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Theodore A. Hoppe


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So, what is the purpose of men in modern families?

There are several Op-Ed debate in the New York Times asking, or attempting to answer, this question.

"In almost half the American households with children, mothers are the sole or primary breadwinners. This victory for working women shows evolving family economics — or maybe, two very different types of families.

So what is the purpose of men in modern families? We’re approaching the holiday that celebrates dads, but do fathers bring anything unique to the table?"

Reference a TEDTalk that you have listen to on this topic if you can.


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    Jun 8 2013: For me,family is the center of my life,namely my purpose of life is to prosper my family. I say family is not the family confined in the house,just wife and kids,but a bloodline in my father,grandfather's side.Since my family as far as I know,has been crippled since grand,grandfather,I strive to terminate my family's ill fate.I study hard,struggle,toil on my own,enhance my own capability,is ultimately to fulfill my promise.

    Also, I think educating my children,is a way of maintaining or pursuing prosperity.If I can not fulfill my promise,I will pass it down to my children,I will teach them to strive for the rise of our family.

    I try hard to protect my family's pride and dignity,so my purpose is pursuing the rise my family,it is above anything.
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      Jun 9 2013: Jaden, you state that your family has been crippled since grand, grandfather.

      What do you mean by this expression?

      And what is different for you today than from your own father, to make you think that you can terminate your family's ill fate?

      And one last question, what do you mean by ill fate?

      Thank you Jaden for your reply to these questions whenever you may have time to answer. Mary
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        Jun 10 2013: Hi Mary,I will frankly answer your question although it concerns some sort of privacy.

        ps:This is the link of English version My Country And My People. http://www.unz.org/Pub/LinYutang-1938 Hope you like it.I will certainly not miss The Good Earth.
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          Jun 10 2013: Hi Jaden, thank you for your candid reply.
          This cultural situation of village life is a difficult situation to even imagine in a city such as the one I live, because many times we do not even know our neighbor's name.

          Here people move easily from one city to another, or from one state to another, and they start a new life with new friends and a new job. Of course, our economy now is not so good, so it is not easily done. But it is possible.

          I think perhaps I did not realize how important this 'rise of family' drive is in your culture.
          It is sad to read of your grandfather's experience.

          In The Good Earth the main character goes back to his village, and ends up buying all the land that was once owned by the richest family. And eventually he buys the home, with it's many courts, and his male children and grandchildren all live together there.
          His one daughter disappears from the story. She joins her husband family.
          He goes from being a poor farmer, to being a wealthy respected man.

          My question now is. Do you feel that all Chinese young men also feel like you?
          Or do you think perhaps the adversity in your past has affected your outlook on life?

          What kinds of stories have you been able to hear from your college friends? Do they study with the same pressure as yours? (I am so very curious)

          And I want to thank you for the link to My Country and My People.
          I will start reading it today.
          I started a biography last night of a Columbian author. It is part of a trilogy.
          It will be interesting to learn about two cultures at once.

          Talk to you soon, Mary
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        Jun 10 2013: Mary,no worries,I am not fully identified in TED,so it won't affect me much.I will erase the certain portions,so I will feel securer,thank you for your advice.

        Actually,I am not too ashamed when talk about my family,that's the fact,I have to face up to it.My path of life,is what I call my destiny.

        This longing for 'rise of family' is the result of various factors,culture,personality,circumstance,education,etc.Hence,not every young man feels the same.I think this is pretty common in the world,every country has the rich and the poor,some are born in upper class families,they could't feel a consciousness that there is a path from the bottom to the top.Some may received little love from their family,their view of 'rise of family' restrained.Also,some, led by the values they are taught,the education they received,their aspirations differ.

        I think adversity and suffering is necessary,people get maturer and tougher through the tests.Those who grow up in a favorable condition,rarely confront any difficulty,are more likely to quit when things get tougher.In the long run,I definitely appreciate adversity.What do you think about pressure or adversity in life?Do you intentionally give your children some this kind of tasks?

