of mice and minds

A short note of the day.

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Recently, I came across a children's tale Frederick about a mouse with the same name. It was written more than fifty years ago by Leo Lionni and follows a group of mice that, on lush summer meadows, play and gather supplies for the coming winter days.

All but Frederick. He is sitting idlily, eyes closed, collecting sun rays. His gaze wanders gently across the poppy fields and meadows absorbing the colors of the late summer. On the way, he finds the words for poems that paint the lightness of being. 

In winter, the grey rests heavily on the mice. And the supplies are soon no more. As it gets cold, Frederick summons the warmth of the sun. As colors seem to fade, he speaks of red, green, and yellow. As voices dry up, his poems come forth.

I guess this story resonates quite nicely with certain facets of leadership and the power of narratives. Much has been written and said about the existential paralysis and gloom the pandemic has produced. I will not add to that. But in the face of it, it showed individual sublimation as self-defence and the collective potential for something new.

Julian Pallinger

Student, The University of Hong Kong

Hi there! I'm Julian, an economics student at the University of Hong Kong and new Laidlaw scholar. Originally, I planned to work on developmental economics, more specifically on the developmental opportunities and challenges of the Rwandan metal industry, but these plans have been cancelled due to COVID-19. Thus, I have switched to working in international trade by trying to better understand global value chains as they relate to trade and in extension to economic growth. Apart from study, I like to discuss politics and philosophy, play ultimate frisbee, dance salsa, hike, cycle, and read fiction.