More than three simple truths

MONDAY, 13 AUGUST 2007

[Thoughts after a conversation with a friend]

It took a long time for me to see other people more as they really are, and not as I make them – and sometimes want them to be – in my own, sometimes simplistic world. It remains true, though, that some people will always be in the minority at backyard barbecues or at a family table during Sunday lunch.

A very simple truth, number two: If most members of a group make the same lifestyle choices, these choices would appear to most members of the group as the best choices they can make – whether they really are such great choices or not (and to be fair – just because the majority thinks something is right, does not mean they are necessarily wrong).

A very simple truth, number three: You cannot tell people they are wrong if you do not present them with an alternative – and not an alternative that will work better for you, an alternative that would be better for them.

FRIDAY, 24 AUGUST 2007

I am glad that I wrote what I wrote when I wrote it, and with the conviction with which I did it. I still stand by what I wrote, but the world is a strange place: Crime pays very nicely for too many criminals, irrational people seem to be in control of way too much, and people drunk on religion wreak havoc wherever they go.

SATURDAY, 25 AUGUST 2007

Taiwan: Where I wrote what I had wanted to write, where I met the greatest love of my life, and where I built up a foundation for my future.

Create something to leave behind, love and be loved, and make it possible to grow old.

That is, so it seems, what I came here to do. Could I ever have asked for more?

THURSDAY, 30 AUGUST 2007

The Power of One – not only the power that one person has to alleviate the suffering of other people, but the power of one person whose suffering has been alleviated.

* * *

My purpose on earth is to relieve other people’s suffering. Being a writer provides you with a nice identity, a nice label to hang around your own neck. But my writing is a means to an end, namely, to alleviate other people’s suffering.

[16/05/2016: Is this true? Am I not just giving expression to my experience of an active existence? Would I rather help people than to leave them stranded by the side of the road? I would choose to assist them, but is my writing really an attempt to find stranded people by the side of the road – so to speak – and then to help them get home?]

SATURDAY, 8 SEPTEMBER 2007

“George W. Bush is presiding over one of the darkest periods of US history. And it isn’t just external factors that are causing this situation, Bush himself is one of the leading causes of darkness.” ~ Thought with which I woke up this morning. There was also a thought about eBay, but I can’t remember the details.

[A few notes written during September 2007 but without a date]

“The best time to have planted a tree was five years ago. The second best time is today.” ~ Chinese proverb

* * *

A salesman apparently tries his best to convince people to buy what he has to sell. A marketer, on the other hand, determines what people want, and then he finds or develops an appropriate product or service to offer them at a price.

I clearly have a long way to go.

* * *

Apparently, it is easier to sell two thousand $500 products than it is to sell fifty thousand $20 products.

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