Something feels familiar to him. He’s been in this situation before. He’s at Paw Paw’s house. He’s without a job – just fired. It’s February 2016. He thinks back on his employment history and then it hits him: …..In 2013 he defected from his post as an English teacher at Dalian University of Technology. At orientation before the fellowship, they ask that whatever you do, do no break your contract. After the first semester he broke his contract. He left the students that looked up to him, and he went back to the US.
Karma is real. Karma is a bitch because you behaved like a bitch.
… 2009 no job, at Paw Paw’s house. He’s applying for his first job at Temple University’s Cardiovascular Research Center – interview over the phone.
He’s learned a valuable lesson from the authority figures in his past. He realizes he struggled with these figures – Mom, Coach, Boss – because he was not able to effectively communicate his desires and to create a compromise that would make both him and his superior happy. Being passive aggressive did not prove effective.
He learned a good quote from Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search For Meaning:
“Between stimulus and response there is space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and freedom.”
Despite having learned the quote at the end of college, it is a constant struggle to apply the wisdom to his life. It was apparent when he left China early. It was apparent when he got fired.
His Paw Paw had been through a lot in her life. She is the wisest person he knows. But with the world changing at such a rapid pace, at what point does his Paw Paw’s advice become outdated? Or is the wisdom ageless and the changing of the world pointless?