Updated: Jun 5
By Noelle Xie (USA) | 作者：谢可纬
Noelle Xie is the first Chinese-American woman awarded the highest honor by France “Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur”. She is a global advocate for sustainable development and a curator of contemporary art. Noelle works with the United Nations, the US Department of State and the US-China Museum Summit. She mobilizes resources and establishes public-private partnerships to support global health and education. Fluent in English, French and Chinese, Noelle is a champion of multilingualism and multiculturalism in civilization dialogue and cultural/art exchanges. She speaks worldwide on philanthropy and impact investment, fashion and women’s leadership, UN and SDGs. Graduated from Paris -Sorbonne Law School, Noelle started her career at UN, worked for UNICEF and WHO in New York, Geneva and across Africa.
For more information, please visit https://cultbytes.com/noelle-xie-awarded-legion-dhonneur/
Around March and April, several journalists in New York and Paris have interviewed me through telephone and social media about the health crisis. To be honest, I was not enthusiastic to talk about this issue since I left WHO long time ago. I am not a government official today nor a pandemic expert, I just follow daily and instant news like everybody else. One reporter has really insisted, so I said: “Well, I am not a virus specialist, I do not want to mislead the audience, maybe I can share some of my thoughts on health and immunity”. So here we are.
最近几个月，有几位来自纽约和巴黎的记者, 就全球健康危机话题对我进行采访。 说实话, 自从我离开世卫组织后，我不怎么热衷于谈论这类话题。今天的我既不是政府官员，也不是流行病学专家，和其他人一样，我不过是每天关注下新闻和时事。有位记者坚持提问，我就说：“我不是病毒专家，我不想误导大众，也许我可以分享一些自己对健康和免疫的想法”。现在我们就来具体谈一谈。
Noelle & President Macron @ One Planet Summit, Paris.
Amb. Delattre conferring Légion d’Honneur medal to Noelle
Recently, colleagues and friends have talked about their lockdown experiences. The health crisis in Europe and America seems to be endless. Nobody can predict the future. I rather remain optimistic, hoping that the peak of pandemic will be over soon, and the future will be brighter, perhaps another kind of future? Politicians are talking about restructuring of the world and the new global order. The geopolitical situation is changing while countries are facing this unprecedented crisis. It is a war against an invisible enemy, there is no historical experience for reference. Who can predict the future? What will the world look like in 10 years or 20 years?
最近，同事们和朋友们都在交流自己对于禁闭的感受。欧美各国的卫生危机似乎遥遥无期。没有人能准确地预测未来。我更愿意保持相对乐观, 希望危机高峰尽快过去，未来更加光明，或许我们将迎来的是另一种未来? 政客们在讨论世界格局重整和全球新秩序。在各国面临这场前所未有的卫生挑战之时，全球政治形势也在发生急速变化。这是一场与隐形敌人的战争，没有历史经验可循。谁能预测未来？谁又能想像今后10年或20年世界会是什么样？
First I cherish the good old days, we live and work carefree, travel around the world, explore nature and environment, discover culture and civilization. In retrospective, I have been quite active for over 20 years. Going to global summits, international forums, cultural & sports events, art exhibitions & art fairs, operas & concerts, film festivals, fashion shows and the Olympics... It was great fun to meet inspiring world leaders and celebrities, I also enjoy interacting with interesting people from different walks of life... All of these suddenly stopped in 2020, human beings are forced motionless. it seems that no genius scientist has predicted, nor any government leader has warned the world in time.
首先，我珍惜以前度过的美好时光，我们无忧无虑地生活和工作，环游世界，探索大自然，享受文化与文明。回顾一下近20年, 我挺活跃潇洒。参加全球峰会，国际论坛，大型文化和体育活动，无数艺术展览和艺博会，歌剧和音乐会，还有电影节，时装秀和奥运会等等...... 和那些有趣有智慧的世界领导及公众人物见面沟通还真是挺棒的特殊经历，我也喜欢和来自不同领域的有意思的人交流互动…… 所有这一切启迪灵感的人类盛会突然在2020年中止了，我们被迫进入静止状态。似乎没有哪个天才科学家预料到，也没有政府首脑及时警告全世界。
Noelle @ Celebration of Francophonie with UNSG Guterres
Noelle @ Asia Society Gala, Amb. Negroponte & Dir. Zhang
The pandemic has given us more time to think and reflect. In the process of globalization, our society has become highly commercialized and materialized, capitalism has developed to the extreme. What is the real meaning of life? How does economic development translate into spiritual value and health benefit? How do human beings live in harmony with nature? While we are pursuing our purpose in life, we need to be kind to ourselves, kind to each other, and kind to the environment. When people are full of love and energy, we can be more creative, productive and magnanimous. Around end of each year, we exchange greeting and Christmas cards wishing each other happy and healthy. If Happiness and Health are the ultimate goals, is it worth to sacrifice both for economic success?
