Enchanting Xiamen

I have been in Xiamen for one week now, and find it to be quite an nice city. The emotions being here evokes reminds me of my time in Melbourne. Of course they are vastly different cities across the Pacific Ocean. I don’t think the people sitting in the office buildings surround me at Starbucks Lu Jiang Dao will agree with my statement though.

Last night I saw an elderly man dig for leftover food in disposable food containers in a rubbish bin. Perhaps there is something about visuals that penetrates the soul, just like how the video of Yueyue shook the world.

If the opportunity arises, I wouldn’t mind settling down in Xiamen. While it is not a cosmopolitan metropolis like Shanghai or Beijing, Xiamen has her own aura of home. Relatively smooth traffic, clean air, the less frequent use of English making Chinese more prominent. It is the Chinese standard of a land of mountains and water (有山有水), bordered by mountains on the west and water on the east.

A New Experience

I headed off together with Weibo early this morning excited to go about, find a nice coffeehouse and look for work. However while at Starbucks Lundu, there happened to be a hearing impaired couple sitting near me, and I challenged myself to break the ice and say hi to them. They are seriously one of the most amazing couples I’ve ever seen.

Through a combination of hand gestures, facial expressions and words on paper and screen, we shared about 7 hours of life together. I got to witness their love that they had for each other that was built up since knowing each other in 2004. It gave me a taste of their life as I watched them sign their thoughts to each other and choose words on their phones.

They were extremely friendly and full of confidence, something I wasn’t expecting. They shared some of their many difficulties in life like social stigma, and how it was harder for them to find work and that affected them with lower salaries and the rising price of housing. I was really impressed as to how they have sought to experience a full life in spite of their handicap.

A few months ago I started having the thought to learn sign language, and I decided to go with China’s version. Should I pursue this opportunity? Two things necessary is lots of patience and a heart to learn. And time, of course.

Love and Sacrifice

This evening, a friend sent me this video. In the interview, Jaeson talks about his history in drugs and stealing, how he walked away from that, and walked into a life of love and sacrifice trusting that God would be able to satisfy his every need. At one point he says

Sexual temptation, abstinence, is not something I’m just trying to control, or something I’m trying to resist. It’s a battle, it’s a war, it’s a fight to be won. So really, when you look at purity, you don’t look at it as, “oh, I’m missing out on something.” Rather, I’m fighting for something. I’m fighting to give my future wife, my future family, my children, the very best. To give them my whole heart, to let them know that I saved myself for their mother, and I love her that much that I would not give myself to anyone else but her. For her, and for my children.

It’s actually the second time I’ve listen to Jaeson and I wept both times. Despite his status as an actor, musician and writer, he exudes true humility, passion and a sense of realness. It is truly the right video at the right time as I burn the bridges to my past. The fight for my future, my wife, and my children starts now.

Love, by Jaeson Ma:

Bring Me Back

God, will you bring me back, bring me back to ten?
God, will you bring me back, bring me back to before all this started?
God, will you bring me back, bring me back to before I ever stumbled into SM?
God, will you bring me back, bring me back to before my innocence was stripped from me?

God, will you bring me back, bring me back to fifteen?
Back to when I met my first love and fell in love day after day?
Days we shared with such intimacy and openness
Days when history was all unwritten and I thought I could change the world

God, will you bring me back, back to when each step was a step of life?

Perhaps time will never turn itself back. But perhaps all this has happened for a reason. Maybe it is so that when I walk out, I may understand deeper truths that I would never fathom had I never entered. Maybe it is so that I would gain some wisdom in this time, with which I may help someone someday. Or at the very least to be able to empathize with another person in this subculture.

Business Luncheon with Paul Ji

On Friday 23 Sep, I had the opportunity to attend a business luncheon with Paul Ji organized by the Marketplace. It was my first time attending a business luncheon and I found it to be insightful though I didn’t have much networking to do. I even went under my yet-to-be-registered company heh.

From the Marketplace’s website:

Paul Ji (季小立) started his business at the age of 11. By the age of 24, he was already making USD 1 million dollars per day, buying a new car and starting a new outlet per week. He could afford almost anything that money could buy except the very woman he loved. He prayed, “I am willing to lose everything to win her heart…” This one prayer changed his life…

Paul Ji, 38 years of age, a Mainland Chinese, was once the wealthiest Chinese in Brazil. His current project is building the largest multi-billion-dollar mall in Zhejiang, China. Come and learn from a man’s amazing journey of love and entrepreneurship.

Paul’s family migrated to Brazil when he was very young, I think during the revolution? Coming from Wenzhou probably gave him a leg up with entrepreneurial DNA implanted in him. There was once he wanted to sell a certain kind of shoes, but he had no cash, and as he borrowed cash from his mum, his mum would only permit him to buy a different type of shoes. So he went with his mother’s option, made profit from that, and then bought his own stock after that. I guess that must have been his first business at 11.

Later in life he had a girlfriend whom he didn’t really enjoy because she was always keeping tabs on him. However there was this girl whom he really liked, so he decided to take her out in a car with two doors because 恋爱里面是没有第三者的. His previous girlfriend would bring her dog along sometimes. He then took the girl he liked on an around the world trip, during which there were some problems with the business, but it didn’t matter to him.

The main talk was about branding. In ancient days, when an agreement was made, the parties took a cow, cut it in two, and walked between the two parts signifying that should anyone violate the agreement, then let that party be as the cow. People later used wax seals, branding an item as theirs. This later evolved into signatures, and the weight of the agreement rested on the reputation of the parties.

在他的定义里,发财的人就是把财发给别人的人。

包围着品牌有四个关键的部分--品味、品质、品格、品行。

The most important thing is the brand concept, the DNA. The brand is a commitment to the buyer about the product. China is a 1.5 billion marketplace of love.

Luxury comes from the word lux, meaning light, love.

Branding is a dream. Do you have faith for your dream? Or is it just a daydream? 可靠、可信的爱的原则。

Question 1: What does it mean to brand oneself in the context of working in a company?
Answer: 我们必须顺服,有真诚、智慧. Submission -> follower of a mission.
谁可以作老板?有体贴客人的心的人!

Question 2 asked by a lady who had refined herself over the years: I work in the construction industry, and sometimes colleagues do not have the same standards of character. What would branding mean in this context? Should I lower my standards?
Answer: Let your dream lead you. If you come to see a place saved, is it necessary to maintain high standards in all areas? Choose one dream for life. Jesus Christ. The church is here for society. 我们现实的梦 -> 王所看见的!我们是嫁给王子的。

Question 3: As a social entrepreneur, what can I do about the conflicting impressions of others? Some see us as a social unit, some see us as a business.
Answer: If you are a prince, even if others think you are a beggar, you are still a prince.
Care about how others feel. If you are a prince, you can lower yourself as a beggar and servant too!

Question 4: Husband and wife teams?
Answer: Depends on the mission. Is the wife equally committed to the mission, or may she be reaching her limits of what she can contribute? Relationship comes first.
The business grew 50x with his wife around, and another 5x after firing her.