By Billy Lee – Feb. 2022

A recent post, “ It Takes Character To Apologize After 70+ Years” taught me a lesson and made me feeling more Hopeful & Encouraged. Yes, we have all made mistakes , but mistakes can be corrected. Feelings may have been hurt, but Good Feelings can be reinstated. Recognizing one’s own mistakes comes with experience and learning – sometimes enlightened by other people we trust. To apologize and offer amends shows maturity and indeed wisdom. Carrying a deep sense of guilt for any length of time is burdensome – not possibly enjoyable.

Sometimes we have hurt people without knowing so. Sometimes even good intentions bring unintended and not very good results. Often we react too quickly and most of the time we don’t take time to choose the most appropriate way to respond.

Two weeks ago, as my two adult sons came to dinner, I learned from them something unbelievable about myself. “ Dad, you were really blunt and demeaning to your Architectural assistants, when you had your practice at home. We heard it all. It wasn’t just once or twice ! “

Wow, I couldn’t believe that I was so unkind, but I could not deny that I had reprimanded the young assistants often and emphatically to drill deep my complaints. I had yelled “Stupid ! Have you no brains ?” Truly, I thought I was doing them a favor, but I did not do it the right way. Truly, I did not intend to hurt them, but I should have realized that the way I treated them was insensitive and inconsiderate. It could have hurt deeply as my two adult sons now assured me. I truly need to apologize to my young assistants – sincerely, most regrettably – belately – now after 30+ years.

I have been on the receiving side myself. My French teacher had called me, “Impossible ! Imbecile !” in front of the class. My mother had given me “Chestnut strikes” on my head how many times I don’t remember. Certain schoolmates had taunted me because I was Chinese and I was skinny with yellow skin. Fortunately, I am not a grudgingly sensitive person. I never considered myself a victim, and I found wonderful qualities from the same people after we got to know each other better.
Being kind of naïve is my real blessing. Forgiveness just comes naturally for me. It has served me well. Indeed, in today’s world we really need more tolerance and forgiveness. Apologies are not effective if the other side is not willing to forgive. Apologies surely will not be accepted if there is no trust in its sincerity.

Indeed, I must thank my nurse maid who told me about Guan Yin (觀音) , the Goddess of Mercy , when I was a child in China.


To Promote Friendship be a Friend 君子之交

10″ DOS” reach out & Be A Friend         交好友的十条

Be joyful & encouraging                  要快乐和鼓舞

Be trustworthy & reliable                 要忠诚和信赖

Be open & tolerant                      要坦诚和容忍

Be patient & calm                      要耐心和平静

Be considerate & respectful              要理解和尊重

Be humble & willing to apologize          要谦恭和乐于抱歉

Be caring & engaging                    要关心和奉献

Be sincere & loyal                      要真诚和忠心

Be smart but also kind                  要精明和和蔼

Be generous ,unselfish, & willing to forgive  要宽宏大量和无私, 原谅

10 “DON’TS” stirring up fear, suspicion, anger, & resentment  交友应避免的十条

DON’T be indifferent, passive & not caring          不要不感兴趣,被动和不关心

DON’T be self-righteous, arrogant & demeaning     不要狂妄自大 和 贬低, 贬损

DON’T be disrespectful and inflexible              不要不尊重和固执

DON’T be humorous while hurting other’s pride    不要因幽默而损害他人的自尊

DON’T be a bully  (only feared but never loved)       不要 恃强凌弱 以大欺小

DON’T be carelessly critical & insulting             不要漫不经心的批评和侮辱

DON’T be pretentious or cynical                  不要自命不凡和冷嘲热讽

DON’T expect others to change instantly         不要期望他人即刻改变

DON’T expect others to agree on everything      不要期望他人同意所有的事情

DON’T let a small difference turn into hatred   不要因一点小小的分歧而变为憎恨

Billy Lee’s Friendship Fan   Designed with help from Allan Chou



Classmate George wrote to fellow classmate Walter::

Dear Walter,
Billy copied me on your email information about Andover’s motto: “NON SIBI”.                                  I Ihave lived since Andover with the guilt of my reprehensible behavior Lower year in Salisbury house. Thanks to Billy, I have a chance to apologize. No excuses! I’m sure Suds would join me.

