We must always remember that China and the United States are dancing in a love relationship. Before we get too upset about someone stepping on the other's toes, we are better off if we appreciate the reason that we are holding each other in this dance, waltzing together all over the globe, is because we love each other.
People in the U.S. have always been enthralled with numbers -- the bigger, the better. We're dazzled by the numbers of Chinese. We can barely comprehend the fact that China has a billion more people than we do, despite having roughly the same land mass.
Americans also love the Chinese passion for business and hard work... with the all-out push to achieve and succeed. We basically have the same work ethic when we believe that we can make better lives for ourselves through education and hard work.
People in China admire and aspire to the wealth and power that people in the U.S. have enjoyed, at least, until recently. They are enamored with the American dream. And many have emigrated here to pursue it. Others have done their best to import it to their shores.
Americans are fascinated by the deep and rich culture of China. Ming vases, dragon walls, jade artifacts, Chinese calligraphy, silk robes: the lure of the mysterious Orient has always captivated us. And most Americans like to go out for Chinese food on occasion.
Chinese are impressed with our education system in the U.S. The best and brightest of young people in China often want to study in the U.S. For the past 20 years, students in China have been studying English. The ramifications of a nation of bilingual young people are yet to be completely felt. Americans may appreciate the fact that they don't have to learn Chinese to communicate with people in China today, but still haven't awakened to the fact that we might prosper if we make a similar commitment for our young people.
The best and brightest of some of our young people in the U.S. want to learn Chinese and be part of what's happening between our countries, both for material gain, to understand each other better, and for altruistic reasons of finding ways to cooperate more.
We watch each other's development with delight and dismay, like the family members that we truly are. We have helped each other move forward, as, for example, Chinese labor contributed greatly to the building of the first transcontinental railroad across the U.S., and American ingenuity and know-how and willingness to help China develop helped to contribute to making China an industrial power.
Chinese immigrants to the U.S. have made powerful contributions to building this country with their strong work ethic, ability to endure and persevere, and commitment to take care of their families.
Everyone in the U.S. has several items in their household that were made in China. Americans love the cheap and plentiful goods that have been made available to us through international trade with China. We also need the investment that China has made in our economy. Do we appreciate it? Do teenagers truly appreciate everything that their parents provide for them? No, usually, not until they're older, if then. We Americans are actually in a kind of relationship with China similar to teenagers with their parents.
We want to be independent, but we're not quite there. And underneath, we do know how much our parents have made possible for us, even if we resent it instead of being grateful for it.
The United States of America was built on the accrued wisdom of immigrants, not only from China, but from countries all over the world. This country represents the hopes and dreams of the world's people... and their love, their desire for us to flourish.
So many pathways will open for us to cooperate and flourish together when we gain the spiritual maturity of the next stage of understanding and appreciating our interdependence and connection with each other.
China and the United States are dancing together to the music of the universe. We just need to get more experienced with keeping the rhythm so that we're all enjoying the dance.