Voo Ming Hsien Responded to Billy w/ Thoughts on Friendship – Oct. 5, 2020

Voo Ming Hsien 武明賢 married Wang Yung thus became Ming Wang

Rumor had it that Voo Family in Ting Hai,  定海  (the small island right off  NingPo 寧波) is descendant of  Wu/Voo Zetian 武則天.  Empress Voo was known for her nepotism.  When she died, members of her family were thrown out; one branch got exiled as far South as Ting Hai 定海, where land ends at the ocean.  
Descendants of families in NingPo 寧波, Zhoushan City 舟山市, and Ting Hai,  定海 ; all seem to have done OK.

MW 2012 Wang family Holidaycards  reduced 2020.jpg
Hello Billy,

I’ve been thinking a lot about Friendship; much thought but not knowing how to put into words.
After reading the recitations on your website, I am much enlightened by others who have put into words so eloquently and effectively of my many wanderings.

Amy Chua (author of Tiger Mother) wrote on “Political Tribes”.  She reminds me that those of us who left our own countries, but carry with us much of our tribalism; myself indeed.  I always remember the Chinese folktale of how men become life long “bosom buddies”,“知友” (zhī yǒu),  enjoying glass of wine in a pavilion, writing poetry, or jumping to the rescue of his friend in need.  Such friendship is to be worshipped and treasured.  Did we, in China, have resentment towards “gay”?   I wonder?  Also, was such “bosom buddies” experiences enjoyed by men ONLY?  

At my advancing age, I look back and find friends of many levels – acquaintances, business associates, casual friends and bosom buddies.   A bosom buddy “知友” (zhī yǒu), is someone of kindred spirit. Someone you can exchange ideas, agree-to-disagree dialogs in gaining new perspectives, and such.  

Upon reviewing several definitions of friendship,  “Respect” pops up to me as a very significant element. For me, my bosom buddies do not relate to age, wealth, nor profession.  In my younger days, my friends were older and related to me more like my mentors, guiding me, helping me to understand without being preachy. 

I used to believe “知友” (zhī yǒu) is more of an Asian heritage.  Fortunate for me, aside from a Chinese couple who took on the role of mentors when I first came to NY,  I had a Jewish business partner/friend for some 30 years.  At some business negotiation, the opposite side asked him why he worked so hard obviously defending and guiding me. My partner answered: she is my sister.  His wife was also my bosom friend, helped and guided me every step along the way with my bringing up an Autistic child.  He died of a heart attack in his 50’s, and she died 8 years ago.  

My next business partner/friend for some 20 years was an Irish lawyer.  Again, we were able to have exchanges of intellectual as well as trivial discourses.  He passed away a few years ago.

From that era, I have remaining “知友” (zhī yǒu) – John Lee; Billy’s brother, who was at Yale Architecture School the same time with my husband Yung and myself.  Although we are now thousands of miles apart, we are in touch via internet.  He is also friend of Yung, but he and I exchange emails more often, on subjects from international affairs to cats and dogs.  We are friends of some 60+ years and continuing.

Yung teases me of being a “busy body”, others labeled me a “people person”.

Now I have friends of younger age.  I thrive at how they share willingly with me their dreams and goals.   I respect their intellect, creativity, and fantasies.   They accept my “2 cents” worth knowledge and advices.  They keep me feeling alive. 

At my age, I horde my friends as my treasures.

By the way, Billy, am I the 1st woman participant for your web page?    Best,   Ming 武明賢

p.s.  A brief auto-bio – Came to US before I graduated from McTyeire high school in Shanghai. Graduated with BA from U of Wisc.  Came to NYC – worked as assistant to Vogue Feature Editor Allene Talmey;  attended Cooper Union arch. evening school; attended & graduated from Yale Arch 1962.  After Yale, form Hsien Inc. as president, in real estate; and maintained independent arch practice.  Now, retired with son & daughter, grand son and grand daughter; and dogs and cat, and shamelessly bragging about having all my kids under the same roof – a typical, Chinese family compound.

p.p.s.  Your brother John lived here with us for a few years too