Since we came back, all I can see are similarities. My other senses have stayed the same, though I really wish I could smell the crisp mountain air that we breathed in at the top of the Great Wall, feel the felted seats of our bus, hear that wonderful sound of toddlers speaking Mandarin, and taste Peking duck (just one more time and I’ll be satisfied :) ).
Our universities are both crowded with bikes, even on weekends.
We have the same fast food restaurants.
We take really similar buses.
We make our kids wear cute hats and coats when we know that they really don’t want to wear them. (Okay, I might’ve thrown this one in just for fun.)
Today, we presented our post-trip reflections in our second-to-last GLP class. You know what that means? Only one more class left. I’m really going to miss my Beijing family. We’ve grown to become exactly that: a family. Oh man, we’ll need to have a reunion really soon. Before I get all teary-eyed, I want to elaborate on how big a part growth played in our trip.
This picture best summarizes growth on our trip:
When we first stepped into Taper Hall as wide-eyed freshmen, we didn’t know what the rest of the year would have in store for us.
As Americans, we strive to get to the top but once we reach the peak, we’re content and stay stagnant, when we should really focus on being irreplaceable. China as a whole is constantly growing and companies like Lenovo combine Western innovation and dedication to reach the top with Eastern dedication and discipline to grow and beat their competitors. During our trip to Beijing, we learned that HP is currently the top supplier of PC’s and PC products, but it is not doing anything to keep itself at the top and is accepting defeat at the hands of Lenovo. Just a few days after visiting Lenovo, I Baidu’ed “Lenovo vs. HP” just to see if it was true, and clicked on the first English article, whose title read:
China is chock-full of dichotomies like old versus new, both age and culturally, especially because of Western influences, and rich versus poor, by which I mean differences in socioeconomic statuses. Products from Walmart are considered normal goods in China, as opposed to being inferior goods in America, because our poor are better off and, need I say richer, than China’s lower middle class. These dichotomies only exist because of China’s upward growth and progression. We, as global leaders, need to focus on emerging economies and business in the BRICS countries, because these global superpowers indirectly dictate our lifestyles. Just as Baidu wants to be known for having their own unique brand instead of being the “Google of China,” we should all strive to present ourselves as unique and desirable businessmen and women.
Keep Calm and Fight On!