Spring in Central Park
Cute Racoon out in the daylight
Since my return to New York from Europe mid-March, the pandemic has been impacting the whole world. It has driven me to think more about health and self-immunity. I believe in the theory of herd immunity and self resistance to fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. How to improve wellness and self-immunity? I can think of making my diet healthier, eating and drinking more green and organic, having a more relaxed schedule, walking the stairs instead of taking elevator, doing regular exercise as I often go strolling in Central Park these days. It is such a pleasure to discover those little corners that I never paid attention before. As my mind becoming more peaceful while rambling around Central Park, I am developing a deeper connection with the surrounding nature, I started to enjoy more the shape of trees and rocks, the color and smell of spring flowers, the movement of little animals, the rippling lakes and gurgling streams ... the world has become more beautiful in front of my eyes: humanity in harmony with environment.
自三月中旬我从欧洲返回纽约以来，新冠病毒己漫延至整个世界。它促使我更多地思考健康和自我免疫。我相信群体免疫和自身抵抗力的理论。怎样增强健康和自身免疫力呢？我想可以让自己的饮食结构更健康，更多食用绿色和有机食品，作息更合理，走楼梯而不搭电梯，坚持锻炼，比如这几个月我经常在中央公园散步。公园漫步时, 我的心神更加安定，和周围的自然环境一草一木建立起更紧密的联结，我开始欣赏树木和岩石的形状，仔细观察春天花朵的香味和颜色，各类小动物的动作，还有湖泊荡漾溪流潺潺…... 整个世界在我眼前一下子变得更美了: 人类与环境和谐共处。
With regard to the virus prevention, what can we do ? keeping social distance, wearing masks, washing hands, reducing outdoor activities, canceling meetings or parties; what else? The rest is probably beyond our control. Why worry about the outside environment and air circulation? The art of life lies in motion, each and everyone is more or less likely to come across the virus. The key is our self-immunity, building our resistance and physical wellness to overcome the infection of all viruses and bacteria. This is a long-term effort, it is not just limited within the period of this pandemic. Another aspect is to maintain a positive and optimistic attitude, keep self healthy emotionally and spiritually. Mental health and physical health reinforce each other. Even during challenging times, we should still try to make our life happy and meaningful.
Noelle @ WHA 2017 with newly elected WHO DG Tedros
UNIADS Gala @ Art Basel with UN USG Sidibé & Mandela
How do we fulfill our life during the pandemic? Of course, our values, interests, hobbies and life experiences are different. I'd like to share some of my daily routine. I usually read international and domestic news online, watch TV including both left and right-wing media in the US, CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News, as well as TF1 and BBC in Europe. I follow some major figures and celebrities' social media through Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, such as Trump, Macron, Putin, Johnson, Trudeau, Clintons, Guterres from the UN, WHO's Tedros, British Royals, women leaders Lagarde and Von der Leyen, and also following important artists and designers like Jeff Koons, Jean-Michel Jarre, Yoko Ono, DVF, etc. That being said, I do not always agree with these personalities, but I can not neglect their power or their influence on the global scale.
