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THE IMPORTANCE OF LIVING The Importance of Living written by Lin Yutang is not only a book telling what life is and how to live a life but also display a contrast between cultures of US and China From several chapters about aspects of life I get some understanding as below A QUICK COMPARISON BETWEEN CULTURAL SYSTEMS OF US AND CHINA Looking at Chinese and American cultural traits from a common sense perspective we usually find the following preconceptions about the two national characters ChineseAmerican Intuitiverational Aestheticscientific Introvertedextroverted self-restrainedaggressive dependentindependent procrastinatersproactive implicitexplicit syntheticanalytical patientimpatient group reference criteriaindividualistic desire for eternityeager to change The critical concern is to what extent this comparison holds true Seemingly convincing conclusions based on assumptions or a deductive approach may risk the possibility of being biased or stereotyped Generalization seems dangerous but necessary dangerous because an easy categorization may have no solid ground and therefore is prone to biases necessary because understanding and adapting to a different culture can never be achieved without a certain degree of cross-cultural consensus A generalization is valid if a commitment is made to seriously consider and evaluate the key forces underlying a particular culture Generalized descriptions do not cover all individual behaviors or cultural phenomena The fact that some individual Chinese are impatient does not disprove the generalization that the Chinese as a nation are patient Ideally statistical evidence should be available for generalizations but unfortunately not all cultural facts are statistically testable PRIMARY FACETS OF CHINESE CULTURE-CONFUCIANISM IN BRIEF As a moral system Confucianism focuses on the relationship between man and man which is defined by five virtues humanitybenevolence ren righteousness yi propriety li wisdom zhi and trustworthiness xin Another focus is on the five hierarchical relationships between father and son ruler and ruled husband and wife elder brother and younger brother and friend and friend this pair is equal in position These are the virtues and relationships of a society where
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