A Wonderful Country for Positive Thinking



Discussion transcript here.

In the TEDx Youth conference in Khartoum, Wafa Elamin discusses the commitment of her fellow Sudanese to the future of Sudan. I saw some parallels to Taiwan, and an opportunity for discussion.

Let's start with the questionnaire that Wafa Elamin gave the attendees of that TED talk (at 2:35 in the video), and ask these questions about Taiwan.
Pick three of these words that define Taiwan for you:
Easy
Difficult
Opportunity
Unpromising
Excitement
Stress
Hope
Tiresome


If given the chance, would you:
-Leave and never come back?
-Remain here permanently?
-Leave, but return after some period of time?


Obviously Taiwanese people are all different people, with their own strengths and weaknesses, but if you had to list three positive qualities and three negative qualities about a stereotypical Taiwanese...
-businessman
-student
-scientist
-artist
-politician
-worker
-store owner
...how would you describe them?

Do you personally fit any of these stereotypes?
Do you know anyone that fits these stereotypes? Stories?
How do you feel about the stories created by these stereotypes? Are you comfortable with them? Do you enjoy them? Do they bother you?

Is it considered desirable to study outside of Taiwan?
Is it considered desirable to emigrate away from Taiwan?
Is it desirable to have dual citizenship?
Is it desirable for you personally?

If you've never left Taiwan, how do you feel about people who've left, or left and come back?
If you've left and come back, has how you feel about Taiwan changed?

What does it mean to be invested in your country?

Do people who've studied overseas and come back do better than those who've recieved their education in Taiwan?

What would you say are Taiwan's faults?
What would you say are Taiwan's strengths?
Does Taiwan present an optimistic future for its people?

If you could instantly change something about Taiwan, what would you change?
Here's a question Wafa Elamin asks in the video about Sudan, I want to ask it about Taiwan. "What is holding Taiwan back as a nation?"
I also want to ask, "What moves Taiwan forward as a nation?"

Wafa Elamin speaks about neuroplasticity. She says we are not actually hardwired for anything. Whenever we think about anything, we create cells and brain circuits to support this pattern of thinking.
She says that when we are actively creating positive neurocircuitry in our brain, we can more quickly see and act upon a window of opportunity. We see it in part because we are looking for it.
She says that if we are negative people, we'll set our minds on resentment and reproach, and think, "We'll never get anywhere in this country", and if we even see that window of opportunity, we won't act on it. The negative circuit reinforces itself, and we begin to create our own problems.

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