We were so full of ourselves, there was little room on several occasions, to act in what became and was and is, civil and friendly behavior. I’ve lived with the guilt ever since.
Your story parallels the history of other classmates. Believe it or not, I’m a published author as of 2015, a far cry from my interest back then.
I understand completely the reason we have lost contact. I hope it’s not too late to make amends.
I’m attaching “Some Enchanted Afternoon”. We are living in Essex, Ct.

Walter replied:

Dear George:  Your memory is better than mine. I remember there was something in Salisbury House, but that’s all: details rubbed away. 
I do remember that Bob Thompson lived across the hall from me that year at Andover; for many of the years I’ve been at Yale, he was master of Tim. Dwight College, one block away from my house. Our paths very occasionally crossed. RIP. You can catch up with me in Wikipedia.  No amends needed.

Best regards,  Walter



Mike Fink came to Rhode Island School of Design in 1957 out of Yale with an AMT from Harvard as a Brown graduate student. The English department had an established curriculum of freshman and sophomore requirements in American Literature, World Literature and Freshman Composition. As electives replaced those courses general to all area faculty, he taught a course on the new diverse voices of minorities. That option grew into his Jewish Narrative class. The RISD Film Society turned into his Hollywood History class, and eventually his freshman sections metamorphosed into his Journalism workshop

Mike Fink wrote: “i met billy ming-sing in 1951, our freshman year at yale, class of 1955.  i invited him home to providence, r.i. that first thanksgiving.  he came, brought charming gifts  (a box of chinese tea and a lounge robe.  which i wore and kept and then gave away to a lovely girl who said no to me and turned into a vanished dream.  many decades later at a reunion i asked billy what he could recall of that event and he said “nothing” but then proceeded to join me in a loyal bond with the very idea of yale nostalgia.  and now, we are the bookends, the pillars, of our vanishing class roster.  we are survivors and somehow beyond friendship it has become a symbolic and “existential”  (i use that word loosely, perhaps privately, maybe as the poetic credo of our generation, in some way) bond.  i have many chinese students at the r.i. school of design, and i have a special good will toward them and keep in touch long, long after their commencements as their alum status transforms into a wine of good will and even a kind of intimacy.  currently i have an alum and former t.a. named yifan du in china who told me i inspired him to try to teach as i do.  i know profoundly my own failures and inadequacies, but his faith in me stands for the way friendship works.  brings out the best along with the small and humble virtues of gratitude, respect, good will, and provides a needed comfort in these times of distancing and doubting.  anyway, if this does manage to reach you, thank you so very much, billy, for staying with me ! 

i am currently the longest serving faculty member in the history of RISD (Rhode Island School of Design )  i came as an instructor in 1957 and have not quite yet retired, although i believe that by the time my present elective classes will reach semester end in may,  my final accounting will be to gather up my souvenirs, books, and assorted paintings and framed sketches from my marvelous office salon and find someplace to pile them up.  then what? shall i live out my allotment of years among the crates and shelves and with my wife’s impatience with the heap of histories,…or will the gods figure out something surprising for me?  dunno.  my only travels to china were by way of hong kong, where i spent a sabbatical semester, or part of it, offering to the baptist college there how to gather the best dvd movies from the hollywood of my/our generation, featuring portraits of china.   oil for the lamps of  china.  the bitter tea of general yen.  (frank capra film with barbara stanwyck and nils asther  (i think) )  and a number of others…..hoped to make it to the jewish town of kaifeng to “research” the connection between the silk road communities of a lost tribe of israel and now the visits of students to reconnect these chapters.    hey i didn”t mean to go on and on,  once you reach a certain age you tend to over-answer simple questions, so i’ll stop here for now   i have taught bird watching, documentary film-making, and “journalism”–for six decades and more.

forgot to include the flick  “the painted veil” with greta garbo and herbert marshall and george brent.  taken from a somerset maugham story    among the dvd choices i asked the hong kong baptist college to add to their new collection of hollywood’s evolution, politically, toward china.  in the dramatic years of the 1930s into the 1940s.  oh i could go on and on about that,  but i will spare you for now.  i did visit the hotel in hong kong where somerset maugham kept his social set lively …”


Be Friendly.

