Instructor: Edwin Hostetter
World Religions: East and West REL-223-CL05
3 April 2016
Book Report One: Confucius Lives Next Door
This is a very interesting book. I thought it was kind of dry at times, but overall it was a good book to read. I, myself, have been to almost all of Asia so I was able to relate to parts of the book. I think that the crime rate is directly related to education. I found some information that suggests the while we strive to educated the individual in the west, they tend to educated the society in the east. A lot of crime, in my opinion, is based on how an individual is effected by their community or society. If you educate the society on all ...view middle of the document...
Being humane is important if we are to get the results as they did in Asia. Humane can be a form of discipline and learning. Justice is important, in my opinion, for crime rates. Without justice, there would be no consequences for a crime committed. Knowledge is key for the education of the society. Integrity tells us that we must stand by our values. Good manners are definitely hard to come by here in the west. It is all about being nice to each other and doing nice things for someone without expecting something in return. Based on these values, I agree with how the Asian social miracle happened but not sure how the time frame. This could have happened at any time and could happen at any time here in the west, but it will take time. What I do now is the Japan was different before World War II. It was a very sexist country. You heard a lot more about geishas. From reading Reid’s book, you don’t hear anything about the sexism. You read about low crime, great education, etc.
I think being polite or the value of Li can be good and bad. On one hand, bowing to people or just being polite to each other helps build a society. However, in regards to rules or laws, I think “over politeness” can be a bad thing. If someone is too nice to me in telling me not to do something, I would probably think to myself that it is preferred that I don’t do it but it is ok if I do. When a company holds a ceremony to welcome new employees this could be polite and also enforces integrity. This is one of the things that Reid talks about in this book. “At NEC and hundreds of other companies all over Japan, April 1 is the day for the Nyu-Sha-Shiki, or Entering-the-Company ceremony” (Reid 154). One thing that I learned while visiting Asia, is that if you smoke, it is polite to offer everyone in your group a cigarette even if they don’t smoke. As a smoker, I found this to be odd and maybe expensive. But the fact is that cigarettes are cheaper in Asia then here in the United States and I got used to this custom.
Most Asians are scared of Americans and think we should be more like them. “Today’s prosperous and confident Asians are arguing that America and other Western nations need to become more Asian” (Reid 222). It is unfortunate but they get some or all of their information from TV shows that could only show negative aspects of the west. We could also watch shows that only show negative aspects of the east. If you go visit a jail, you will probably only see bad people. Does that mean the entire community or society is bad? I think not. There will always be bad apples in the tree. If you only eat the bad ones, then of course that will leave a bad taste in your mouth. They also think that America is caught in a downward spiral. I think this is true. We have to look at our presidential candidates and how we ostracize our own people. It is no wonder Asian people can have a tendency to ostracize Americans in their countries.
I really found reading the chapter Yodobashi No....