        So I've answered your questions above,due to the culture,especially Confucianism,the majority of Chinese are family-oriented,longing for family prosperity first.

        I wonder,Mary,you are a teacher,and a mother,probably a helper for many people,how could you manage enough to time to read,do you read books fast?I found reading needs much concentration,it takes me a few days to finish a book.
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          Jun 11 2013: I think you are correct in stating that adversity and suffering is sometimes necessary to build character traits in individuals. Endurance, patience, long-suffering, steadfastness, and a certain degree of insight and wisdom as well as maturity may very well be fine outcomes of trials and tribulations.

          How do I manage to read? I read early in the morning, before anyone awakes, and late into the night. Also, I make time throughout the day....10 minutes here and there. If I am reading something really interesting, I will keep the book with me always....and I will even read it when I am at a red light. I am kind of an avid reader. It is my favorite thing to do, next to talking to other people. It also depends on the book....It is something that came with time. I wasn't always like this. It took many years of practice, you know what they say, practice makes perfect!

          What's the worst book you have ever read? And the best?

          [edited spelling]
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        Jun 12 2013: I did not realize how important books in our life until enter into university.We do not have time to read extra books in high school here.Every Chinese student has to strive for College Entrance Test,which literally determines our career,even our life.So we nearly put all eggs in one basket in 12 years' study,for one last future-determining test.Positively,it is the fairest game in our life,whereby most students climb from the bottom to the top,turn around family's fate.It takes place on June 7 and 8 each year.

        Actually,I have no idea what is the worst book I have ever read,I just forgot those books didn't make any sense to me.But I do remember many books that are impressive and beneficial.Like Paulo Coelho's The Alchemist,which attracts me by the culture of Mediterranean and Spanish.And Paulo depicts what a destiny is,how destiny guides the boy,I like the word 'destiny'.And a book called Zeng Guofan's Family Letters,Zeng Guofan,a renowned sage in 1800s,who proclaims study,self-discipline,pure proposition,family maintenance in the book,this book influences me the most. I think Lean In is a remarkable also,which is not designed only for women as it looks,I learned a lot.So,what about you,what kind of difference that books make in your life?

        I haven't reach a position where I can read books like you,your way of reading like a drunk longing for alcohol,haha! I admire that,I think I can practice your way.Yes,practice,also I found need quite a repetition to truly digest a book which has valuable knowledge.
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          Jun 12 2013: There is quite a bit of writing about all topics, including the one in this discussion...the role of men in modern families.

          Have you read the links that Mr. Hoppe provided on top?
          They will give you a good idea as to the diversity of thinking here in the United States.

          On another line of thought, I think that it is interesting that our philosophy of life is oftentimes someone else's philosophy first......we just take on what appeals to us personally.

          Books are indeed powerful, because they shape us......in a way.

          I have heard of the Alchemist, but I have not read it. And Zeng Guofan's Family Letters sounds very interesting.

          Are you familiar with Carl Jung? I think perhaps my next reading will be some of his work.

          Your portrait of me as a drunk longing for a book as if it were alcohol is very funny.
          When I have been very busy with school, and I know my time is so short for reading, I have to do this carrying around of the book.......here in the United States, whenever you see a man walking around with a small paper bag in one hand, and drinking from a substance inside, you know he is probably a drunk,......and inside the paper bag is an alcoholic drink, usually a beer. So after reading your statement I pictured myself with a book inside a paper bag, and looking inside the bag with ravenous eyes wanting to absorb the words inside......

          Perhaps because words pack much force, many harsh governments censor what can be given to the people to read? The written word is indeed powerful.

          To answer your question, about the difference that books, or for that matter, any writing, have made in my life, I would have to say that it has helped me see the points of view of others. And this has contributed to my feeling a need for undestanding my fellow human.
          It has helped me see the importance of good communication.
          And to ask questions first, and not just assume you understand others by reading a few words.

          Are there any editorials in Chinese newspapers?
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        Jun 13 2013: Hi Mary,what do you mean in first paragraph?

        I can't open that link,New York Times was blocked here not long ago.

