As I carried my new backpack filled with chocolate goodies, my mom’s reassuring grasp held my hand, making me feel satisfied and safe. Little did I know, a complete stranger’s smile would soon shatter my four-year-old self’s world view. I cannot even recall the names of my favorite playmates from that innocent age, but I can still vividly see in my mind the stranger’s neat hair, kind eyes, and polite grin. There were plenty of strangers in Taiyuan, China— my birthplace—but I discovered that this stranger’s smile, which I encountered soon after moving to Geneva, Switzerland, was definitely out-of-character. I questioned who this individual was in relation to me and what business he had in smiling at me. What really makes a stranger truly a “stranger” anyways? I speculated my entire understanding of strangers, trying to grasp a “Truth” that would justify that smile. From that unusual smile, I posited that “strangers” only exist in my mind as a perception of others. The search for “Truth” enabled me to see that “strangers” are people like me! Perhaps human co-existence can transcend all conceptual boundaries and categorizations. That smile and that moment of contradiction is my earliest memory for my fascination with Truth and the search for Truth.
I moved many times as a child. After moving to Switzerland, I returned to China. Later, I moved to the United States, Canada, and then back to the U.S. again. I moved two more times within the U.S. before attending middle school and high school in a small Rhode Island town. My varying surroundings during childhood have certainly contributed to my interest in discovering a universally applicable “Truth.” I am now motivated to pursue philosophy and economics for a single purpose. In my mind, both studies function to respond to one irreducibly complex question about Truth. Sometimes the question is, “Where is Truth found?” or “What is Truth?” In my opinion, neither is as meaningful as the question “How can we obtain Truth?”—although I have not yet found a flawless proposition. Due to varying viewpoints, the attempt to uncover an undisputed Truth is futile. I am intrigued not by the absolute Truth but rather, the process of uncovering aspects within Truth and the utilization of this process to humanity’s advantage.
Perhaps if we reason carefully, overturn convoluted thought boulders, and look deeply beneath appearances, a meaningful search for Truth can be perfected to reveal necessary political compromises, lacking areas of economic development, and innovative governing policies for cooperative progress in domestic and international affairs.
This past summer I worked as a research intern for the Rhode Island House of Representatives, Department of Finance. We worked to generate innovative/alternative transportation infrastructure funding methods and compile relevant economic impact research to help legislators in a special legislative committee salvage RI’s underfunded transportation infrastructure. Unexpectedly, answers to my research inquiries were found within deeper understanding of RI’s already existing funding methods. Innovation is not limited to spontaneous and ostentatious synthesis of foreign and unforeseen ideas, but more practically, the perfection of a familiar system that has become inefficient for its purpose. Deciphering the convoluted Truth about what works and what does not work within RI’s already established transportation financing methods gave me a new set of corrective lenses to wear, which ultimately made innovative answers become self-evident.
I dedicate this blog to the search for Truth in the context of politics and international affairs. I hope what I write will be interesting, informative, and relevant to you and your interests. My blog will focus on economics, covering international economies, cooperative government initiatives, domestic and international economic policy, the impact of foreign investments in developed and developing economies, and—to continue my summer research project—innovative transportation infrastructure funding.
I welcome any comments or questions about my work or myself. I promise to be perfectly honest. For example, I’ll admit, I’m a glutton when it comes to dark chocolate, French pastries, and heartwarming oatmeal.
Feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.