Thought for the Day: Failure to Thrive

“‘Many perish in the womb,’ and even more ‘are nipped in their bloom,’ writes Dr. Richard Price, a Welsh clergyman and political radical.

An elm produces three hundred and thirty thousand seeds a year, but very few of those seeds ever grow into trees.


A spider lays as many as six hundred eggs, and yet very few grow into spiders.

So, too, for humans: ‘Thousands of Boyles, Clarks and Newtons have probably been lost to the world, and lived and died in ignorance and meanness, merely for want of being placed in favourable situations, and enjoying proper advantages,” says Jane Franklin (Benjamin’s sister) quoted in “The Prodigal Daughter” by Jill Lepore in The New Yorker, 8/8 + 15/13 p. 40.

A thriving baby:


If you are reading this post, you are likely thriving, so count your blessings – and help others to thrive too.

Aloha, Renée



About reneeriley

Our blog was begun as a way to share our experiences in China. From August 2010 to July 2011, my husband, Barry Kristel, and I were at our University of Hawaii Maui College sister school, Zhejiang Agriculture and Forestry University in Lin'an, China, a city considered rural because it has only 500,000 people! We had a wonderful time. Then in February 2012, we returned to teach this time at our other sister school, Shanghai Normal University, in a city of over 21 million people. We've made many discoveries. Did you know that now Chinese girls, at least the ones who go to university, for the most part feel they are luckier than the Chinese boys? Did you know that Shanghai saved over 20,000 European Jews during WWII? Do you know how Chinese university students would deal with problems that come up in Dear Abby letters? What's it like to be on the Great Wall of China? Do you know how many Chinese girls had their feet bound and why? And we have recipes from many of the places we've visited. Among others, you can find instructions on how to fry cicadas from one of my ZAFU students and how to make chocolate-Kahlua waffles from my brother Mike in Gainesville. You can also look back to our earliest entry to see what we experienced in Oaxaca, Mexico, in 2006 during the mainly peaceful six months of protest until the Mexican government sent in the troops. Between our stays in China, Barry and I have been on the Mainland U.S. visiting family, friends and Servas hosts as we traveled home to Maui. We share those experiences too. Welcome to our blog! Aloha and Zài Jiàn, Renée and Barry

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