September 2008
Billie Silvey
Learning from
The Chinese
8. The need for contentment. 
As Americans, we tend to be dissatisfied.  We always want more.  This spurs us to greater productivity, but it can keep us from appreciating what we have.  Learning to slow down, to be content, and to enjoy the now might make us happier and healthier.
7. The beauty of simplicity.
The sheer number of things we own can clutter our lives and minds.  There's a beauty to living more simply, to culling out and making do with less. 
6. Respect for age and experience.
Older Americans are set aside in retirement homes and even communities. As a result, we miss being reminded of the inevitable progress of life, the wisdom of experience, and the worth of history and  heritage.
5. The inevitability of suffering.
As Americans, we used to know that it took hard work and suffering to achieve success.  Lately, through, we expect things to come easily. The Chinese push themselves despite suffering. 
4. The value of harmony, balance
The need for harmonious, balanced relationships in life, art and landscape promote mental health and tranquility.
3. Importance of nature.
The Chinese appreciate nature. Tranquil parks throughout Beijing encourage people to drink in the beauty of nature even in the middle of the city.  It slows our pulse and makes us less susceptible to heart attacks.  
2. The value of relationships, especially family.
It is within the family that to we learn to love, to respect others, and to work together.  The family gives us the security of a support group we can rely on.
1. Emphasis on the group, not the individual.
Americans value the rugged individual, but there's also value to teamwork, to being part of something greater than ourselves.  This emphasis promotes cooperation, working together, rather than competition, to accomplish our goals.
Traditional Chinese culture is very different from American.  We tend to feel that our culture  is superior because we know it better.  However, every culture has value, and there is much we can learn from each of them. 
5 Dynasties
Chinese Religions