Franklin resident Yu-long Ling says he is in the third stage of his intellectual career.
The first was composed of his studies in Taiwan and the United States and his first 10 years of teaching at Franklin College.
“I read and studied other textbooks and materials, sharing the theories with my students and parroting these ideas to my colleagues,” Ling writes in his 2003 book “American Society Through Confucian Eyes.”
The second stage involved digesting the knowledge he had acquired. During this period, he published more than 50 academic articles and three textbooks.
Now in the third stage, Ling said he is exploring the complexities of human relations. One of the ways he has explored these issues is through a regular newspaper column, which he has written since the early 1980s.
A regular theme has been to examine similarities and differences in societies and cultures, not to measure one against another but to enlighten his readers and to give them a new perspective.
His newspaper columns have resulted in a pair of published collections, but Ling admits that writing the column was a new challenge when he started. One of those challenges was length.
Ling said he was used to writing academic papers, in which length was seldom a problem. He was able to explore an issue as deeply as he wanted or felt was necessary.
“But learning to write in so limited a space for the newspaper proved a great challenge,” he said recently. “In the beginning I gave my columns to colleagues to help polish them.”