To start the new year, real estate billionaire Feng Lun started a talk show Normal Speaking, inviting the noted former CCTV host Cui Yongyuan as the host and first speaker.
With a sense of humor, Feng Lun ironically “praises” the Communist Chinese Women’s Federation of too much interference in people’s private life.
Normal speaking has not been easy in a society under communist rule. One state-run media said “The Chinese people are welcoming the rise of petrol prices with a happy mind” – this is not normal speaking. Because the sense of justice and rationality is the same with everybody.
Once a CCP official forgot to fasten his zipper after going to the toilet. His female secretary saw his red underwear when taking the same lift with him; she did not say anything. At a meeting, other lower level managers also saw his red underwear but did not say anything. The whole day, all his subordinates saw his red underwear but did not say anything. After work, when getting into his car, his driver told that he had his zipper open. He was so embarrassed that the following day he decided to fire his driver. People cannot have normal speaking in an abnormal society.
Feng tells the year 2018 was a difficult time for China’s real estate industry. To survive, founders of two most powerful development companies became one family with a marriage. Secondly many real estate companies changed their names, deleting the once hottest words “real estate”. Third, many real estate companies have sold their assets. This year, a total of 126 companies sold their shares and gave up their property business. Many bosses have to admit their mistakes.
Normal speaking makes people feel good at ease. Normal speaking lets people feel a sense of mutual trust and it is a must in any society. With this reasoning, the most popular TV host Cui Yongyuan is best known for his guts to speak the truth.
To start with humor, Mr. Cui tells the audience he has received dozens of death threats recently because of his revelation of corruption in the top leadership of China’s Supreme Court. He says dozens of cars were following him to the venue of the talk show, apparently people with threats for his life too.
Language is a magical thing. It turns the death into life; it can also turn danger into safety. Because of his popularity in speaking the truth, Mr. Cui is not afraid of CCP assassination.
Speaking to an audience of about 8,000 intellectuals, another popular talk show speaker Luo Zhenyu had his annual Cross-year Speech in Shenzhen with the theme “Time’s Friend-logical thinking”. He tells about the “little trends” happening daily across the country that have brought about opportunities to life.
Luo started the Cross-Year Speech 4 years ago and now with personal APP downloads of 26 million users, he has plans to do the speech for twenty years.
From June to August 2018, the Peak Pegasus, a 229 metre bulk carrier, with shipment of 70,000 tonnes of soya beans worth more than $20m (£15.5m) was bobbing aimlessly in the Pacific Ocean for over a month, a casualty of the escalating trade war between China and the US.
Luo said many things and many people in China during the past year were like this ship, “taking round-abouts in the middle of the ocean waiting for signals to continue with the journey”.
While you are planning your own things, the world has another plan for you.
In the beginning of past year, we have said there might be five black swans; but we actually saw a dense mass of swans flying over our heads in 2018. Things have changed so fast that we no longer feel familiar with this world.
In 2018 too many giants have left the world like physicist Stephen William Hawking, former UN General Secretary Kofi Atta Annan, former US president George Walker Bush, Chinese wuxia novelist Louis Cha Jing-yong, etc. We have to say good-bye to some familiar things too.
In 2018, Wanke, the most successful property developer in China, posted these three words at its annual conference: “Continue to survive”. It tells the anxiety of many businesses in the country.
Some people say 2019 might be the worst year in the past decade; it might also be the best year in the coming decade. But not all people are so pessimistic.
For entrepreneurs, the worst years might have the best opportunities. You do not have to worry too much about other people; you just need to do your own things well. Getting up early today, you do not have to check the weather forecast for all global cities, just check that in your own city. If the world has its plan, you can all the same do your own plan.
There will be many small trends in the coming year. Mobile payment is one of them. The coming of 5G will change the life of many. Any change in technology will bring about trends of opportunities. We need to be positive in life. Even if you have learned the truth of life to be miserable, face it with love.
In today’s society, many people are accustomed to multi-level thinking. Universities will be open to people of all ages. A sixty year old grandmother can start a new career or learn a new hobby.
Our society shall have lots of “non-consensus”. It is our consensus to allow for the individual non-consensus. That’s power to innovation and renovation. Many people will look backwards for innovation, instead of looking forwards. We might go back to history to look for solutions. We will seek wisdom from our ancestors.
This “non-consensus” does not act against other things or other people. It only tells the truth of a story in a different way. A group of friends can have a party; but now an individual can also have a party. With non-consensus, no individual ideology can govern everything.
In 2018, new medicines or therapies have come out to cure cancers. In the near future, cancers will no longer threaten our lives. More and more people will have the opportunity to live over 100 years. And we will have lots of time to spend.
With longevity, many relations will change: How shall we get along with our kids? What about the relation between husband and wife? How many more jobs shall we have in one life? What’s the meaning of success and failure?
In 2018, many people have showed pictures of themselves in Wechat accounts or friend groups, retreating to forests or meditation in Buddhist practice, but in reality they work hard day and night with ambitions. People are building or transferring another kind of trust, with personal experience to measure the length of the globe.
Schools have changed too. People tell more stories, pass different messages and build new relations. Communist propaganda works in some places and for some population. More people have their own ways to find happier and funnier things. More people have lived with common sense and logical thinking.
Luo Zhenyu tells a story about some “left-over” children in rural mountainous areas. With the help of volunteer teachers, students in a small primary school in Sichuan province are no longer miserable in life. Without the educational resources and advantages as students in large cities, these students live a normal life without pressure of exams or too much homework. The countryside is their play ground. With the help of volunteer teachers with logical thinking and without propaganda-like education, they live a much happier life than city children with more confidence in independence and in their future development.
The world has changed. China has changed. The individuals have changed.
In the end, everything will be a good thing. If not, it is not yet the end. Our greatest gift to the future is devoting everything to the present.
By Cloudy Seagail