Cultural Differences, the Ignorant American and the Architect who Hung Himself

May 20, 2010

Another day, when our daughter was seven, we were hiking in the hills above a park in Southern California. On our way out of the hills along a steep-dirt trail leading toward the park, our daughter rushed ahead.

Minutes later, she was back looking shocked. She took us to her discovery.

An Asian man had hung himself in a tree beside the trail. He’d used an electric cord. It was obvious that he had climbed into the tree, tied the cord to a limb and around his neck and leaped off.

I called the police on my cell phone. They came, identified who he was and went to his mother’s house. The mother and sister arrived and my wife talked to them (for the police) since the mother and sister didn’t speak English.

The dead man was a Chinese architect from Taiwan. He was a partner in a business that had gone bankrupt and he could no longer support his family. Because he had lost face, he killed himself.

In fact, since the global economic crises caused by US, Wall Street greed, family suicides have been on the rise in Taiwan.

See how Power Corrupts

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the author of the award winning novels My Splendid Concubine and Our Hart. He also Blogs at The Soulful Veteran and Crazy Normal.

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