My story as an ESL human trafficking victim in Taiwan

My first year in Taiwan made me a victim of human trafficking. I am thankful that my story is not anywhere near as terrible as others. But, I understand the damage that human trafficking does to people, crippling their lives for years. After ten years, I’m still at a disadvantage because Taiwan did not protect my rights as a foreigner.

Foreigners have limited rights when in another country. That is good, in a way. But, it puts foreigners at a disadvantage, making foreigners easy for dishonest people to take advantage of foreigners. Employers know about these disadvantages and game the system to turn foreigners into partial slaves. That happened to me. Though it was very mild, I am a victim of human trafficking.

But, then I discovered something else even more shocking. I’ll explain that after I tell my story.

In Taiwan, I was the foreigner. My first two bosses tried to control me by seizing my legally-required paperwork; my second boss succeeded.  · · · →

Empowered Governance

Empowered Governance

A society can only be as lawful as its laws are suitable. Laws can only be as suitable as the lawmakers are both lawful and in touch with the society they govern.

Law is like a custom suit. Every measurement must be taken, cut and sewn, then it must be tried and tested. Governance is an ongoing work and it can’t succeed without constant learning and asking.

Even with information and suitability, governance also requires awareness of “source” or “spark”. Society is not guaranteed to grow and progress indefinitely. We need charge, recharge, and lift to empower what is governed.  · · · →

Drain Your Neighbor’s Swamp

Drain Your Neighbor’s Swamp

We all need friends. We don’t need “yesmen” or people to tell us that we’re always doing great even when we’re not. While we do need cheerleaders about half the time, once in a while we need help draining the swamps that seem too big to drain.

Rain is good, but too much overflows and garbage clogs the drain. When life makes a swamp in your neighbor’s back yard, be a good neighbor, yank the plug, and save the neighborhood from the stench. If the swamp swells in your own back yard, be thankful for good neighbors when they knock.  · · · →

Calm as You Can

Calm as You Can

Hang in there with people who need to do better. Explain it to them. Be nice as you be firm. Things don’t need to get ugly every single time we disagree. The feeling that conflict must always end uglily is an addiction to ugliness; it’s not a negotiation philosophy. Don’t let addiction to ugly endings direct your conflict management strategy.

As a general rule, if you know how to be calm in a way that calms others, if you can put away the dagger and convince others to put away theirs, then do just that as long as you can.  · · · →