Wrap Up America
Respice, Adspice, Prospice
Going through 75 years of my life in just over 200 pages is not as simple as it may appear. Many of my stories, for lack of direct relevance, had to be excised from this latest draft, but I believe the purpose of this book has been fulfilled. Reciting every event would have its value in a fragmented way, but the most important lessons of my life are contained here. My experiences in other countries, like Israel, South Korea, France, and Italy speak to the varied cultures and communities with which I have had the pleasure and privilege to work. I have been able to draw new lines of contrast and comparison among the different nations, some of which are obvious and others more nuanced.
For example, I learned that the South Korean business mentality is more similar to the American one than to Western Europe or anywhere else in the Far East. There is an aggression among executives that one may only find in these two countries. When South Korean businesspeople want something, they do everything in their power to get it. In the United States, we see a similarity but it is couched in a different set of cultural values and ethics. Israel and Japan share similar business cultures as well. The kibbutz mentality of keeping business in the family extends to almost all areas of Israeli industry. The value of currency takes a lower priority to the quality of life for the individual. In Japan, business is the employee and the employee is the business. ...