about the way of my thinking, my habitual attitude, my beliefs about myself, and my most basic qualities. Her words also made me think of a high school roommate who just wouldn’t talk to me till our graduation day when I finally couldn’t help asking her why. Guess what she said? “I don’t talk to you, because you are a girl, but you look like a boy, you talk like a boy, you act like a boy and you seem to play only with boys.”

 

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—Hongkong, 2014.1, 摄于香港

 

Oh, believe me, that confused me a lot. Since then, I would consciously ask myself: Who am I? What am I? Why am I like this? The only thing I’m certain is that I just want to write more, I can’t really care about what’s around me.

 

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—Me in Hongkong, 2014.1, 摄于香港

 

Then one evening during the Gossip Dinner after the Chinese Contest, the noble Suhail gently commented that my speech The Modern People was too deep, and the funny Alvin thought I must have prepared the speech for long time. That moment, my mind was enlightened. Firstly, I wrapped up the ideas on Monday, wrote the speech on Tuesday and delivered it on Wednesday. What made Alvin think that way? Secondly, why is the world I see different from the world others see? What on earth makes such a difference? 

 

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—Hongkong, 2014.1, 摄于香港

 

Then I recalled the reason why I joined Toastmasters. Like many of you, I really want to make a proper speech. Each time when standing on the stage, I imagined it was a party like the party in The Great Gatsby and you were my guests who could be writers, editors, publishers, journalists, artists or my dear friends who know me the best. I’m sorry if I have imagined too far. But thanks to the most handsome Brian, the sensual Paul, the courageous Damir and all those who have shown me something great on the stage, I came to the conclusion that our brains work very differently. But how differently?

 

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—Hongkong, 2014.1, 摄于香港

 

It is fascinating to ask, “Which position would you like to place your mind and which direction would you like to see?”

It is even more fascinating to know that all this wondering is just mindset.

 

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—Hongkong, 2014.1, 摄于香港

 

What is mindset?

 

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—Hongkong, 2014.1, 摄于香港

 

It is a way of thinking, an attitude, an opinion, or your beliefs.

 

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—Hongkong, 2014.1, 摄于香港

 

Now think about your intelligence, talents and personality. Who believes that you have a certain amount of brain and talent and nothing can change that? Please raise your left hand. Congratulations! You have a fixed mindset. And who believes that your brain and talent can be developed through dedication and hard work? Please raise your right hand. More congratulations! You have a growth mindset.

For those who didn’t raise any hand, I have more questions for you. Have you ever judged yourself and others like: “I’m a loser.” “ I’m a better person than they are.” “I’m a bad husband.” “My partner is selfish.”? Or would you ask yourself: What can I learn from this? How can I improve? How can I help my partner do this better?

 

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—Hongkong, 2014.1, 摄于香港

 

You don’t need to tell me the answer. This is a story we tell ourselves. But how to change the story with a growth mindset? How would you improve your speech without changing your style?

 

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