Trump’s visit to China was remarkably friendly. He did not demonstrate any of the bombastic rhetoric that was both celebrated and despised during the 2016 election. He did not have any of the authoritarian, autocratic manner demonstrated by the star of The Apprentice. He never made any concessions, only friendly gestures. He was largely silent on policy and quite loud about his desire for cooperation.

This was a very different side of Trump. Those familiar with him were not surprised. Those who fear him might believe it was fake. But, it was a very different side Trump who went to China and, yet, he is still the same Donald Trump.

This does not speak about Trump himself. It says much more about China—or, perhaps better and more specifically, it will say much more about China in the months ahead.

China maintains disputes with a vast number of nations. It would be interesting to see a budget report on how much money China spends by not abandoning its overlapping claims to various lands and islands across its surrounding borders and seas.  · · · →

Build at the Same Time

Build at the Same Time

Build patiently. Productive people naturally feel like they have more projects than they can ever accomplish. Everyone feels this way at some point—that life is just not long enough.

Actually, that’s a feeling of youth and ambition.

Part of maturity is wanting to accomplish things in the small time life allows. Over-committing and feeling the pressure of our own decades-long “to-do” lists isn’t the most mature feeling, however. It’s just another step in the process of growing up.

Learn early on to let go of the lists you make—to wait, work, and love—all at the same time.  · · · →

It’s used in politics and religion as well. One reason Spacey’s shenanigans stayed secret so long was his refusal to come out of the proverbial closet. There are defamation repercussions as well as social dynamics too complex to chart. It’s like gravity, the tide, and changing seasons. Several people he encountered kept silent because you don’t announce to the the world another person’s sexual orientation. Spacey hid behind that smokescreen—now we know it.

The tactic has been used before. Rob Bell remained silent on the belief of “Christ as our substitute” in his sermons; that irritated the evangelical community. Trump and Obama both avoided many issues; no one knows Trump’s true politics, then you have Obama’s ambiguous positions on religion and respect for America.

By not announcing which side they are on—or by not “flying their colors” as sailors might say—people can act, in some ways, like pirates: Avoid direct assault and sneak up close enough to do great damage.  · · · →