Tag Archives: China

Leading through sacrifice and strength

Photo of the Dalai Lama

The 14th Dalai Lama [Flickr:christopher]

It would be funny if it weren’t so serious. The New York Times reports that the Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhists, is threatening not to reincarnate after he dies.

In response, the Communist Chinese government is saying, “Oh, yes you will.”

Most of us in the West don’t believe in reincarnation, so on the surface it sounds absurd. Can a man – even one as exalted as the Dalai Lama – control what happens to him after he dies? Can a government – an atheistic one at that – dictate how he exerts that control?

If it sounds absurd to us, it’s deadly serious to the people who are directly involved. And while I don’t believe in reincarnation, I do believe in genuine, sacrificial leadership.

Continue reading

An appeal for liberty

Recently I wrote that all efforts at censorship are doomed eventually to fail. In fact, I believe that all efforts of any kind to suppress people’s liberties are doomed eventually to fail.

That belief was reinforced recently as I read No Enemies, No Hatred, the anthology of essays and poems by Liu Xiaobo, the Chinese dissident and 2010 Nobel Peace Prize winner who wasn’t allowed to accept his award. Continue reading

When the censors stand in the way

A short while ago, my colleague Ellis Pratt wrote about censorship and asked what it might mean for technical writers. I can’t stop thinking about what he said — surprisingly, since it’s something I rarely thought about in more than 30 years as a technical communicator.

Ellis reported on the British Library’s effort to censor content — and its unintended consequence: A patron couldn’t read Hamlet because it contains violence. Continue reading