Thursday, March 5, 2009

Inside the mind of CosmopolitAnne

Some Q and A:

You have just attended a presentation by President Hu Jintao. You have the chance to ask one question. What is it and why?

I would ask the President what he believes is the most prominent value or characteristic shared by Chinese and Americans, how we can capitalize upon this commonality to unite two very different countries to create a stronger Sino-American relationship, and what is the most important global challenge that would benefit from such a closer partnership. I would raise this because I think our countries could have an even greater positive impact on the world if we focused on our similarities rather than differences. If we could realize how much we have in common our two nations could make great strides regarding international issues.

What is one aspect of American culture that you think it is difficult for foreigners to understand?

I think that the United States’ legislative process is one aspect of American culture that is very difficult for foreigners to understand. Our legislative process can be messy, slow, and very confusing but it ultimately serves its purpose to come up with the best possible solution for the biggest number of people. It protects against tyranny of the majority, holds elected officials accountable by holding frequent elections, and has a very transparent process that citizens can follow every step of the way. Foreigners may not grasp that the seemingly inefficient, nit-picky, verbal war is the essence and beauty of the American legislative system.

The world today is undergoing a series of rapid changes, in the ways that people, think, work, and interact with one another. Describe briefly how you see the world changing in the next twenty years and where you see yourself in it.

Over the next 20 years I see the world becoming increasingly more globalized as international business grows and foreign cultures interact more frequently. The countries of the world will work together as partners instead of independent units on the global front as we realize that wherever located we are all share the earth and need to take care of each other. I think some natural resources will become scarcer and we will have to figure out how to distribute them appropriately and protect them for the future. I think that the people of the world will return to promoting moral and ethical values after seeing the disastrous effects in the finance world that is the result of greed and unethical behavior. Technology will pervade every aspect of our life and we will constantly be in interaction with it. This will especially affect how humans interact, as there is less face to face contact and we are able to communicate with people all over the world without ever meeting in person. As technology increases and the media finds new ways of using technology our attention will constantly be sought by outside influences and it will pervade our lives, leaving us less time to ourselves and our own thoughts. This will increase the phenomenon of multitasking, which will also increase productivity. The job market is going to be incredibly competitive, especially after the world wide economic crisis, however those who are innovative, adaptable, and good at working with people will be successful.

People will need to think about the effects of their actions on others, and even on a global scale. In the age of globalization, however, people will have to try extra hard to guard their own thoughts and opinions from being formed by outside forces.

People will continue to develop their careers and marry later as a general trend and their work hours will continue to be too long. We will need to remember to prioritize family and our personal life as work will be relentlessly demanding. However, people will start to equate job satisfaction less with monetary rewards and more with the personal contributions they feel they are making to the world with their work. With increasingly globalized work, our co-workers could be on the other side of the earth as we rely more and more on technological means of interacting. As already, but increasingly, people will essentially work from anywhere in the world, which might lead to more ex-patriate living and travel, even further escalating globalization.

As diverse cultures and peoples are increasingly more exposed to each other I intend to be on the front lines helping understanding and acceptance of those who are different from us and working for peaceful international relations. I plan to be involved in international business and investing in emerging countries to help them interface more effectively with the more developed nations. I also want to fight hunger, poverty, and illiteracy through social entrepreneurship. I hope to inspire ethical behavior in the world so that we can all be successful but achieve this success through helping others.

Most immediately I see myself attending graduate school, working internationally, and then ending my career as a professor who will inspire these values in the next generation of leaders who will lead our world.

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