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April 02, 2018

The importance of reciprocity

‘Reciprocity’ is the daily ability to engage in our relations with others on a ‘give and take’ basis.

It is about accepting what others are able to do for us and letting them know that it is enough; it is also about recognising that others need to take us as we are, too, and accept what we can do for them.

It is quite a ‘grown up’ concept – as adults, we often behave like children, sulk and are easily offended when something happens that is not to our liking, and point the finger when things go wrong. Often we seem to do that more than children do.

The skill of reciprocity appears to develop in early childhood and is one of the key tenets of a healthy, nurturing relationship. It is closely linked to attachment. If we have difficulties in attaching, there is a tendency either for us to ‘use’ others or to allow others to ‘use’ us. In these circumstances the ‘give’ and ‘take’ can disappear and we either do all the giving, or all the taking, with nothing in the middle.

Reciprocity is an important skill to foster and develop in the work place. It enables us to value ourselves even if we get little recognition for what we do, it also helps us to recognise the value of what others bring to the team, even if they have a different approach, and it helps us to understand where problems occur in communication, and how we can resolve them.

The nurturing effect of reciprocity is often lessened or lost altogether through over-competitive environments, the cult of perfectionism, the inability to accept that people can and do make mistakes that can be learned from, the simplistic apportioning of ‘blame’ when things go wrong, the difficult in seeing that we ourselves also slip up and that we may be part of the problem, and the use of un-nuanced language like ‘fault’ and ‘fail’.

But if reciprocity can be encouraged, it can do a lot for our (self)-respect – it helps us to respect ourselves, and ultimately, those that we live and work with. and this has to be a good thing wherever we are – in the workplace, in the home environment or when interacting with friends.

That doesn’t mean that others’ behaviour is always right and we should not challenge or question it – but there are ways of doing this that do not mean we have to feel defensive or aggressive. If we can remain proud of who we are, we can stand up for what we believe is right, safe in the knowledge that we are doing the best we can.

Social media is another area where reciprocity is badly needed – the ability to understand that others have different views from ourselves, that it is not always about ‘winning’ the argument or being ‘right’, and that process is as important as product. Things can go seriously wrong on social media – flame wars, abuse or even worse – when there is a lack of ability to see things from all sides and to consider a spectrum of views.

One useful skill might be to do an inventory of our relationships and ask ourselves what we give and take in each situation. This helps us to develop and adjust our behaviour over time and makes us happier, because we not only accept others, but allow others to accept us too, and ultimately – and perhaps hardest of all – we manage to accept ourselves, as we are, with all our limitations, but still proud of who we are.

January 30, 2011

The problem of the term 'hard–working family'

A not-so-recent media trend which I have grown to dislike is the ubiquitous reference to the idea of ‘hard working family’. This mediatised metonymic label which seems to have received its birth in some murky area between the tabloid and broadhseet press, intends to designate the ‘hard working family, as a primarily exploited, marginalised group, thwarted at every turn by money-grabbing (mainly Labour) governments, benefit cheats and all manner of villains and tricksters, intent on bringing down the very fabric of decent and upstanding society. What I find most intriguing and annoying, however, is the exclusive ‘club’ that this term designates by default. Indeed, it suggests many default options that have not been questioned: for instance, that there are families that are not hard working (i.e. those where the adults are not in paid employment); that it is possible to be hard working, in fact, but not part of a family. It also presupposes that all adults that do go out to work are, of necessity, hard-working (which we know to be untrue). What is clear is that this label forms part of a conservative-based (note, wiith a small ‘c’) rhetoric which seeks to establish binary opposites, denigrates in any case the hard work involved in being a parent in the frst place, and which, instead, views success as engaging in paid employement at the expense of caring for one’s family and children. I am a parent of two children, and I work hard; however, I would have to come very far over to the right in ideology to want to label myself as a ‘hard working family!’

October 05, 2008

My vacation in Milton Keynes

Time flies away, my vacation have passed and i also went back to the campus. Run over the past 3 months, which was a nice memory in my mind. I clearly remembered that period of June, i still hesitated whether i should go back to China or stay in UK to training myself. Finally, i made a decision not to leave, because i knew i could improve my English and gain some work experiences if i am in here; back to hometown, which means i just enjoyed the holiday and lost the better time for challenging myself in a new environment.

