Chinese are famous for knowing how to count the money hidden under their mattresses. It is a cheap mentality which teaches our children and ourselves that we are the only ones who should benefit from business and everyone else should work for free, a mentality passed down from kingdoms of sovereignty in which people worked not for their own benefit but for the benefit of kings and their imperial families. The difference between then and now is that each one has set himself up as a king, keeping everything for himself and expecting everyone else to serve him as well.
Living outside China, Ou Yang got to know about other nations: Greeks too are cheap. They are so cheap that they almost corrupted and collapsed their own country because people refused to pay taxes on the little work they are willing to do. Must it be the fault of joining the Euro Zone?! No matter where they go, Jews bind their community tightly together through marriage and business; Arabs like to bargain just as much as Chinese do; Germans are hardworking, serious and highly organized, but dry and stern as tree barks; Japanese respect rules to such an extent that they themselves become the definition of rules; Italians can talk with their hands around their heads for most of a day caring too much about what they love and little about what really makes sense; Swiss are famous for their non judgmental banks and ambiguous attitude towards world affaires with high mountains protecting them, and Canadians impresses the world nicely with American way of life, yet a better social and medical systems…
It is difficult and dangerous to generalize, yet for Ou Yang, or for any one who judges, the judgement is rather an expression of who they are than who the judged ones are. When we go about any business, our judgment is needed. The ways we generalize or judge lead to different directions. In the end, deep down, we are all some“-ISTS” – either nationalists, internationalists, racists, socialists, capitalists, and humorists etc. The day we remove all our “-ISTS,” we become impossibly perfect or impeccably ignorant.
As young people, we know nothing about counting, nothing about the value or worth of anything. Love is sweet, free, and exciting. Life is simple and happiness is as easy as an idea, a song, or a tune stuck in our mind. Life is measured less, we are fearless because life is timeless, and we can truly smile, laugh and live.
By the time we reach our 40’s, we find that we have lost our ability to keep things simple. We have measures, requirements and criteria.
For Ou Yang, who once married beneath her, and Elizabeth, whose marriage went off track, meeting their goals was not as easy as they thought it would be. What should they do next? Should they continue searching for the “right one,” letting time pass and getting old along the way? Or should they simply settle for less?
To Be Continued…