More Encouragement.

Sometimes we get worked up about things that haven’t happened yet because we think about Everything That Could Go Wrong.

After we magically transport ourselves into this terrible version of the future, we convince ourselves that we will never, ever recover.

Or that the horrible conditions will never change. We have no doubt that we will have to endure pain and suffering forever.

Or maybe we become positively sure that we will lose everyone and everything that we value in our lives. How could we ever repair that damage?


How easily we forget about all the disastrous events and choices of the past that we have survived! We have all endured Terrible Things that no one else knows about. People look at us and we seem Okay, maybe even mildly amused. They have no idea.

Our recoveries may not have been easy. They may have taken much longer than we would have liked.

And, somehow, we made it. Those experiences shaped us into who we are today. We developed skills and talents that allow us to help other people now. When future calamity strikes, we are better equipped to deal with it, whether we have faith in ourselves or not. We might even have a sense of humor about it.

We become better people.

We worry now because we have hope for the future. The odds are in our favor that we will survive the crap that life will inevitably throw at us.

We will all be Okay.

Nonfiction Observations

Information Wants to be Free.

It was hot. No clouds were in the sky and the white concrete tiles underfoot radiated the solar heat. Chairman Mao gazed out his picture frame, his gigantic eyes watching over Tiananmen Square.

The tour guide was a woman in her late twenties. Her English had a moderate Chinese accent. She had difficulties pronouncing the letter “v”.

“Yes, it is wery hot today.”

On her tee shirt were English letters written in a loopy script: “Looking for love”. A small red heart, darker than the color of the flag of China, adorned the lower left corner.

I hastened to her side to ask her a question.

“Would you mind telling me about the government’s official statement about Tiananmen Square? Does anyone ever talk about what happened?”

“Well…” she murmured. She looked down, then pushed her hair out of her face. She had an angular jaw, wore large sunglasses, and walked quickly.

“… the tour company asks us not to discuss politics,” she said. “We’re not supposed to know anything about that[1. Compare an image search for “Tiananmen Square” on China’s main internet search engine, Baidu, and the same search on Google.].”

“Oh, oh, I’m sorry,” I hastily replied. “Forget I asked.” An unpolitic American I was, indeed.

She continued to walk ahead and I slowed down to turn to my husband.

“I can’t believe we’re here. What year was it when the protests happened?”

“I think it was—”

The tour guide turned around and blurted, “1989.”

He and I both looked at her, surprised. She looked at us, then quickly turned around and kept walking.