Abundance of Labor

I was having breakfast with a friend of mine at the The Great Wall Sheraton Hotel in Beijing, among many topics we were discussing, one thing attracted my attention. “The wages of college graduates have decreased since last year,” my friend said,”There are too many people wanting two little jobs.”

My friend is a partner of a Chinese consulting firm working on projects from China Mobile, Haier, Lenovo, the airlines, banks, and Beijing 2008 Olympics. This is one of the successful companies I have seen that run by returnees, competing with McKinsey and other big consulting firms.

Chinese college graduates in Beijing and Shanghai or else where, who are making about $200 a month, are facing serious unemployment problems. According to the Ministry of Personnel, the college graduates have increased 35% over the last year. In the first quarter of 2005, there are about 3 million job openings for 7 million job seekers.

For better or worse, China’s abundant supply of labor is an equalizer that could close the gap between rich and poor countries. However, if there is a concern in America that Chinese low-cost labor will affect US high-salary jobs, Chinese themselves are the first ones to be affected.

Home, Sweet Home

One of my hobbies is home decoration. I am not an artist, but the process of decorating my home is such a process of creation and self-expression that I enjoy it immensely.

When I look at a wall, a table, or an empty corner, my inner voice would tell me: it needs a modern impression painting, a lavish table cloth, a green plant or statue that has Michelangelo touch…. Not all the time the right ideas or images will come to me immediately. Sometime I have to meditate and wait… It’s a combination of what the silent house wants to tell me and what I want to create – maybe they are the same thing.

I have the same obsession for our garden – my husband would correct me saying it’s a yard and not a garden; I insisted to call it garden because I think that’s what is supposed to be. We are living in a fast-pace society with computers and busy high-ways. It’s almost a luxury to lay down on a piece of green lawn, smell the fragrance of flowers and listen to the singing of birds. Yet it’s an integrated part of our lives that should not be neglected.

I think the place we live is not just a place, it is a way to express who we are. It reflects our inner beings that desire for beauty, love, perfection and excellence. This may sound bizarre to some people, but at least this is how I look at it.

I told my husband that I want to make our home “a paradise on earth.” I would want to make the whole world a paradise on earth if I could! But at least I can start with myself.

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