Who Got Your Vision?

East Third Ring Road
Dreaming of coffee
0859 hrs.

The one upside to Beijing traffic is that it gives you an opportunity to have some interesting conversations.

This morning’s topic: America and China.

The guy that I was talking to had an interesting theory. He believes that what defines a civilization is the source of its vision.

“In America,” he said, after a long talk about the current presidential race there, “your businessmen have dreams and great vision and operate accordingly. But your leaders are preoccupied with the present, grabbing votes, staying popular.

“In China, it is different,” he went on. “Our government leaders are the ones with the great dreams and vision, and our businessmen are preoccupied with the present, grabbing as much money as they can now, and to hell with the future.”

Like all searing generalizations, this one is suspect. But it deserves some contemplation. What I liked best is what he said next.

“Now, a nation where both the government leaders and the businessmen are people of vision…THAT is a truly great country.”


About David Wolf

An adviser to corporations and organizations on strategy, communications, and public affairs, David Wolf has been working and living in Beijing since 1995, and now divides his time between China and California. He also serves as a policy and industry analyst focused on innovative and creative industries, a futurist, and an amateur historian.
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