Reena-Chhabra-BR1 - Reena Chhabra Confucius Lives Next Door...

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Reena ChhabraConfucius Lives Next Door Book ReviewThe book “Confucius lives next door” by T.R. Reid narrates about a man, a longtime reporter and Asian correspondent at The Washington Post, and his family who have decided to move to Japan in order for him to take over the paper’s Tokyo bureau. The book describes all their experiences while adjusting to a new lifestyle, traditions, core values, and culture of mysterious oriental countries; teaches us about Asian spirit, history and current affairs, and introduces us to an idea of social miracle, which Asians achieved by holding to a set of ethical values. The argument that ancient Confucian teachings have contributed to a sort of Pan-Asian value system that explains East Asia’s current economic and social success is an intriguing one. It’s tempting, too. The answer is that a sort of Confucian ethic helped breed Asia’s late-twentieth-century transformation from ragged to rich. Confucianism teaches individuals of both high and low birth to strive for success in their lifetime and in the long-term interests of their direct descendants. “One need to reconcile oneself to one’s current lot in life, it says…..Education is foreveryone. Moral cultivation can be expected to pay rich dividends.” (T.R. Reid, “Confucius lives next door”, p. 19) In this environment, families could anticipate that hard work, savings, study, and attention to market opportunities would improve their standing in society. Such circumstances fostered a competitive and, within understandable premodern limitations, an entrepreneurial spirit. With an establishment of the ancient lessons of Confucius, it is anything but difficult to clarify the locales' low rates of wrongdoing, burglary, drug use and family breakdown, and relatively abnormal state of financial correspondence and social consideration. By a number of
the standard measures of effective social orders, the countries of East Asia have been remarkablyfruitful: they have the safest streets; the strongest and the most stable families with low rates of separation (Divorce), and for all intents and purposes no single parents; the best schools in the world since public education tests out as the best in the world; equal distribution of nation’s wealth with a broad sense of equality that gives almost everybody a stake in the society and thus helps assure, for the most part, safe and peaceful living conditions. All this can be described as East Asia’s social miracle. This miracle is more important than the economic miracle, and one that seems less susceptible to cyclical ups and downs. Even as the region has become

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