The one thing I have learned since I have come to my new home here in the East is that the biggest difference of many that the Chinese people and the American people have is self-confidence.
We as American are very proud of our country, our freedom and our selves no matter how trashy as a whole. Yes ,I know there are several out that lack self-confidence and self-esteem, but for the most part we are a very confident people.
We ,in general, pride ourselves on being a strong, independent people. In China, not so much. When I first came to this country, over a year ago, besides the obvious differences, I felt something was missing from the people and the students I was teaching. They were very shy, and childlike. All of them seemed to lack even the smallest grain of self-confidence.
They did not believe in themselves at all. Even the wealthiest boss, thought he was not good enough. What a strange feeling it gave me to see such low self-confidence displayed.
After a little research, I noticed that the low confidence started long, long ago. The parents and grandparents instill in their children and grandchildren that they are not a strong people, the government is the power they are just there to serve this entity. It is kind of scary, like a modern day big brother come to life.
They look at me and they see such confidence, beauty and strength. Many have told me that I am so strong, sexy and powerful. But, I am just your average American.
An example of this would be my husband. A very bright, funny, caring and loving individual. His confidence was so low when I met him that I am surprised he go the motivation, liquid motivation, to speak to me when he met me.
His parent also have this low self-worth that they have passed on to him. They feel that because they were born poor they would always be poor. I have heard that in China it sometimes can work that way. The poor stay poor and the rich stay rich. Now I know you are all thinking that it is that way in America. But, when I say poor I mean dirt poor. The only food is rice, no job, no indoor toilet, no bed, and forget about anything electronic or even heat or electricity. To me that is scary poor, without any government assistance. However, here in China they have people who live like this and in the same way, you have the extreme opposite. The very, very rich that have so much money they throw it away on girls, drinking, gambling and over priced luxury items.
As crazy as it seems… I know we have our issues in America with the poor, homeless, the health care, etc. But, it is not the same as here. I remember no matter how poor I was growing up, or no matter how little we had; the one thing we had a great abundance of was self-confidence. I might have only had Salvation Army and Walmart clothes, but I walked with my head held high, and a strut in my step. We might have had government cheese and a free lunch in school, but we were ready to tell everyone how good that grilled cheese sandwich tasted. We might have only had one tv with the coat hanger as an antenna, but we would tell the world what dance moves we learned off that one station.
When I was growing up I was told, If you only have “a pot to piss in, then piss in your pot with your head held high. “ Self-Confidence is so important and sometimes it is the only thing you have.
I am so glad that I instilled strong self-confidence in my children. It will take them a long way in life. I know they will pass this self-confidence to their children and so on. I sometimes feel sorry for the Chinese people they have been so sheltered and hidden from the world that they have missed out on some very valuable things and clothing styles.
All I know is, while I am here I am going to do my part to help instill self-confidence in my students. I think everyone should believe in themselves and their abilities and no one; not their parents, grandparents or government should make them believe otherwise.
The power of self-confidence can move mountains and barriers…. and make you a better person.
until next time…