Pursuit of Insignificant but Meaningful Matters in China
Excessive wealth would sometimes bring more harm than benefits if one thought money is the only solution to all problems. Therefore it’s is of critical timing to reduce the need for relentless wealth accumulation driven by emotional issues rather than the sustenance one, after all how much wealth one needed before one begins to enjoy a fruitful and meaningful lives varies from persons to persons, places to places, past and present. It’s had very much to do with one’s values, culture and demographic profiles. We were all unknowingly conditioned and brainwashed with mainstream public media obsessed with contemporary definition of success: Forbes 500 ranking, GDP ranking, top 100 riches man and women and so on.
Whatever money you might have,self-worth really lies in finding out what you do best. J．K．羅琳 J. K. Rowling
Likewise, the remarkable prosperity many Chinese had achieved since 70s through business success, social mobility and so on stood out for its scale, but it was the higher level of anxiety experienced that have set off alarm in China. What had gone wrong? Everyone across the spectrum of income scale actually felt more depressed and restless in an unprecedented way even as they earn significantly more that their predecessor before as if the sole purpose of a respectable living is merely making more money and many had conveniently forgotten to seek better understandings what actually are needed to bring sustainable happiness to themselves and intolerable of simply wasting time on seemingly insignificant recreational activities such as interests, hobbies and volunteering which would had enriched and complimented the whole living experiences especially when it involves others like minded friends and families.
The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.
— Bertrand Russell
Bottom lines are many Chinese had established the primary pursuit of lives on getting richer as an end in itself and not as a means to an end of a fulfilling life where money represent just resources one needed to secure what one priorities; e.g. Spending more time with families, engaging in charities, acquiring new skills such as culinary or foreign language, reading, exercising and taking parts in sporting events and so on. Therefore it’s crucial for one to begin to inculcate the young one an inclination of a balance lifestyle, grooming hobbies and interests together with training and skills for a respectable and enviable ways of making a living in future. As a matter of facts; although we should all inspire to reach the Apex of being successful both in an organisation as well as on individual level, most of the times, such state (Zone A) does occur but rare in our family and career life time. However, working hard to stay at least in Zone B and C are rather within reach for most of us. One should refrain from drawing self-achievement and sense of significant solely on job or money alone where things can change for the worse in a heartbeat, whereas hobbies, interest, friends and families are something no one can take away from you.
Four or five moments – that’s all it takes to become a hero.
On the other hand, the world had observed an increasing number of Chinese tourists loading up on their shopping carts at their overseas trips on luxurious items to merchandises not available back home, the trend could very well represented the rise of a sizable hundreds of millions newly minted middle income group adjusting to their superior purchasing power for the very first time, seeking what actually bring happiness and contentment, mainstream middle income Chinese are more vulnerable because they lack the deep habits of hobbies and interest that prevail in many western European countries where years of cultural development had aligned many to appreciate life to the maximum potentials, jobs and business become only a means to help them to aspired in their pursuit of meaningful living; blending insignificant and rewarding activates into their daily work life routine. For examples, French hectic lifestyle carry on even after working hours spending tremendous amount of time on rest and recreation in hobbies or leisurely long hours meals with friends and families exchanging soul nourishing views and opinions on arts, gardening, drawing, parenting and so on.
My favorite things in life don’t cost any money. It’s really clear that the most precious resource we all have is time.— Steve Jobs
Instead, high proportion of Chinese had unattainable pursuit of once a year vacation and activities that can’t be integrated in everyday schedule and when it comes to after office hours; many were clueless how to go about taking advantages of personal time to enrich their living experiences and it’s not uncommon many ended pledging making more money as their past time recreational routines.
But while there are increasing signs of stress in the Chinese communities as the new middle income class takes root, it might be useful to examine more fundamental elements driving the self-fulfillment portions as there is substantial disagreement about what does typical Chinese really wanted in life as most affairs are mandated by the State; from cradle to grave although economic liberation had given most a right to own limited wealth and had the option to have up to 2 children per household, as many move up the chain of social mobility and had seen the outside world for the first time, many would inspire to have something larger than themselves, some higher purposes and calling. Communist ideology as the mainstream religion and faith fulfilled its purposes during the formative years simply isn’t sufficient anymore for the hundreds of millions of middle income Chines demanding for self-actualization, realizing one’s full potential, expressing one’s creativity, quest for spiritual enlightenment, pursuit of knowledge, and the desire to give to society are some of the examples of self-actualization appears to have gained ground in recent times, especially among the middle income well educated urban Chinese.
In summary, China had gone a long way back going through forced Opium addiction, Invasion of Japan, Civil war , cultural revolution and now with economic liberation since 70s, few hundred millions of Chinese had eventually begun to scale up the Abraham Maslow‘s hierarchy of needs where basic needs of humans had been met (e.g. food, shelter, warmth, security, sense of belonging) before a person can achieve self-actualization, self discovery, self-realization – the need to be good, to be fully alive and to find meaning in life through pursuit of Insignificant but meaningful matters
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