Friday, November 20, 2009

163. A Big Dose of the Chinese Ethos May Well Be Returning To America

I just read the following article carried in November 23, 2009 issue TIME
Magazine, "Five Things We Can Learn from China," by Bill Powell. Mr.
Powell is a senior writer for TIME in Shanghai. Prior to current his
post, he was Chief International correspondent for Fortune based in
Beijing and then New York. He also served as Newsweek bureau chief in
Moscow, Berlin and Tokyo. In this article Mr. Powell points out five things that the United States, one of the youngest nations, should learn from China, one of the oldest nations, including ambitious goal, focus on eduction, take care the elders, save more and look over the horizon.

Dr. Dave Wang's research reveals that to learn from China is not strange to the Americans. It started as early as the colonial era in North America. During the early period of the founding of the United States, some eminent colonists, including the founding fathers found that China, the far away ancient empire, was a place where they could borrow useful ideas and technologies which could help with their efforts to build a new nation there. As a result, we saw one of the largest cultural borrowing movements in American history during the formative age of the United States. Chinese plants, such as rice, soybeans, peaches, oranges, mulberries, all kinds of flowers were transplanted into the colonies, Chinese technologies, such as architectural design, silk production, central heating and canal construction, were introduced; Chinese philosophies, especially Confucianism, were also brought over.

Interestingly enough, you will find that the main contents that Mr.Powell called for his fellow Americans to learn from China were what the founding fathers, such as Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson, worked hard to borrow from traditional Chinese culture. We should admire the wisdom of the founding fathers. History can provide a lot of good lessons for us today. The examination of their efforts to draw nourishment from traditional Chinese culture will continue to provide valuable lessons for our efforts to overcome the difficulties caused by current economic recess worldwide.

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