24 January 2015

The Precious Things I Threw Away as a Young Man

By J. Fairbank

Happy New Year, dear faithful readers of the Fairbank Report.  This year, 2015, marks the 10th anniversary of this blog.  Where did the time go?

Of late, I've been reflecting on life, work, and happiness.  One constant theme in my life is my nonchalant abandonment of things (and perhaps a few people too?) that made me happy.  Of course, I did not know it then when I threw them away.  I was throwing them away to advance my career or fortune.  Career and fortune don't necessarily bring happiness.  They sometimes do, but many times bring on the opposite.

Was it Descartes who advised us to "know thyself?"  How many of us really do until it's too late?

Oftentimes, I envy the clerical or even janitorial staff who worked in the many companies that I was a part of.  They were happy with their carefree, stress-free lives.  They brown-bagged their lunches and jovially cracked jokes on the smallest things.  In short, they were contented, which is the essence of life.

On the other hand, those of us who are "degreed" have been leading a lie:  Graduate in the top 5% of your university, pursue a career track, and CLAW your way to the top. When you do, you will be happy.  What they (the mass media, the school system, mainstream society in general) did not tell us are the many sleepless nights, upset stomachs, psychological torments, and even psychosomatic blotches on our skin that come with the rat race.  In the end, what's there?  Maybe a respectable title?  Maybe some money, a maybe at that?  But not necessarily happiness.

Know Thyself...Know Thyself early on in life.

30 December 2014



from Vietnam's Thanh Nien News

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Two tenth-grade sweethearts, forbidden by their families to see each other, were found hanging in a deserted house in central Vietnam Friday, a day after they disappeared from home.
Nguyen Van Tham, 17, and Phan Thi Ta, 15, left their homes in Thanh Xuan Commune, Nghe An Province, on Thursday evening.
Their families and neighbours started to search for them early on Friday, and found the couple’s bodies in the vacant house by a forest in the same commune.
According to their families, they had banned the teenagers from seeing each other because they were so young and needed to focus on their education.
The family members did not requested a police autopsy and have brought their children’s body home.

22 December 2014

Mrs Jay Chou

The king of Mandopop, Jay Chou, will wed supermodel Hannah Quinlivan in Taipei, China's Taiwan, in January 2015.  The future Mrs. Chou is a mix of white Australian, Korean, and Chinese...Epic!

18 December 2014


Two more young Vietnamese, mail-order brides were murdered by their Korean husbands in South Korea over the last three weeks, according to Vietnam's English-language newspaper, Thanh Nien (the Daily Youth).

South Korea, along with Taiwan, Singapore, and China, has been importing Vietnamese brides for its loser bachelor population since the Southeast Asian country embarked on doi moi (economic reform) in 1986. Driven by extreme poverty, a number of rural Vietnamese families have effectively sold off their young daughters to old, undesirable men from these countries.  Often, these mail-order brides are subject to physical, sexual, and psychological torment at the hands of their husbands and/or in-laws. Tragically, quite a few have been murdered or driven to suicide.

Here's the link to the story:  http://www.thanhniennews.com/society/second-vietnamese-bride-murdered-in-south-korea-within-3-weeks-35461.html