In the beginning of i arrived in Milton Keynes, i felt very lonely and unhappy, this is because i was not  familiar with there, except the whole day's work, i have no interests on something else. This style of life lasted nearly one month, suddenly in one day, which changed a bit. That was one afternoon, i was walking to my home when finished work, there is two boys were playing football on the way. I slow down my foot, and naturally joined them to play together. One of boy named Naski, who comes from Sri lanca, an immigration family. He was lively and friendly to me, the most important was that we also supported Manchester United football team. From then on, we become the good friend, sometimes we talked about the football stars, sometimes we played X-BOX games together, otherwise he taught me some French words, because his grandparents ever was taught and governed by French in the old days, the litter Naski could speak 3 languages, his mother language, English and French. During that period, we got on well with each other, however, i had to back to my campus before the new term's coming, though i would not like to leave him. Before the day i left from MK, i was invited to Naski's house by his mum, i enjoyed the  mum handmade's cake which was very delicious, and i took the photos with them as memory. At last, we said to each other, 'we will meet again!'


me with Nuski, who is my litter brother

I would like to share my other fun pictures in MK with us, i won'tget dinner with my colleagues and shuang forget that wonderful times!women police with strong horse, smiling to me!

May 11, 2008

Happy Mothers' Day

Language world is complicate and intricate, but they share one world. That is 'Mum'. It is really amazing and shocking that at every corner of the world, the world 'Mum' shares the similiar pronunciation. (Mum, Mama (in Chinese), Mami, Mother, Mutter). We could see how great the mother is even just from the linguistic world.

Parental love is the greatest and most selfless love in the world and not any other kind of love could replace it. The older I become, the deeper I could feel how strong and great the parental love is. Our parents would like to do anything they like to help their children. They are willing to live a simple life and give their savings to their children and hope they could have a better life. They always eat the fishtail and tell their children that they do not like fishbelly. They buy anything their children need but are very mean to themselves.....Every detail is filled with the greatest parental love. I enjoyed all of these contendedly and one day, I suddenly read through every minute in my life that how my parents love me, though it has never been said, but I always complained that they were too strict with me.

Suddenly, from one day in my life, the day I suddenly understand the great of parental love, I become more mature and I know I would do anything I could in return.

May 10, 2008

Untitled Entry

When I checked my QQ blog today I saw a message from my friend 'Are you playing Hide and Seek with us, like a small cat?'; another friend asked me whether I did not check email for a long time. It seems that I have disappeared for several weeks and only have a few entries complain the strange weather here in UK, and a few vague words about my current unstable mood. I even did not write an entry for the fantastic Paris trip, only leave a few photos in the album.

Some friends came to comfort me very soon when they saw my latest entry. I am always warmed up by their care, their comments, their frequent visit to my pages, making comments or leaving without a word. I want to talk to them but meanwhile do not want them to worry about me. Sometimes when I looked back to my blue days, I just felt I was so stupid to be sad for such trivial things. So when blue days come again, I might just hide under a mask. I remember that one of my friend wrote an entry a few days ago and said that she always lives under a mask and many people do not know the real 'she'; people may not read the grief hiden behind the smile. At that time I knew that it was not only me who will choose to hide behind a mask sometimes.

I am optimistic, happy but emotional. Being emotional is not always a good thing. I used to be very depressed and made my parents and friends worry for me; and later while I have come back to normal they were still concerned about me....for me, most of the time, a blue day slips away easily after a nice sleep or several days calm thinking. Sorry for hiding behind a mask for my friends, maybe it is my way for not making your worry.

March 07, 2008

prepare for my essay

it has one week left in this term,  i believe everyone  have their different works to do before the vocation. then, they will have a good holiday to relax and play. of course, i also have a lot of homework to finish, because i will go back to China on 22th march, so i must finish my essay as soon as possible. i wanna own a free and wonderful holiday, let study pressure far away from me in this time.


before this term ended, i have two essays to hand in. one is 1500 words, another is 2000words. it is a big task, however, i have no choice and should finish it as well. 

before the next term, i still have the big job are waiting for me.  one project is 3500 words, two essays is totally 4000 words. i would like not to think about it, essay seems to give me more pressures and terrible.

as i said, i have no choice, i am a student, a foreign student in UK, so i must work hard than those native students. essay is a part of my study, i believe i can do it well and hand in it on time.

the more pressure, the more energy, i hope everyone can follow it.

come on !

