Whereas other societies look to the past for guidance, we cast our nets forward(面向未来)
It is the belief in a brighter future that gives us optimism.
Even these days, when not all progress seems positive (nuclear weapons, air pollution, unemployment, etc.), the belief remains that for every problem there is a rational solution.
The job of the parents is to give the children every opportunity while they are growing up and then get out of their way.
What deference people in authority do command is based on their actual powers rather than on their age, wisdom, or dignity.
In a society that changes as fast as ours, experience simply does not have the value that it does in traditional societies.
It has taken a long time to convince the public that free enterprise does not mean that a company should be free to pollute the air, foul the rivers, and destroy the forests.
The assembly line reduced workers to cogs of machinery and made their jobs unutterably boring, but it produced goods fast.
Food is prepackaged and shopping is impersonal, but the efficiency of the operation produces lower prices and less shopping time.
As an American is always striving to change his lot, he never fully identifies with any group.
In America, there are no such expressions such as in china where “the fat pig gets slaughtered,” or in Japan, where “the nail that sticks out gets hammered down.”
This freedom from the group has enabled the American to become “Economic Man”-one directed almost purely by profit motive, mobile and unencumbered(不受阻碍的)by family or community obligations.
Equipped with the money, one can acquire the taste, style, and ideas that mark each class and launch a quick ascent of the social ladder.
Actually, persons in status societies who are secure in their niches (适当的位置)are allowed more eccentricity than Americans, who rely heavily on signals that other people like them.
When half the population goes to college, one cannot expect the colleges to maintain the same standards as in countries where only the elite attend.
Just as not every Japanese is hardworking and deferential to superiors (长者、上司), not every Chinese is devoted to family, not every American is ambitious or patriotic - or even unsophisticated.
No one could seriously think that anyone who grows up poor, lives in a bad neighborhood, and attends an inferior school has an opportunity equal to that of someone more favored.
Americans may not have achieved equality, but at least they aspire to it, which is more than many other nations can claim.