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The Ultimate Dream

修身齐家治国平天下

–Book of Rites

Most people are more familiar with the “American Dream”, which is one of the most important reasons that make the United States such a powerful nation. In traditional Chinese culture, we have a similar notion that inspires the people to make effort and improve themselves. With the rapid development of China in recent years, this notion appears to be more significant, especially for the young generation. Sometimes it is also mentioned as the “Chinese dream” .

pingtianxiaThe American dream is comparatively more self-oriented. The ultimate intention is to gain individual success while these individual achievements definitely lead to the entire nation’s glory.  While the quote from the traditional Chinese writing Book of Rites states that the ultimate goal is to bring peace and happiness to the universe. But before you achieve that, you should have the ability to manage a “country”, notice that this “country” is slightly different from the modern countries by definition. However, before you can run a country, you should be a successful manager of your family. This family is more general, which includes different relatives.  Nevertheless, at last everything is attributed to you, the individual. You have to study and practice yourself to be prepared to achieve further. This is the basement and very initial step to achieve the ultimate goal. At this point, the traditional Chinese notion is closely related to the essence of the American dream.

In reality, it is difficult to manage a family. Meanwhile, for ordinary people it seems to be unrealistic to  run a country. Bringing peace and happiness to the universe is even impossible. But it is certain that everybody is capable to start from the very initial step. No matter what we do and how old we are, it is always possible to improve ourselves via learning and practicing.  Once we get sufficient preparation, we may feel that the next step is not unrealistically difficult anymore. We will find that is is totally possible for us to create a brand-new world which is filled with peace and happiness.

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