March 03, 2008

It is a long time

it is a long time before i wrote my blog last time. recently, i feel very tired and confused. maybe, i met all kings of different problems  in living and study. and i also didn't know what is going on .

about living

as a international student, it is a difficult thing to live in a strange country. after all, my english is not good, and i spend a little time learning and reading. as usual, i always wasted a lot of time on the line, playing, chatting, and watching some Chinese websites. so i get more and more lonely, far away from foreigners. maybe, i am lack of confidence. i prefer to live in my world, and i know it is a big issue. when i talked with others, i found i couldn't express my idears as well, and even i start to doubt myself. usually, i will get a simple thing into complex, thinking again and again, however, i dind't  find any result which i wanted at last~ 

about study

as usual, i am a lazy boy. i always leave the academic in one side and think about a little time on it. after all, essay and homework is a part of my study, which is taking a important part. no good preparation, no good result, i clear this sentence, but i did very badly~ this term nearly passed, some works are still waiting for me, i shall pay more attention to this serious problem which between living and study.

wait is a fair thing, because nobody want to live in a uncertain world~ do what i should do~~ no time to wait and waste~ good luck, fei~

March 01, 2008

Reflections on teaching Artaud

For many years now I have been giving visiting lectures on Antonin Artaud.

I have been fascinated by Artaud’s life and works for many years, since the time I write my MA dissertation on him back in 1994. At first, it was mainly the mental health issues that he experienced and the electro-shock treatments that interested me most.

Then, I progressivley came to be interested in the very real possibility, articulated by Artaud, of a ‘new’ theatrical language that bypassed the need for words and could bring other aspects of theatre into the forefront of the imagination – for example, gestures, especially those associated with Eastern theatre (Chinese and Japanese).

Throughout my academic life I have studied women characters in Artaud’s theatre and I have tried to read his works in the light of the psychoanalysis of Freud and others.

Just lately, though, I realise that my thoughts about Artaud have changed quite significantly, so much so that I had to admit in my last lecture, in January, that I had probably misjudged and underestimated the importance of Artaud’s use of verbal language.

Far from being an insignificant relic of logocentrism, which he seeks to displace, I am starting to believe once again that verbal language is somehow central and pivotal in Artaud’s works.

Take le theatre et son double (The theatre and its double), for example. Some see this as a manifesto for introducing a new kind of language to the theatre. This is more or less the traditional view of Artaud. However, I see it increasingly as a playing with words, or logopoeia , which is not specifically referential but which enjoys enticing the reader down dead ends and closed off pathways.

Why should we always assume that Artaud is serious when he makes proclamations about the theatre? Couldn’t he just be enjoying playing with language and having’ intellectual fun?’ Maybe there is a bit more humour in Artaud’s works than people realise?

I went through this book again some months ago, and found that Artaud seems to take the greatest pleasure in building up the categorising force of language, only to destroy it again. For example, what does Artaud mean when he says that ‘the actor is the athlete of the heart’. Sounds impressive, but really it means little or nothing. His writing is full of these apparent gems of wisdom that mean nothing. At once, such phrases mean everything and nothing. Language is inflated to categorising and classifying proportions, and then bursts rather like an overblown balloon. Or perhaps, to use another image, the sandcastle, constructed on shaky foundations, collapses and falls apart.

This ‘building up and self-destruction’ of language on Artaud’s part is relevant for us in the twenty-first century because, as we all know, verbal language cannot equate with truth. There is always an approximate and tenuous link between words and their reality, and we cannot represent the ‘world’ through the wor(l)d.

Rather like a lifelong illness, I have been obsessed with the issue of how we can be what we are, and how we can go on, given that language does not ‘work’ and betrays us at every turn? Language is not a mere reflecting device, innocently mirroring some objective reality, but plays a role in letting us down just at the time when we need it most. But what are the solutions to this? We can either side with Artaud and show a sense of misplaced confidence in the ability of language to convey meaning; or we have to remain filled with self-doubt that nothing says what we want it to say.

