My lesson in Chinese wisdom appears on photography website

Someone once told me ‘What you see is what you are’, taken in London’s Chinatown by Mario Cacciottolo

In the summer I had the privilege of meeting a student from Taiwan studying Shakespeare in London called Juan Hung Yu.

We spent a lot of time discussing the experiences we had had as foreigners in each other’s countries. Her impressions of England were of a place where everybody is very polite. Like me in China, she had been shown terrific kindness by strangers.

She loved the variety of historical and cultural pursuits on offer and spent her time dashing between debates, recitals, museums and performances.

In short, as I had been in China, she was hooked on England. It was under her skin. But I pointed out that few in England appreciate how lucky they are, and most, in fact, moan about their lot.

“Xiang you xin shen,” she said.(It should be ‘xin’, not ‘xing’ as I wrote it down in pinyin). She explained it means ‘image from heart born’, that what you see is what you are. If you see the world and think it is fabulous, with many opportunities, it’s because you are.

When I was asked if I had something that someone once told me that I would like to add to Mario Cacciatollo’s beautiful photography website, it came to me straight away.

See the Someone Once Told Me page here.