My Answer: Insider or Outsider?

Dear Sarah

Thank you for your response to my blog about Insiders and Outsiders, and for kindly asking for my thoughts.

Am I an insider or an outsider?

Not surprisingly, I consider myself an outsider. When I was growing up and trying to make sense of the world, being in nobody’s inner circle was a form of protection.

As this outsider matured, I saw that the status enabled me to ‘observe well’ and to seek understanding in how people form their characters.

I come from a long line of outsiders; folk who did not fit in for whatever reason. It was the driving factor behind why my ancestors left their Scottish island and sailed halfway across the world to find fortune in China.

It’s why my paternal grandparents decided to settle in Australia when they left Shanghai before the outbreak of the Second World War, despite knowing no-one here.

It’s why I applied for the role of China correspondent in 1995 when I wasn’t the obvious front-runner.

I still feel like an outsider today. But here’s the thing. I am very comfortable with my status. It gives me the ability to take risks when I need to and it drives my sense of curiosity. If I am invited to come into the circle for short bursts, I have the ability to access a temporary membership.

Does this answer your question? Once again, thanks for asking about me.

Love, Jane x