Simple practices for resilient happiness from Rick Hanson, PhD

Copied by Billy Lee – January 2022


Friendliness is a down-to-earth approach to others that is welcoming and positive.Think about a time when someone was friendly to you – maybe drawing you into a gathering, saying hello on the sidewalk, or smiling from across the room. How did that make you feel? Probably more included, comfortable, and at ease; safer; more open and warm-hearted.
When you are friendly to others, you offer them these same benefits. Plus you get rewarded yourself. Being friendly feels confident and happy, with a positive take on other people, moving toward the world instead of backing away from it. And it encourages others to be less guarded or reactive with you since you’re answering the ancient question from millions of years of evolution – friend or foe? – with an open hand and heart.

In its own quiet way, ordinary friendliness takes a stand that is almost subversive these days: that the world has many more opportunities than threats, that most people want the best for others, that simple informal human connections tie this battered old planet together much more than jumbo corporations or mass media flickering on the walls of our upholstered caves.

You can be friendly with intimates and strangers, co-workers and in- laws, babies and bosses – even those you know only in the abstract, like people on the other side of the world. Of course, it is not always appropriate to be friendly with someone, such as to an adversary or to someone who would misunderstand you. But opportunities for greater friendliness are probably all around you this week.

To warm up your brain’s circuits of friendliness, you could try one or more of these: Recall being with someone who cares about you.Remember when someone was friendly to you.Bring to mind a time when you were friendly to someone.Get a sense of the posture, movements, gestures, and facial   expressions of a person you know who is naturally friendly. Relax your body into a feeling of friendliness: leaning forward a   little, rather than back; softening and opening your chest, face,   and eyes; breathing goodwill in and out.
Then look for everyday opportunities to be friendly. Often you will just give a smile, handshake, or nod – and that is plenty. Maybe it’s offering a few minutes to talk. Or a morning hug or goodnight kiss. Or an extra touch of warmth in an email.

Stretch yourself, but stay within the range of whatever is authentic. Remember that friendliness is not agreement or approval; it does not mean you have given up on whatever your stances may be in the relationship. Friendliness does not equal friendship; in truth, most relationships are with friendly acquaintances.

Consider your family and friends. What about being more friendly with your lover or mate? Having worked with couples for many years, it’s painful to see how often basic friendliness is a casualty in a long- term relationship. Or being more friendly toward parents, siblings – or your own children? Again, it’s startling how easily friendliness can be crowded out of our most important relationships by busyness, little irritations and hurts, or weariness from working too hard. But bits of friendliness, sprinkled here and there, can be absolutely transformational in a relationship. Try it and see!

Also, consider being friendlier toward people you might normally ignore or treat with distance, even coolness. Such as wait staff in restaurants, someone shuttling you to the airport, or – breaking the big taboo – strangers in an elevator.

Last and not least, there is friendliness toward animals (“great and small, seen and unseen, omitting none” ) . . . plants . . . your body . . . and yourself. Even friendliness toward inanimate objects: greeting the door before you open it, the ground about to meet your feet; not slamming the drawer in, but instead wishing it well; welcoming the cup rising to your lips.

See what happens. Take in the rewards, like one small log after another, fueling that warm glowing fire on the hearth in your heart.
Know Someone Who Could Use More Friendliness ?        Share this Just One Thing practice with them!     ___________________________________________________


Ancient Chinese Quotes on Friendship

—  与其得小人,不如交愚人。 作者:(宋) 司马光

Better befriend a Fool than a “Small Immoral Person”.       Author: (Song Dynasty)  Sima Guang

 —  君子不镜于水,而镜于人。镜于水,见而之容;   镜于人,  则知凶与吉.  作者: 墨翟 

“Gentleman” does not look at water, but looks at people. Look at the water, you can see what’s there;  look at people, you see the evil and the good.   Author: Mo Di

—  以权利合者,权尽而交疏。 作者:(汉) 司马迁

Joining purely to gain power and advantage, eventually brings conflict and confusion.  Author: (Han) Sima Qian

—大凡敦厚忠信,能攻吾过者,益友也; 其诌媚轻薄,傲慢亵狎,导人为恶者, 损友也。 作者: 朱熹                      

Those who are honest, loyal and can point out my faults are Good Friends, indeed. Those who are flattering and frivolous, arrogant and obscene, leading others to evil, are in fact Harmful Friends.    Author: Zhu Xi

