REFLECTIONS ON CHINESE VALUES AND PRIORITIES
If I am walking with two other men, each of them will serve as my teacher. I will pick out the good points of one and imitate them and the bad points of the other and correct them in myself
One of the most important and most misunderstood qualities of character and behaviour in the Chinese psyche is the search for the authentic in behaviour and in emotions.
Yet it is not a term many Westerners associate with being of fundamental importance to the Chinese. Surely cultural priorities for the Chinese, in terms of emotional approaches and behaviours, lie in strength, efficiency, responsibility to family, adherence to the collective and to social order. So why have we chosen to focus on authenticity as a common emotional ground for engaging and relating well to the Chinese? We return obligatorily to the primary importance of relationships.
You will remember the high value the Chinese place on relationships to support and order their lives, the primary role in terms of personal identity that is fulfilled by being a responsible member of the collective and displaying relationship finesse at all times. This is the very basis of emotionally intelligent living for the Chinese, and at the heart of this relationship skill and finesse is the ability to choose those with whom one will bond, invest life energy, share face, and journey in relationship ties that carry huge privileges and obligation.