For me, these issues mainly manifest themselves in the following way:

- Finding it hard to express my real meaning through language;
- Worrying about whether others are expressing their real meaning to me;
- (In fact) anxieties and self-doubts about most things;

The beauty of Artaud’s writing is that one never really knows what his intentions are. Which is why I will keep studying him for some time to come!

January 14, 2008


Nowdays, internet is becoming a important part of our life. It lets us get some benifits and convinences from webside, howerver, some disadvantages are also found. For instance, ciminal, sexy,violence and other bad things are ruining someone's mind. Maybe someone will follow the bad webside, do some bad for other peoples things. Especially in youth, a lot of pupils can not tell the right things from Internet, they just felt funny and followed it, so the pupil is simiple to be taught by that bad things. The parents and teachers must tell them how to divide the right things and persaude them far away from it. And the pupil should have a clear mind, find some useful things from webside.
After all, internet is a very good tools for us to study or reaserch. We should get full use of it and find a good way to improve ourselves. We can hardly lose the Internet,we need it, but we must keep the clear mind and let us refues that disadvantages~~~Everyone have this responsbility to far from that rabbish~

December 20, 2007


Hey, guys, please do not talk eaasy with me~all right? this is my bad dream!!!

HAha, it's a joke . But, it cantains my feeling on last days. before the day, i have written about 3 essay. this is the first time i wrote essay~ i still remmebered i have never written so long article in past times. 1000+2000+500 words, what a huge project~ i never think i could finish it~ but , i have done it~ and i have a lot of feelings about this experience~


i remmeber when i take the handout about essay firstly, i couldn't say anything~~i have a little unconfident, i don't belive myself can finish it ~~So i alway escaped and far away from the essay.


With the deadline coming, i have to face to my essay~ but i also didn't know how to deal with it. i just read the topic again and again untill i fall asleep~~ come on, man~i shoudn't wait all the time~it has a short time, i must finish it as soon as possible~


Lastly, my heart is calm~so i asked some classmates and listensed to their advices~ Book, yes, i must read some book about my essay~ because i have no idea in my mind~ so i borrow some useful books and read it carefully~ Now, i have to say, no more than these book saves me~


It just few days left~ i must finish it before deadline~ i prepared the coffee, redbull, bread and so on. i decide to make arduous efforts to do it~ the series of night i was not fall asleep, i just took the pen and wrote endless~ i told myself, i must finish it~Do a nice work, you are a man~hah


When i wrote the last word of the essay, i feel i fly into the sky~ i was tired~ but i done it~ Done it, i can do it~

This experience i will not forget it~ my confidence are increasing a lot~ As advertisement said, nothing impossible~only you put in your heart , try your best, just do it~ i also sum up some experience, find some method. i think if i write the essay again, i will waste a lot time to reaserch the material and read some imformations~ Make a plan and clear structure~then, follow this factors, thinking more, just put your words into the paper~maybe it is a simiple job~haha~

October 19, 2007

Learning English in the real life

Since the middle school started, i have been learninging english. As i thought, english is a simple language. It is easier than chinese, but english as the second language for me, so i must spent a lot time learning it. During the seavral years learning, i also find a method of learning english by myselves.

When i got to UK, i have to speak english in anytime. In beginnig, i feel a little afraid of making mistakes, so i always kept slient. Gradually, i start to speak english with my friend as well. i think it is a good situation for me to improve my eglish.

In my opinion, i have some learning method. i think it is very suitable for me. First of all, you should use english thinking to communicate with each other. In this way, you will find others can understand what you said easily. Only use you studied words to express your idea, that is no problem. Don't shy and afaid, even though you made a mistake, they also don't laugh at you.

secondly, in darily life, you should listen english news or talking frenquantly. It can give you a good enlish enviroment and let your life fiil with english words, so you have not time to think in chinese. Maybe wathing TV or listening the radio is a best way~

Finally, you should get use of all kinds of choice to speaking english. Althongh you have many chinese friends, you must talk with them by english as well. As you are still in china, as speak chinese as speak english. Your mind should change into english~~~

This is my some advice for learning english, it is a just simple way~But you can insist on it ,you will improve a lot~~~

June 18, 2007


My english blog borns, welcome everyone !!!!