在流行病肆虐期间，我们怎样才能让自己的生活更加充实？当然，每个人的价值观、兴趣爱好和人生经历有所不同，我想分享一下自己的日常生活，仅供参考。我通常在线上阅读国际和国内新闻，收看欧洲和美国左右翼电视台的新闻，象CNN, MSNBC, FOX新闻，欧洲的法国电视一台TF1和英国BBC。当然也看中国电视新闻。我会在推特，脸书，和Instagram上关注一些重要领导人和世界名人的言论，比如特朗普、马克龙、普京、约翰逊、特鲁多、克林顿、联合国秘书长古特雷斯，世卫组织总干事谭徳塞, 还有英国皇室成员，另外也跟踪一些重要艺术家的社交媒体, 比如 杰夫昆世, 让-米歇尔 雅尔，小野洋子，时尚设计师DVF等等。关注这些公众人物，并不意味着我总是赞同他们的观点，但我不能忽视他们在全球范围的影响力和权威性。
I have more time to listen to classical music and opera during these quiet days, and read those books and articles that I usually ignore. It is also a good time to change some old habits to keep a more balanced schedule. I try to maintain virtual communication with few core friends. Thanks to modern technology, it facilitates our interaction with families and friends around the world. What ultimately brings us together are our common values and interests. How to reach inner peace in a stressful chaotic environment? I joined a virtual spiritual retreat with my former UN colleagues recently. It has been an enriching and interesting process. I have learned to look life as a whole and all life as one. This spiritual journey has reaffirmed my life motto “ live in the present”. It has enlightened the true purpose of my life. As the spiritual mantra illustrates: when we are motived by love, our action is in harmony with the universe, following the cosmic order, all is well and all can be done.
在这段安静的日子里，我有更多的时间欣赏经典音乐和歌剧，阅读那些我曾忽略的书籍和文章。这也是改掉旧习惯, 建立均衡日程的好时机。我喜欢和几个核心的朋友保持线上联络。多亏了现代科技，让我们和世界各地的家人与朋友的交流更便捷了。说到底，能把我们最终凝聚在一起的是共同的价值观和兴趣爱好。 我非常珍惜能与我精神共鸣深入沟通的几位知心朋友。怎样在充满压力的混乱环境中保持内心的平和？我最近和前联合国同事们参加了一个虚拟的精神静修。那个过程让人受益匪浅, 也不姑燥。我领悟了将生命视为一个综合体，并将所有生命视为一个聚合整体。这个灵修之旅再次验证了我信奉的“活在当下”这一人生格言，它启示了我们的人生真谛。正如灵修的核心阐述, 当我们所有动机出于大爱博爱, 生活得真实自然，我们的行为行动与周围环境大千世界和谐一致，即符合天势地理人和, 那么遵寻宇宙定律, 我们就会一切顺利, 心想事成, 幸福成功。
Noelle, Armstrong & DSL @US-China Museum Summit, New York
Noelle’s @ opening of an art show curated by herself
What about Art these days? Art is a vital part of my life. As a curator of contemporary art, I am trying to bring art to lives and bring life to art. It is a wonderful and exciting experience to discover a new creation and emerging artists, and share their artworks with the public. Especially during difficult times, we need Art more than ever. Art is not just hanging there to decorate, great art can be a mirror to reflect, and to inspire. In the history of mankind, art has played a leading role in social movement and global transform. Art has definitely made our world a better place. I hope more and more people are sharing our love and passion for art, art and artists need your enthusiasm and support.
It is hard to predict the future of art and art platforms. Hopefully museums, galleries, auction houses, and art fairs will be open soon and resume their activities. Personally, I would like to see the art and feel the art myself, it is completely a different experience to view the art online. Although there are more virtual art exhibitions and online art transactions these days, I still look forward to the grand opening day when we can all get out, to view the artworks on the spot, and have personal interaction with art and artist. Art might go on differently, but art will go on eternally.
Finally, I would like to emphasize anti-discrimination. Some negative words about the pandemic are quite worrisome and lack of scientific basis. For example, the Covid-19 will persist in the body and turn into a chronicle disease, or the virus will continue to infect other organs and spread all over human body. Some even suggest that we should avoid contact with those who have already recovered. As we know, the virus has infected many people including government leaders and celebrities. Should we ask all of them to be isolated indefinitely? I reiterate self-immunity and healthy living. When our spirit is high, our resistance is strong, we shall be able to beat all viruses. The crisis is temporary. I firmly believe that the human spirit and ability will prevail. In the near future, effective vaccines and medicine will be developed. We only live once. Let’s make the best out of it.
Noelle as Image Spokesperson @ NYFW 2019
Noelle’s TV interview @ Sinovision, New York
J. Yuan & Associates New York provides consulting services to art collectors and enthusiasts and helps them to own the art that aligns with their identity, values, and goals. Our current newsletter series encourages people in our community to remain healthy and strong and to overcome the difficult time with us together.