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If you ask all those you know who have gotten divorced, you will find that the vast majority will regret that they didn't get divorced earlier rather than that they didn't give their marriage enough chance to work.

In our interactions and transactions with others, the best generosity is when we can give selfishly, when we are giving and, at the same time, taking care of ourselves. And the other person can feel great about accepting our generosity because that know it benefits us also.


If you are being "generous" but in a way that damages or takes away from you, you are creating a win-lose world. In this world, we all end up losing.

Survival is handled, but most of us don't notice this.


Consequently, our behavior is avoidance and stress based. After you have enough to eat, everything else is a game. And you can set the game up to that you're loving the game and you're winning. That's called thriving!

In our default attitude that we must make the "right" decision, we delay making a clear decision. And, in doing this, we are often making the worst decision.

If you are using persistence to keep yourself going, then it will be difficult to determine whether or not you should continue or quit in some project or goal.


In contrast, if you're enjoying the process of doing something, it will be much easier to make a decision about whether or not you should continue or quit.


The old way, where you had to push yourself to keep going, you praised yourself if you kept going and blamed yourself if you quit.


When you don't need "persistence," because you're enjoying the process, then it is easier to assess accurately the costs, benefits, and risks of continuing as well as the costs, benefits, and risks of quitting, with neither one being "good" or "bad," just different options to serve your life and happiness.

Chinese are, in general, much more conservative and traditional than are Americans. Americans are more open and accepting of others as they are.


Yet Chinese are more accepting of me (and my "strange" ways and ideas) than are Americans. Why?


It's because I am from another country, another culture. Although they can be very critical of each other, the Chinese can be quite accepting of someone not born into their culture.


I call this the "cross-cultural freedom effect."

We can be forgiving of bad behavior if the perpetrator feels sorry and regretful.


If they are unrepentant, however, then we will consider them truly evil.


Conclusion: if you indulge in "bad behavior," make sure you beat yourself up and feel guilty about it. Others will go easier on you this way.

A visiting Chinese friend sent me a text message, "I am at the entrance."


I thought to myself, "Does that mean 1) entrance to the entering road, 2) entrance at the guard gate, 3) entrance to my building, or 4) entrance to my apartment?"


Once my friend arrived we discussed this "lack of specificity" and she agreed (she knows western culture pretty well) that Chinese tend to be more ambiguous in their speaking than do Westerners.

Westerners misunderstand Chinese tone of voice…

I am not referring to the four Chinese tones that can change the meaning of a word. I am referring to other tonal expressions of loudness and "hardness."


A Chinese friend said that her Dutch boyfriend complained that she was often complaining. When she asked him for examples of what she said when he thought she was complaining, she said what she said was not complaining to her. But I think I understand why he thinks she is complaining: Chinese often use a louder and more strident voice tone than do Westerners (with whom I am familiar). When I first arrived in China, I often thought Chinese were "screaming at each other" in public places. But, when I noticed more closely, I realized that they were not fighting; this was just their normal style of speaking that occurred as hostile to my Western ear.

The Chinese society is much more hierarchical than are Western cultures. Public school postings for each class will show who is #1, #2...#31.


I have several very good friends. In mind there is no ranking of these different friends. My Chinese friend Sandy says that she clearly knows who her best friend is, the second best, and so on.


She says she likes my way better and asked me "how I do it," since it is so natural for her, as a Chinese, to create a ranking.

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