More Inspiration From China

I wanted to write about small business.

About their power to transform economies.

About their power to inspire and prod big business.

About their ability to motivate and stir our imaginations.

So I started out this morning.

Frankly, I was inspired by my trip to Asia and the statistic from the Y&R Generation Asia study that 71% of young people want to start their own business.

And I will write about it – but not today.

What struck me as I started compiling my notes and ordering my thoughts was that our admiration – or fear or envy – for Asia is based as much on its size as it is on anything else.

Some 9% of the world’s surface…30% of its land mass…more importantly it holds 60% of the world’s population – now that is power – current and latent.

But the truth is – size is not really the story. It’s the people.

The optimism; the positive attitude; the let’s get it done philosophy; the long-term thinking even when through short-term action. In short – it’s the quality of the people – not their numbers.

It’s the story of Henry Kissinger asking Mao Zedong about his view of the French Revolution – “too early to tell” was the reply…

It’s the Vietnamese welcoming Americans with open arms – but not shying from talking about the tragic war; it’s about the crowds in Tiananmen Square reveling in their ability to be there but still conscious of the man against the tank; it’s about the sheer desire to improve lives and the future.

Let’s be clear – as I said last week – there is no utopia – there is still a troubling lack of freedom and personal liberty – in way too many places – no question – but the wheels are grinding – and the sheer force of the positive energy of the people will win out – I am sure – and it’s early…

So here is the thing – look at Asia for the people – person by person – don’t get lost in the huge numbers

Listen:

The true test of civilization is, not the census, nor the size of the cities, nor the crops, but the kind of man that the country turns out.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

A lesson for other parts of our world…indeed…

What do you think?

 

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