Sunday, 26 August 2012

The Choice

My friend called and asked for my suggestion whether she should keep her job or go to study MBA in US. Actually, she is not the first one trying to making choices between China and US because American Dream has influenced Chinese since early 1980s. A lot of people go there for higher education and some just simply want to make more money, however, the final goal is the same: to get better life for themselves and their families.

This remind me one guy I met in US 5 years ago. He was at the middle 40s and had just shifted to Los Angeles from Guangzhou China. Guangzhou is the city famous for import and export. He used to have a trading company which made him a lot of fortune. His wife is a doctor working in a government owned hospital. He worked hard and bought several apartments there as investment as well. As he said, even he stopped working in Guangzhou, every month the interests of his savings in the bank and the rent fees collected from his properties are more than enough for his 3-member family having luxurious life. "So why did you close your company, leave your family and come to US alone?" I was really surprised that he chose to work as a housekeeper in the hotel in US instead of the big boss in China. "I want to bring my daughter here for her college next year." he smiled the first time during our entire conversation. Because of this single reason, he chooses to work 4-hour per day to collect dirty linens on each floor and the other 4 to stand in a hot laundry room to fold linens. Actually, until today, I still can not understand his choice. I am still wondering whether he wants to fulfill his own dream or her daughter's. 

His story can not stop me to keep thinking about my parents' generation. They were born at 1950s so we called them the generation growing up with the new China:
---At their childhood, there was a 3-year Natural Disaster period. They remembered that they were short of food and nutrition. One bowl of rice was shared among brothers and sisters. Tasting meat was a dream for years.
---At their teenage, there was the famous Culture Revolution. They could not peacefully study in School because they were taught that knowledge is useless. At least one student of each family in cities had to be sent to work in farms in remote area to help farmers according to the rules that time. The group of these students were called "Zhi Qing" ( in Chinese, means the educated young people). Until today, a lot of them still stay there because of the marriages with the locals.
---At their twenties, the first time in life they could make their own choice --- going back to city, come back to school or keep working. Since most of them had started their small family and the number of people could be selected to enter universities was very less, more people decided to not change their lives. However, a group of them was brave enough to travel around the half of the Earth to experience the spirit of freedom in US.
---At their thirties, the single-child policy had launched. Maybe they still clearly remembered terrible experiences with their brothers and sisters at the 3-year Natural Disaster period, people accepted it quite peacefully. It was better to safe their salary for Sony TV, Sanyang radio or fridge. At the meantime, some of them at the other sides of Pacific Ocean had generated more and more fortunes because of their hard work.
---At their forties, the door of Chinese economy and market opened! More and more new ideas and technologies came to Chinese people's daily life. They want to give all best things for their kids not only they are the only one as well as these kids are their hopes to fulfill their uncompleted dreams.Whatever they could not do during their time, they do not want their kids to experience the same sadness they went through. So here we are, the luckiest generation so far. Whatever we ask or do not ask, our parents are always ready to give their best to satisfy us. Hearing the successful stories of their friends in US, some of them planed to let their kids to try their lucks. They believe that their kids will get into the best colleges and have the best life in US because it is the best country in the world as people said.
---At their fifties,  it is suppose to be the best time in their life. You must think that they must get enough saving after working for many years.Their kids have already started their jobs and became independent. They can enjoy their lives. Unfortunately, if they have a boy, many of them have to make the down payment or even take care of the home loan of his apartment. Today, if a boy want to get marry especially in big cities, having his own apartment has become an important condition. If the girl is from a wealth family, the location of the apartment is also requested. The real estate price is extremely high in China comparing with the salary of young people could get, so the responsibility again become parents'. You will say that parents have the right to say no, but our kindest Chinese parents always feel shame to disappoint their children. Of course, most of girls family help to purchase furniture, electronic products or pay for interior design which also is not a small amount. Actually, nobody knows when all these standards are made, but everybody understands they are followed because of the love for children - best living condition and wedding memory. However, sadly some people take it as a competition or the time to show off ... Recently, there is a new group of people called "Luo Hun Zu" (in Chinese, means Naked Marriage Group).  They are young couples who finally realize that it is not necessary to stress themselves and both of their parents to own an apartment or decorate the house for the marriage. They decide to live in rental apartments and even not hold any wedding ceremony. 

Slowly, people of this generation are getting into their sixties. Some of them have already become the grandparents. Chinese are well known as hard working and family-orientated. We have a lot of respects for our parents' generation because they have been through a lot of tough periods but they never give up believing in hopes. They created a lot of treasures but they always save them for their children without asking any return. Today, a lot of us think that we must do something to pay back their nu-conditional love. A trip to US is the first choice now, because it is their dream to see America - the super power - they always see in news and movies since they were young.  They also use their entire life to build up China and hope one day their kids can stay in a country like America. Nowadays, when America is rising the topic of Chinese Super Power, Chinese are talking about enjoying in peaceful life we finally got. Our parents teaches us that you may not control the fate, but it is your choice to make your life different, however, never give up easily when facing the difficulties, the opportunity is always there for the people who is prepared to grasp it.

At last but not the least, to all parents in the world, you are all equally great!

The word for Today:

Wo Ai Ni (Ni Men)!

我  爱 你 (你 们 )!

I  love you (you plural) !

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