A postcard to the world
When opening the BBC news Web site on a Sunday morning, an article that mentioned Taiwan caught my attention, and subsequently brightened my day.
In Derbyshire, UK, a care home for older people with dementia had initiated an appeal online: asking people around the world to send them postcards from various different monuments or scenic areas.
The management team hoped that this would remind the care home residents of places that they might have been, as well as giving them the feeling of traveling around the world without having to make the journey.
At first, they thought they would only get a few responses from friends and relatives. However, on the contrary, more than 1,000 responses arrived within a month, the furthest from New Zealand, Australia and Canada, as well as Taiwan.
“All of these single acts of kindness that people are just taking the time out of their holidays mean so much to us, it really does,” said one of the managers from the care home.
Coincidentally, I recently encountered a manager from my corporation who had built up an extensive travelling portfolio in the past few decades.
Upon learning of my Taiwanese identity, he happily recalled the selfless and kindness acts of the locals who assisted him when he was travelling solo in Taiwan’s countryside, and was unable to locate his accommodation.
“Taiwan was the only place of all the countries I visited that treated me so warmly,” he said fondly.
There is little doubt that Taiwanese are friendly toward others, regardless of their nationalities and backgrounds, even if we are different from one another. But how about toward the Chinese?
[Former US] president [Abraham] Lincoln once said: “Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?”
Many Chinese families are facing the prospect of having no usable vaccines for their children due to the fake vaccines scandal. Our government and non-governmental organizations could help these families, just like we help every other nation in the world.
We not only have the chance to win a new vaccine market, we could also win over their hearts.
Taiwan’s status in the world community is experiencing something really different; it’s being treated like a normal country. And not just a “normal” country, more like a valuable, constructive, democratic and generous country. This is not simply an artifact of Taiwan’s successes in combatting the novel coronavirus. It is a new attitude, weighing Taiwan’s democracy against China’s lack of it. Before I continue, I should apologize to the readers of the Taipei Times. I have not visited Taipei since the opening of the American Institute in Taiwan’s new chancery building in Neihu last year, so I was unprepared for the photograph
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