Aug 16

Juan Antonio Samaranch and He Zhenliang

Written by guest on Saturday, August 16th, 2008 at 3:35 pm
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We have two distinguished guests today. They come from different backgrounds and have held different positions. But because of one common goal, they got close to each other and eventually became friends. That common goal is to bring the Olympic Games to China . CCTV9 – Up Close

Air Time:
August 16 @ 09:15 15:15 23:15 Beijing Time

Someone once wrote on this blog that he thought that the honorable Juan Antonio Samaranch “is incapable of smiling.” This was the poster’s impression from his casual observation. Now, I would like to encourage viewers to tune on to CCTV-9 today to watch a smiling Samaranch together with Mr. He Zhenliang, Vice President, IOC.

During the show, the two elderly gentlemen were living proof that the West & East could work very well together. Listening to them compliment and interact with each other together with their sincere mutual mannerisms, these two global peace-makers obviously have much for all of us to take notes and seriously learn from.

At one point, Mr. Samaranch even told the audience something that very few people knew of his Chinese colleague, Mr. He. Samaranch revealed that under that calm exterior and wise disposition, Mr. He would not hesitate to defend the good name of his country, even yelled at members of the IOC committee for, in Mr. He’s own words, “talking nonsense.”

Mr. Samaranch when asked to use a sentence to describe his colleague and friend of 30 years, said, “He is wise and is my Chinese brother.” When it was Mr. He’s turn to do the same, he told the audience that, and I am paraphrasing here, the Chinese people have much to thank Mr. Samaranch because of his unreserved love for China and the Chinese people — which by his actions have well proved, and concluded by saying, “He is my mentor and my brother.”

What I got out of watching the program was, as someone here had brought up recently — the importance of the tone of voice — written or spoken. The other thing was how little non Chinese understand our culture. This was made clear when Mr. He told the audience that he was considered as a poet and a philosopher by many foreigners, when in fact like almost all Chinese, he has the common — very Chinese tendency to quote old sayings and common Chinese clichés. In fact, Mr. Samaranch said the same of Mr. He. This goes to show, people of different cultures and backgrounds don’t have to have an in-depth understanding of the others culture, to be able to be great friends or have a healthy working relationship. Respect, open mindedness and humility — not perceived facts or insistence in a certain set of world view — but the aforementioned attitude expressed in good manners, over time, with patience and quiet contributive efforts, will move mountains — for the light of truth and understanding to shine through. As they say, change must begin with oneself.

So, folks, the dragon can’t change its scales any more than the leopard its spots and neither do either need to. If only we all will or choose to adopt the right attitude and practice good manners, right? You all know exactly what and how to do this because the truth is, everything you need to learn about life, you learned them in Kindergarten — they are not complicated when the cure for the disease of arrogance and narrow mindedness is applied.

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