 —   宴笑友朋多,患难知交寡。 作者:(清) 蒲松龄

Many friends laugh and have fun together. Only crisis reveals true Friendship.    Author: (Qing) Pu Songling

—   当路谁相假,知音世所稀。 作者:(唐) 孟浩然

Who is there to help promote me along the way? Very few people truly understand me.  Author: (Tang) Meng Haoran

—   文士满华堂,不如一直友。  作者: 吴喜纪

Many scholarly exchangers not equivalent to one straight forward friend.   Author: Wu Xiji

—-  黄金万两容易得 知心一个也难求《红楼梦》

Large quantity of Gold is easier to acquire. Finding one Truly Understanding Friend is difficult,  From: “Dream of the Red Chamber”

— 士有妒友,则贤交不亲,君有妨臣,则贤臣不至。作者:荀况      

If a scholar has questionable friends, the virtuous ones will not come near. If the monarch has unworthy ministers, the virtuous ones will hesitate to join. ”    Author: Xun Kuang

—  君子居人间则治,小人居人间则乱。君子欲和人      ,譬犹水火不相能然也,而 鼎在其间,水火不乱,乃和百味是以君子不可不慎择人在其间。 作者: 刘向            

The “Gentleman” brings order to the world, while the “Little One” lives in chaos. The “Gentleman” seeks harmony with people even when water and fire are not compatible, In this tripod, water and fire are not chaotic, but are in harmony under all conditions. The “Gentleman” truly can not disregard his responsibility in between.     Author: Liu Xiang

—  朋友,以义合者。 作者: 朱熹

Friends, brought together via righteousness. ( That is Yi Qi.)       Author: Zhu Xi

—   交得其道,千里同好,固于胶漆,坚于金石。  作者: 谯周

True Bonding, a thousand miles apart, firm as enduring paint, solid as gold and stone.   Author: Qiao Zhou

—  浅近轻浮莫与交。 作者: 贯休

Don’t make FRIENDS with the frivolous.             Author: Guan Xiu

—  世事短如春梦,人情薄似秋云。作者:(明) 郑之珍

World events short like spring dreams. Human relations thin like an autumn cloud.          Author: (Ming) Zheng Zhizhen

—  人之相知,贵在知心  作者: 李陵

To really know each other, key is in knowing each other’s heart .      Author: Li Ling

— 志合者,不以山海为远;  道乖者,不以咫尺为近          作者: 葛洪

People who value Friendship and Bonding do not allow mountains and seas become obstructive distance ; those who are wise, do not take proximity for granted. Author: Ge Hong

—  近朱者赤,近墨者黑。 作者: 傅玄

Stay close to Red (or Good) one becomes Red . Stay close to Black (or Bad) one becomes Black.     Author: Fu Xuan

—  势利之交,难以经远。 作者:(三国) 诸葛亮

Friendship based on power and personal benefits can not last long.      Author: (Three Kingdoms) Zhu Ge Liang


HAPPY THANKSGIVING 2021 from Billy Lee 李名信

Thank you, Dear Friends, who help sustain my Hopes as always. Must share some Good News with you – see below: 

NATIONAL CONVENTION AWARDS – USCPFA from john marienthal to uscpfa-southbay@googlegroups.com


Our national convention just finished. Two people were recognized for special awards. The late Gerry Low Sabado for promoting friendship on the regional level and  Billy Lee receiving the National Friendship Leadership award for his work in developing Friendshipology . This was the 20th national convention. We are hoping to be able to send the link out soon for the entire convention as it was recorded.


Indeed, Expressing Gratitude is not to close a chapter, but to generate more Hope and more Dedication to Building Good Feelings among us.



