The American Dream, or the Chinese Dream?
I have been here in the USA for almost five years, but on only a few occasions, I heard the “American Dream.” The American dream was the most powerful call for people, of course including myself, who had hopes for their life, belief, or mission. The Twitter responses to two American celebrities this morning ignited my thinking: what is my American Dream.
This morning, I saw a post from Eric Trump, “We live in the greatest country on earth!”.
I do not totally agree or disagree with it. I like American a lot, even though I got nothing after I spent almost one million cash here for my education and entrepreneurship. Still, I am not able to get “a job” to solve my financial crisis today, due to the constraint of my immigration status. However, what has attracted me most is: you will not be judged so much compared to people who are living in China.
I responded with a joke, “Of course if you can benefit from your father and the country. I don’t have a rich dad as president, so I’m afraid I have to disagree, lol.” I hoped that my dad is president Trump, so I can find a good job now and solve my financial situation, LoL.
However, the second post feed from Charlie Kirk made me angry, “A new vaccine is in the works for the China Corona Virus…” I directly responded with a challenge to him, “I am feeling so sad a celebrity like you has such a stupid post, China Corona Virus, like many Chinese people claims such virus coming from the USA. I want to ask you a question: do you know what’s the biggest challenge in the USA?”
The biggest reasons that the USA has been able to attract so many great talents from the world to pursue their dreams in a new land were they don’t feel they will be judged, and they can anticipate a great future potential for their current sacrifice. However, they both seem very weak today.
Yes, compared to my life in China, I do feel, at least in-person occasions and business occasions, I am seldomly judged. That’s why a guy like me could get a team in Phonix and start a business with my friends who I had never met years ago. However, the online judgemental behaviors are of no difference if we compare Facebook and Twitter to their China counterpart Wechat and Weibo.
More importantly, I was not a rich guy when I was in China, and I was just a middle class. Compared to many of my middle-class friends there, I was probably bottom 30%. I was able to start over my education, career, entrepreneurship, and life in the USA after I sold out my assets in China.
However, I worked with at least 50 US people for my startup in the past three years, and more than 90% are struggling financially.
Four years ago, when I purchased a car on Craiglist, the seller and I had a discussion about money. I still remembered his words, which I seriously doubted because I was not familiar with the life of the ordinary USA people. He told me, “American people are losing their dream because they are unable to afford the dream…like you.”
These days, due to the Coronavirus and my company is not working well as we planned, I had a chance to reconnect with some of my friends and exchange ideas about the two countries. Most of them tried to convince me to go back to China. They feel the living cost is very high compared to the same level in China. I can’t disagree with the financial part.
I firmly believe we can not reverse the trend of the world: globalization and technology development, even though I feel the fast-spreading of Coronavisus is partly due to them both. Everything has two sides, like nuclear technologies, which can kill millions of population but can also benefit billion of people. I don’t even think we can blame the judgemental behaviors online to Facebook and Twitter, which only accelerate the spreading of negativity. Previously, if two enemies want a fight, we have to grab the gun and get to a place to meet. Today, we pull out our best buddies — mobile phones — and start fight (like what I responded to Charlie Kirk, LoL).
Well, complaining about the problem of the USA is not my purpose, but finding a solution is my passion.
I firmly believe that we can’t solve the USA challenges within the narrow mindset of “patriotism.” No matter you buy in the American dream or Chinese dream, or even Latino dream, whatever, they can only be solved in a broader context — this planet as a whole.
Such a dream can not be accomplished with hatred or verbal fights online, but it may be possible with more empathy for those we disagree with and support for those who are struggling.
There is a very famous Chinese proverb, “On the way to become an idiot, why a 50% guy ridicules another 100% stupid guy?”
Let’s start a campaign to fight against judgemental online behaviors, and you can start from