Saturday, January 18, 2014

TV in China

It never ceases to amaze me with American tv shows or movies become popular in China.  This fall theaters were showing the new Hunger Games movie alongside the Smurfs sequel.  While the most popular tv shows do not always reflect a positive light on American culture, I am thankful for the connection point it does bring.  While guest lecturing at a university class I used the cast of the Big Bang Theory to explain what a "well-rounded" individual (hint, no one on that show).

For a little bit of fun I thought I would share some of the most watched American shows and their Chinese names.

The Big Bang Theory (生活大爆炸)- "Life Big Bang"
Homeland (国土安全)- "National Safety"
Criminal Minds (犯罪心理)- "Crime Psychology"
Prison Break (越狱)- "Climb Over Prison"
Modern Family (摩登家庭)- "Fashionable Family"
Dexter (嗜血法医)- "Blood Addict Forensic Detective"
The Crazy Ones (病人病活)- "Sick People, Sick Life"
The Vampire Diaries (吸血鬼日记)- "Vampire Diary"
Saturday Night Live (周六夜现场)- "Saturday Night On the Spot"
Mad Men (广告狂人)- "Advertisement Madman"
Breaking Bad (绝命毒老)- "Hopeless Life Poison Teacher"
2 Broke Girls (破产姐妹)- "Bankrupt Sisters"
Hostages (人质)- "Hostage"

Most of the translated titles accurately describe the plot of the show.  Though I have not watched a single episode, from what I gather "Hopeless Life Poison Teacher" is a pretty accurate description of a show about a cancer stricken teacher who produces meth.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

How to Inspire?

Today I read a blog post by Rachel Goble, the director of the The Sold Project which works with children in Thailand.  Rachel wrote a blog called Let's Stop Empowering and Start Inspiring.  Rachel's words have challenged me to think about my own work.  One of my guiding principles as I reach out to women in exploitation is to help empower them to make decisions to better their lives.  I have been forming relationships and directing conversations with the end goal of helping empower women to make bold life choices.  Rachel writes that the word empower implies that "I have the power and you do not.  Therefore, let me give you the power."  These words deeply impacted me.  I want to help the people I work with recognize their own power, not be another person in their life to say "I have power and you do not."  I want to help each person see this innate, G-d given worth which cannot be taken away.  Her words have challenged me to think about how my actions are viewed by people who have been told their entire lives that they are not powerful enough to effect change.

Instead of empowering, Rachel believes that we should start inspiring others.  I agree that when people are inspired they tap into the creativity and artistry of our Creator.  Inspiring people to pursue their dreams means recognizing that people have had dreams, goals, and the power to grow all along. The question running through my mind all day is "How do I actually help inspire others?"  How do I go about helping people explore their creative potential, especially when a lot of the women I encounter have no control over their lives? The only answer I have come up with is listening.  Releasing potential is not something visible, something that can be easily identified.  It takes time and a deep level of trust to being to explore.  It takes time.

Honestly, I have no clue how to go about inspiring those around me.  I know it will take time, dedication, patience, and lots of pryrs.  I am thankful that my eyes have been opened to this concept so that I can better serve those around me.