        I didn't know him before you mentioned here.So,he was a expert in psychology?

        It's interesting men have to hide the alcoholic drink in the paper bag?

        I think people in different stage of life have different purposes on reading.For me,I am lacking in life experiences,knowledge,so I try to absorb information that providing these stuff by reading books.So,book equals knowledge,in my perspective.But,for people like you,maybe,you already have the knowledge that books provide,right?Or,you have confidence in your own way of life,but like to hear different opinions?

        Yes,many influential newspapers have editorials.They always stand up for government's sake,not for the average people.Because of their overwhelming influence,every single editorial fuels controversy among the scholars and media,especially when it comes to politics.
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          Jun 13 2013: Hi Jaden, what I meant by my first paragraph, is that there are alot of books written about men in this country.



          I hope you can open the link :/

          And there are books also for women, probably more than for men.

          Carl Jung was an interesting individual. He was a Swiss psychiatrist and psychotherapist.I do not know much about him, but I am very familiar with his quotes. So I will read and find out now about the man behind the quotes.
          Perhaps you can search online when you have time and also learn?

          You said, "for people like you, maybe, you already have the knowledge that books provide, right?"

          My reply..........wrong!!

          I am learning also Jaden. For me, books allow me to focus on one subject and helps with the research of on subject. But there are many books, and each one gives a different perspective...........so there is alot of reading to do.

          Ultimately though, it comes down to us.
          What do I personally think.
          I read to learn, and to form an educated decision.
          But I am aware that even then, I may still be missing something!
          So, best to always keep an open mind. :)

          As for editorials in your country.........well, I am not surprised.
          Here editorials do not always stand up for the government.
          And they always fuel controversy like in your country.

          It is just too bad you cannot open the link to the articles in the New York times.
          They are absolutely wonderful.
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        Jun 13 2013: I can open the link.Only those giant websites containing political standpoints are blocked,or potentially with politically divergences with the government,like facebook,twitter,youtube,google,etc.Anyway,fortunately I don't need these.

        'open mind',I see you use 'open mind' quite a lot,I absolutely agree.Thank you Mary,I will never forget it after talking to you.

        It's just early morning in your country now?

        Thank you for the wonderful conversations,Mary.Since I joined the TED community,you are the one I talk with the most,have fantastic exchanges with you.

        I will definitely see you in other conversations,I see you in many conversations.

        Be well
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          Jun 13 2013: Yes it is early morning here........I am trying to listen to the quiet of the morning....bird songs....but the gardeners just started mowing the grass........oh what luck!!!

          I jump around conversations alot.....I try to keep my contributions light.....I am no expert in any particular field....except in elementary education.......but I do read alot, and love to talk.
          I steer clear of political and deep science topics.....not well informed in either.

          Also, it is a shame you cannot open youtube. Mr. Hoppe posted a wonderful talk on being a man. I am going to try and find a way to get the transcript of that talk to you Jaden.

          Be Well,
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        Jun 13 2013: Thanks,Mary,I will be waiting for the transcript.

        It is late night here,I need to go to bed.

        You have a good day.
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        Jun 16 2013: Hi,Mary,thanks,I can open the link,but can't watch the video.There are PDFs available,are they the transcripts of the videos?

        Like it one:

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          Jun 17 2013: Hi Jaden, I just wanted you to know that I filled out a form to try and get the talk posted to TED.
          If it comes through, you'll be able to see it, I think?

          I will continue to google search for a transcript of the talk....so far, the only transcript available is the one youtube did.....but it is really really poor....lots of words missing and wrong words typed.

          I copy pasted it to word, so that I could send it to you, but it was so poor, that it did not do the talk justice.

          I am not giving up. But this conversation is about to close, so I will contact you through another post somewhere else.
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        Jun 18 2013: Yes,I can see any video on TED. I'm going to find out how it functions that TEDster can fill out a form to get a talk posted to TED,this seems quite fascinating.

        Thanks for your work,Mary,I'm getting more curious about the talk,I'm waiting,I wish I can see it on TED talks soon.

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