Advantage Denton

July 30, 2010

CHINA THINKING

Filed under: Uncategorized — Melissa Denton @ 7:33 pm
Melissa at the Great Wall

Melissa at the Great Wall

In June of this year (2010) I went to China to visit for the first time.  For context, I should mention that I am married to a man who was born and raised in Malaysia and we go back to visit family there every few years.  Simon is of Chinese ancestry and speaks lots of languages.

Having a Mandarin speaker was very useful when we were in Beijing.  I am sure our experience was much easier than it would have been without our family member speaking the lingo.  It was a fantastic experience in many ways and I am very glad we went.  My mom and our ten year old son were with us and we stayed in a lovely apartment-type hotel.

I want to tell you what intrigued me the most.  It was the bicycles.  Although Beijing is a huge city with fantastic modern infrastructure and constant construction, I was drawn to look at the bicycles.  Many more people than before are able to get cars and there was plenty of evidence of prosperity around us, but the bikes were everywhere.

You see cars plus a lot of small motorbikes in Malaysia cities and almost only new vehicles and great public transit in Singapore (which is a city).   Beijing had many people on bikes.  A lot of folks have their entire business on the back of their bicycle and large numbers of people use them as their mode of transportation.  Books I read about the days of old always talk about rickshaws.  We did ride around some oldest parts of the city (from Mongolian days) on bicycle rickshaws, but I did not see any walking running rickshaws (thank heavens – seems demeaning).

For some reason, those bicycles are symbolic to me of how Beijing and China has so very many people who have been jostling with each other for so very long.  Living in a place with so many to compete with and over the bones of thousands of years has weight.  Some people would think I am insulting or demeaning the modernization of China by focusing on the bicycles.  I am not.

The very modernity juxtaposed with the mass of humanity who struggle and strive where so many have before is fascinating.  Bicycles straddle time and circumstance and bring it all together for me.

Melissa on Rickshaw

Melissa on Rickshaw

July 19, 2010

Excuses, Excuses

Filed under: Melissa Denton Posts — Tags: , , , , , — Melissa Denton @ 9:10 am

Most disgracefully, I have failed to update this blog for almost two months. This is insufferable, intolerable, terrible, unforgivable and altogether inconceivable. How could any person commit an act so heinous, so vile, so beyond contempt? Well, it wasn’t easy.

The reason I have used such strong language is so that I can illustrate a point about self abnegation. This phenomenon of negating the self is something I see far too often. People involved in controversy find it hard to keep a balanced perspective. Much of their energy is spent on blaming themselves or, even less productively, on blaming others for the current set of circumstances.

While it is fun and funny to me to come up with a lot of words that I don’t mean about my blogging lapse, it is not funny to me when clients or other lawyers play the blame game and wound with words. Attorneys have a special duty to bring perspective to problems. We need to help clients move away from pain inducing practices. In my humble opinion, the lawyer who makes the client feel worse about him or her self is failing in the primary goal of litigation: coming out the other side with as much positive and as little damage as is possible.

Why did I fail to write in my blog for so long? Part of my reason is exotic — I was in China, Malaysia and Singapore for some weeks. I also bought and moved into new offices and found myself using my new iPad instead of the laptop I was used to blogging on. Now, the iPad has a blogging application and my excuses are over. I will write about China soon, but in the meantime I am going to continue to contemplate mean language and how to decrease the demeaning types of activities I see going on around me.

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