BILLY’S HOPE : ” A Call For An International and Cross-Cultural Institute on Friendshipology “ an article published in Women of China magazine, August 2016 issue and the very early fifth article in <https:friendshipology.net>


3 Emotional Intelligence Tips to Help You Collaborate Better by Michael Miller @ Six Seconds

Have you ever worked with someone with whom you just didn’t click?
It’s one of the most common and difficult challenges people face at
work. While it will inevitably arise, our choices matter in how we
respond — it can worsen over time and make you, them and others
miserable, or it can lead to growth and learning, improving your
ability to work with all types of people. The key difference is engaging
with emotional intelligence.
Here are 3 emotional intelligence tips to collaborate with a coworker
you don’t click with:

  1. 1. Make them good.
    Just to clarify, it’s not possible – or your responsibility – to make your coworkers “good” in the sense of changing them. “Make them good” means
    shifting your perspective away from just thinking negatively about them. There’s a phrase I came across years ago that helps me on this shift toward positivity, whenever I am frustrated by a coworker. The phrase: Everyone is doing the best they can with the awareness, knowledge and experiences that they have. It’s true even when someone’s behavior negatively impacts you – makes your life difficult, or miserable, or drives you nuts… they are doing the best they can with the awareness, knowledge and experiences that they have. That doesn’t mean it can’t or won’t change, of course. It also doesn’t mean you can’t communicate, or set boundaries and expectations. It just means that they are doing the best they can right now. When we accept that, and make them good, that’s the first step toward getting out of this cycle of negativity and maybe even becoming real allies.
  2. Suggestion: Try to shift from judgment to curiosity. Instead of statements like,
  3. “John is always so negative,” try asking questions like, “I wonder why John tends to respond negatively in x situations?” Be careful that your language doesn’t describe people’s faults as permanent characteristics – there’s ample
  4. research that people can change – even deeply embedded patterns. Even still, we often speak as if there’s absolutely no possibility of change, which itself is an impediment to change.
  1. 2. Bring awareness to your bias.
    In this context, I am referring to your confirmation bias, the basic psychological
    tendency to perceive information that confirms what we already believe to be
    true. In spite of our best efforts, we’re not objective. Everyone suffers from
    confirmation bias, whether we’re aware of it or not. We see and hear what we
    expect / want to see and hear, based on our previous knowledge and
    expectations. This is quite literally wired into our brains: we create “reality”
    through a combination of our senses – what we’re perceiving now, and our
    memory and previous experiences. But there are actually way more neural
    connections running from memory than from perception. Of all the stimulus that comes upon our eyes, ears and noses every day, we consciously take in about 1% of it. In a world full of complexity, this is a shortcut the brain takes to work efficiently and save energy. We’re always filtering; we have to. But this can create a vicious cycle with coworkers we don’t click with, because we tend to interpret their words and actions more critically than we would others’ words and actions. We may hear them, but through a lens of past hurts and disappointments. When we bring awareness to this tendency, however, we can actively work to compensate for it and make sure we’re giving everyone a fair shot.
  2. Suggestion: If a coworker you struggle with says or does something that you
  3. interpret as a slight, or criticism, ask for clarification. There’s often a gap between what people mean to relay and how others interpret it, especially when there’s a history of animosity, and the bridge between the two is honest and open communication.
  1. 3. Find ways to be successful together.
    I’m very conflict avoidant. Just pretend like it doesn’t exist and everything’s fine! The only problem with that strategy is there will come a time when you will have to work together, and if you haven’t built up any trust – or worse, built up mistrust – that is not an ideal starting point. It could even be on an important, high stakes project! An alternative solution? Look for ways to be successful together, then celebrate those successes and try to build off of them. Take the initiative to “win” together and build at least a little of that trust with low stakes.
    Suggestion: Choose a small project to do together, or seek them out to help with
    a component of something you’re working on. Then celebrate the success, express genuine gratitude, and try to cultivate the positive feelings that may have been hard to come by in your relationship so far. It’s tempting to think of emotions as something that happens to us – and in some sense, they are – but we also have the power to create emotions.

Collaborate Better with Emotional Intelligence
Emotional intelligence is being smarter with feelings. It’s bringing thoughts and
feelings together in a healthier, more productive manner. I hope you find these
tips to be a helpful way to shift the emotional dynamics in a positive direction.
All 3 of these tips fall under the Choose Yourself part of the Six Seconds Model of Emotional Intelligence.

BILLY’ COMMENTS – Nov. 10, 2021 :
Friendshipology is the study of the Art & Science in Making Friends and Building Friendship. Friendship and Friends indeed should not be taken for granted. Trust we must develop, and ideally our Love extends beyond just a small selected circle.
Michael Miller’s and Six Seconds’ efforts in trying to enlighten us all are indeed deeply appreciated. Many thanks, Michael, for allowing me to publish your article here !

