Daily Paradox

Free Speech

A friend called me yesterday morning to ask if I know Salman Rushdie. My reply was that I don’t but that he and I had a good mutual acquaintance whose name is Free Speech. An attack on any of my friends or acquaintances who know and believe in Free Speech is an attack on me.…
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Unrequited Love

Love that is not returned or rewardedRequested by a reader The assumption that, more than anything else, we all want to be loved is wrong. We are right, however, to say that those who receive love early in life are usually better able to give it when they grow up. Love is an interesting mixture…
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WFH – The Vital Signs

To regard Working From Home as a largely geographical question is like saying where you work is irrelevant. Environment is the setting that drives our mood, ignites the sparks in our brain and powers our creativity. As actor Peter Ustinov said “Once we are destined to live out our lives in the prison of our…
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Not drowning but waving

With gratitude to Stevie Smith I knew how she felt when she published her immortal poem “Not waving but drowning” in 1957. Although beyond my teens, I was still very emotionally immature, struggling to seek help and confirmation of what was yet to come. I have altered Stevie Smith’s title to express a different level…
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Stay home, Nancy

They say it’s because she needs “a legacy”. If so, and if she decides to visit Taiwan, I fear her legacy may be traumatic, and possibly final. Don’t get me wrong. I love Taiwan and the ebullience and enthusiasm of the Taiwanese. After I had built a factory in Changhua County in the 1980s they…
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ABE’s murder

Shinzo Abe’s tragic and shocking death has been widely reported and many excellent obituaries have given us a chance to appreciate the man and his achievements. I shall not attempt to write another obituary here. There are two aspects of his assassination that have received, in one case much and in the other case rather…
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Make experience work

The first thoughtful definition of experience I learnt came from my father. He was big on definitions and compiled a book of them. Not functional, unimaginitive, definitions, more challenging, teaser definitions to make you work it out for yourself. “Experience”, he said, “lends precision to the craftsman’s tool, and confidence – but leaves a fool…
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NATO’s G7

Commitments made at the G7 Summit are the biggest steps towards international war since the invasion of Ukraine. That does not mean that I don’t think they are right. They might have been taken earlier but political life is the Art of the Possible, not the Practice of the Perfect. It will be extremely difficult…
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Foisted Faith

“foist: impose an unwelcome or unnecessary thing” When I was a child I was taught the Christian faith. I’m glad I was. It gave me a basis for my own thinking, a point of reference from which to develop when I grew up. Over the years I weighed what I had been taught against what…
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Four Critical Things

Life is full of “if only”, of what you should and should not have done, of choices you never made and of burdens others didn’t seem to have to bear. The process of growing up is meant to make you fit to handle the best and the worst of these. It seldom does. Parenting is…
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