Recently the "China dream" has been the subject of many a public debate. Although it is quite common for Chinese people to dream of an empowered or a prosperous China, most tend to keep their own dreams to themselves. Nevertheless, throughout China's thousands of years of history, these "China dreams" have always existed.
Today we are living in a world and time of accelerating activities and ever changing social norms. Events evolve at a speed which forces us all to rethink our dreams and how to best realize them. Within this context, it is vitally important for China's future for all of us to be aware of the next generation's "China dreams."
Do you have a "China dream"? I brought up this topic with several young Chinese students with higher U.S. educational backgrounds. Unsurprisingly, they all had their own heartfelt hopes and dreams for their native country.
"I have a dream that everyone in China has a dream. They know what they would really like to achieve and they work hard for their dreams," said Yuan Li, a public finance graduate student in the U.S. "Kids will play musical instruments out of interest rather than being part of their parents' requirements. Young graduates can tell employers about their personal advantages instead of asking to figure them out."
She further added, "I have a dream that opportunities will be accessible to everyone. Flattering [your] bosses won't be the way to success. Government leaders won't have too many privileges over normal citizens. A company will not refuse a job seeker only because he or she is not a registered resident."
Fred Wang, an MBA candidate in the U.S. said, "I dream of equal opportunities for the young in China. Equality means all young people can compete fairly, based on the rule-of-law -- no matter whether they are rich or poor."
Yaoyao Lu, a finance major graduate student in the U.S. explained her understanding "To me, the China dream means that not only people are able to be different, but they are also allowed to be different. Moreover, in this context, no one will respect others just because of their occupation, [social] ranking or administrative power. No matter what kind of job we hold, everyone feels happy."
"In terms of education, my China dream is that students are encouraged to learn rather than being forced to learn; students should have their own thoughts and should dare to voice different ideas; students should learn to respect each other regardless of family backgrounds and of who they are. And, in a civil society, people [should] have their own rights without giving way to the authorities."
Jian Zhang, a gradate student majoring in international policy studies in the U.S. told his dream. "I wish Chinese society could be more equal towards all Chinese people. Everyone could have the opportunity to realize their dreams. In view of the currently huge population, the first change I hope to see is a fair income distribution system."
Yiqiong Zhang, an optimistic MBA graduate from the US shared her dreams."I have a dream which I have been holding for many years, that is after working hard for about 20 to 25 years, I can have enough money to build and manage a small bookstore or a flower shop. Besides working hard, I am able to enjoy life: To play the piano, to hike and to enjoy a two-month-long vacation every year. It may sound a little bit pathetic, but I am afraid this may be a common dream among young Chinese students, because we feel uncertainty in our hearts; and what we can do in [these] unsure circumstances is just to find a stable way to live."
Yiqiong also told her bigger dream. "I dream of living in a world that loves justice and fairness, hates selfishness and vanity; I would love to live in a world that encourages people to innovate and work hard; I would love to live in a world that allows for people to fail and start over; and I would love to live in a world where I can always have a dream and forever hold hopes."
Despite the many expressions of seeming negativity, there is no doubt that all of these young students have their individual "China dream." They all love China, they all love chasing their dreams with a strength of mind that shows a hard work-mentality and they are genuinely enthusiastic about their future "China dreams."
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