Knowing through True Appreciation

26th January 2014

After the WEF Davos conference, I went out skiing with my friends V and L. We had so much fun hopping across the snow mountains in Davos. It was our first day skiing this season so we took it easy and simply enjoyed the fresh air, great company and gorgeous weather. Although we took it easy, I was conscious with my form every single turn I made.

Thoughts came to my mind as I went along. I feel learning is universal across any skills, subjects and foundations. I started skiing when I moved to the UK 12 years ago. As a Taiwanese girl who had never seen snow before it was truly hard work when I first started. All my friends in Taiwan kindly warned me not to try it. ‘You will break your bones! Don’t do it!’. ‘You are too old to learn how to ski’, they said. I ignored all the advice and started learning from snowplow. I had numerous bruises and thousands of falls. I was so bad that my instructor said I had no hope becoming a skier. My heart was almost popping out from my mouth when I first went on a black run–5 days since I started. 12 weeks into my ski history, I went to Canada for a heliski trip. Mixing with a group expert skiers (and the only female among them) I was only hoping I wouldn’t fall into a tree well and become the subject of mountain rescue mission. I was exhausted just trying to stay alive and afloat.

This picture was taken last season in Southern France. (Yes! It was me, in case you are curious). I am still far from an expert but I thoroughly enjoy every minute when I am in the mountains. Blue sky and sunshine makes a perfect ski day but I equally enjoy a stormy, snowy, whiteout, rocky, icy, slushy, or powdery day. I especially love ski touring going somewhere totally remote with virgin snow, and of course I have my ABS and all the safety equipment.

The joy of being able to master any skill or subject is something indescribable. I would have never had chance to look at the mountains, the nature and snow the same way had I never started skiing. I would have never appreciated the beauty of English literature and culture had I not started speaking and reading in English. And now I would love to share the beauty of Chinese culture, literature, arts and language with you. Instead of reporting to you just like a journalist, I would love to empower you to have the skill to appreciate Chinese with your own observation, understanding, and judgment. Therefore you will continue growing the depth, the joy of reading Chinese and knowing Chinese culture with true appreciation. Learning Chinese is not different from acquiring any other skill. It takes determination, practice and a good method. I am here to help you with the third element but you need to have the first two yourselves.

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