I came to live in China in 1991. I admit that I was a common confident(proud) independent American. In China, I learned about friendship.
Chinese people treat their friends and family better than we ever do. And they treat people they have no connection with worse than you ever would.
Westerners often treat people of all classes, races, and familiarity with equal respect. Meaning I am naturally polite to an orphan or my sisters.
At first arrival, I looked down on Chinese class prejudice. I saw they often treated people they did not know like dirt. They were perplexed that Nixon had to resign for being too loyal to his friends. They thought his loyalty should be rewarded and not punished. Also, even today, you get better treatment if you are white than if you are black, if you are rich or poor, or if you are an acquaintance or not in China.
However, in China I learned that many Americans are lonely and do not even know it. I learned that I had been lonely all my life and not known it.
I learned in China that real friendship has traction. I learned how far acquaintances would go for people they knew. In China, I learned that many people in my own country, including myself, had gone too far in independence and in ‘Freedom From…’
Chinese people are in life together with others. The Americans are often too independent. I did not need anyone for anything. I never borrowed money from friends in the States but have in China. I have never loaned money to an American but have to Chinese people and even an African.
China is changing and becoming more Westernized, but I hope they never lose real connections between friends and family. I hope the Americans can cease to be so overly independent that they will not go deep even with their friends. I hope the Americans can learn to have ties that bind and not just free gifts. And I still think it was good that we made Nixon resign.