“MISSION” – “HUNT’ – “MATCH” –are Amalia Dea Lencis’s favorite words as her PHOTO-ART reaches out to EMBRACE THE WORLD with JOY & LOVE

Berlin: element of the “broken chain” steel sculpture and.. Renzo Piano’s Debis building
Venice : lagoon waters – elements of Venetian carnival and architecture
New York : Callas Dancing with Windows
China, Yunnan Water festival: girls dancing by a pond and a banana leaf
Egypt : human “shadow” facing “Eternity” as Pharoah Ramses
Sri Lanka: Amalia self portrait ( one of her first embraces )

” The drive, inspiring the mission of freelance travel-writer and photographer, stemmed from my desire to scout, embrace  the beautiful pleats of the world and pass their fragrant intimacy in words and images … (So far, eyes and heart have embraced some 65 countries, their charm visualized in hundreds of reportings– photo essays, signed Amalia Pellegrini,  full bred Italian heritage)

Along the way an  accident  drove photo-journalist Amalia  to develop, embrace  a new mission, with a new name: Amalia Dea Lencis.
It happened in Upper Egypt,  at Karnak, by the Nile.

When taking pictures of Ramses Pharaoh’s temple,  a fault in the camera Nikon F,  caused the over-exposure of the  films, hence useless  for any magazine editor.

Nevertheless I did not throw the films away . Actually they inspired my 3rd eye to explore, one by one,

by hand-lens, the hundreds of over-exposed slides laid on the light-table. 

Hence I started  a challenging, intuitive multi hours HUNT… seeking, selecting,  overlaying the slides .

I was emotionally over whelmed whenever  the “match” ( just one slide over the other ! ) visualized a composition as an  alchemic synthesis, an architecture of elements beyond imagination… 
Actually a vision whose  elements connect, entangle  in a harmonious,  unpredictable  embrace..

Today  artist  Amaliaoverlays  the photos of her digital camera  with a  digital tool. Nevertheless  it’s still  and always her 3rd eye that plays the rhythm, leads the  dance, composes …”just  Embrace”.

My challenging Hunt, creative Pleasure, world-wide  Mission is  still in  progress…

by Ramses accident ?.

Amalia Dea Lencis  8/8/2021


“ HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JEAN “ a poem by my sister MLK ( Merle Lee Kwong )


My sister, Merle, apparently enjoyed The Atlantic’s Friendship-Files,

I send her. She wrote back to me this morning :

Hi Née Goo goo  ( No. 2 Brother ) ,

Writing really helps to express what is at times hard to express verbally to others 

Many years ago I wrote this to wish my best friend Jean , Happy Birthday .

She was an avid gardener and a wonderful, wonderful person .

She died just two months ago .

We became close friends after meeting at the hospital where I am at now – as volunteers 26 years-ago .  In the later years We both were tied to our homes because of caring for our husbands. We wrote to each everyday till she passed away.

Finally , now I get to enjoy wiggling my toes without any pain, and they are shipping me out to rehab this morning .  Where I hope to stay as long as I can and get the benefits of daily therapies. 

Thank you for sending me the friendship file     MLK ( from the hospital )


This is for my friend , Jean.
She nourishes all seeds she sown.
And smiles , while watching them grow.

My friend Jean .
Seeds to Grow

Spring is in full flirt mode.
Springs on us , in one deft move.
A surprise, long awaited.
Much to do.
Much to enjoy.

A new sun , dazzles the fleeting mist.
A flash of rain , clears the air.
Earth warms.
A welcomed bode for nature’s growth.

Last year’s daffodils , nodding to the sweet breeze.
Wild weeds sprout, intruding the tilted soil.
Let us weed , to make room for the better.
Even though, they too, are plants of nature.

Calendar in hand.
Almanac a ready.
Gardening gloves on and we are ready.
Seeds of spinach, lettuce, sprinkled on fresh soil.
Bulbs of garlic, beets and potatoes nestled deep.
Multiple seeds planted to harvest and to enrich.

Grow ! Grow ! Grow !

Wait !  Other seeds , she sows…..as well.
She sows seeds of kindness.
She sows seeds of joy.
She sows seed of friendship.
Let these seeds be blessed as well, by sharing.

Sow ! Sow! Sow!