Making Changes and Being Different

They say that if you’re normal, like 97% of humanity, you would effect change by doing more of the same or less of the same things that you’ve always done; work harder perhaps or procrastinate less to achieve success.  Only three percent of all people on Earth would change themselves or what they do to change their circumstances.  It’s not normal to be different.  It’s more comfortable being one of the 97 than in the group of 3.

Albert Einstein was accused of giving his Physics students at his university the exact same examination paper in two consecutive years.  He admitted to the charge.  Yes, he said, I did ask them the same questions as last year –

because the answers have changed.

Even the ‘laws’ of physics have changed but 97% of us don’t.

They say that Shakespeare’s language is kept alive because some extraordinary people called actors play his characters differently throughout the centuries.  John Gielgud alone played Hamlet more than five hundred times and each time showing us a different aspect of that character and bringing the Danish prince back to life just as Shakespeare himself did by retelling the tragedy his way.  They belong in the three percent.

Clouds turn into rain and rain turns to ice and ice turns to springs and streams and rivers and oceans and back into clouds.  Changes that are necessary to sustain the cycle of life. That’s why the Chinese characters for cloud 雲 came from the mother word for rain, 雨。 Or it used to, until it was simplified to 云.

How useful is a cloud that contains no rain?  In seeking reform, a decision was made to revert a change, i.e. to take a step backwards.  The Chinese word for rain was 云 in less enlightened times.  It was brought under the family of ‘rain’ 雨 to give meaning to the word.  云 came from the drawing of a cloud, 雲 came from the understanding of clouds.  97% of people prefer the simplified form.  3% opposes.  Those who changed 云 to 雲 belonged to the 3%; those who reverted 雲 back to 云 belonged to the 97%.  Majority, as always, won.

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About Mary Tang

An urban orchardist everyday, a volunteer regularly, a poet sometimes and a blogger since March 2015. I travel when I can. Food is a constant.
This entry was posted in ., Chinese Language and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Making Changes and Being Different

  1. Sunshine Jansen says:

    I’m grateful to Taiwan for understanding how precious their language is. Simplified Chinese is shriven Chinese; give that cloud back its four drops or it will never break a drought. This was a very well-written post, Mary and I’m always chuffed when I’m reminded that, for our tiny percentage, there are so many of us within reach (digitally anyway…)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mary Tang says:

      Now that mainland Chinese have become more literate due to their improved economy, many people protested against further erosion of the language. In truth only a small portion, though the often used of words were simplified but a further list of words slated to be chopped into bits has been shelved.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. A most insightful post, Mary

    Liked by 1 person

  3. gaiainaction says:

    Interesting reasoning.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. wfdec says:

    I still remember some of the lessons explaining the rationale of some very complicated characters. The characters for “China” which I think translates to “Central Kingdom” which includes characters for food, mouth, people, city walls and so on. And the simplified characters have lost all the wonder and logic and romance and history. What a shame.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mary Tang says:

      Fortunately there will always be that 3% of people who will kinow that wonder and logic and romance and history. As long as people are willing to give those three percenters a chance and hear them, there’s hope.

      Like

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