Dinner Mentors

Anymore in America, when you approach someone with a common-sense business proposition they’ll act like you were attempting a mugging. We can’t blame them. America has spent so much time “educating” itself with classroom theory that we don’t recognize a true business deal when it bites us in the face. Companies think “business” means a tsunami of junk mail and telemarketers. Those methods only pay-off because the majority of Americans can’t recognize business from bolshevik.

In Hong Kong, if you asked almost any person on the street if they were interested in business they’d be curious what you were thinking. Reflecting the long-forgotten entrepreneurship of 1900 New York, the new Asia knows that business deals must be “felt” out through relationships, not calculated with a linear programming chart. One subway ad reads, “Our way of financial background checking: A shared cup of coffee.”

We praise the success of Microsoft and Apple in their ability to see the potential in the mouse auctioned-off by XEROX.

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Misnaming the South American Waodani tribe as “A*ca” (the slur their neighbors call them) and parading the story of Jim Elliot as an example of effective American missions was more than a slight oversight. Perhaps missions would improve if Korea sent missionaries to America.

“Move your congregation slowly so that they never know they changed,” says the seminary professor. I don’t see “repentance” in that equation, do you?

The about face of saying to one’s self, “How foolish I’ve been,” doesn’t come from changing our minds so slowly that we don’t trip the motion detector. Nor does it come from beating people with the truth. Repentance results from the evangelist having made his own u-turn first, not seminary certification.

America’s increasing drama with China tells all: We don’t know who the Chinese are or how they think. The Chinese never tell you what they are thinking, even if you are a friend—they only “imply”..

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Dear China

The PointI write as a foreigner, an American, living as a guest in Taiwan—a nation with a similar history with you as Great Britain has with my own country.

When siblings have a dispute, they keep it between themselves. An older and younger brother may quarrel, but if anyone harms either brother, both brothers will stand together. Though brothers still have their disputes, they remain brothers. Their strengths cover each others’ weaknesses. In the end, they never seek to win a fight against each other, they seek to win friendship and reconciliation. Even in their grievances, they still give each other justice. Their conflict proves all the more that they love each other and that they are one family because they pay restitution with love.

The Taiwanese are your brothers.

You claim that Taiwan is a region under your government, yet, the Koreans disrespect that region in many sports leagues and you do not react as an older brother does.

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Worldwide Hope in America’s Tea Party

The American Department of Homeland Security can’t decide whether to harass people who know better than to pull a stunt in an airport or illegal Mexicans running through Arizona. Having been in and out of Hong Kong International twice I can certainly say, the Chinese Communists are far more welcoming—and wise—in who they allow into their country. They stare through your eyes to profile your reaction. Chinese Communists are smarter and freer than America’s DHS. The brilliance indeed required to head such a department calls for a voter-driven demand for investigating the affiliations of policy makers.

The questions asked by Americans in the Tea Party movement are not far stretched from questions asked by the world for the last fifteen years or so. “What in the ‘world’ is America doing?”

Six months ago, expressing my sorrow over Obama would raise eyebrows in Hong Kong for why I didn’t support the messiah of change and future.

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