Saturday, 17 October 2009

为什么有些人那么物质? / Why are some people so materialistic?

(English below)
昨天跟一个同学聊天, 说到了工作和人生志向。

她说好多同学顶破头挤进了高盛 (Goldman Sachs) 做金融,但是一天工作十六十七个小时, 人很不开心。 去做那工作就是为了赚些钱, 但是赚到了钱又丢到生命的快乐。 我就跟她说, “那他们就辞职干其它工作吧?” 她说, “谁舍得穿的好还有住五星宾馆啊?”

我想了想,难道这些都受过中国最好大学教育的青年思想怎么拜金啊? 他们觉得奢侈和金钱可以带了真正的幸福和精神满足吗? 现在中国经济发展,确实有创业家作了极大的贡献, 但是我觉得一个创业家最自豪的不应该是他/她赚了多少钱, 而是他/她战胜了多少挑战而做出了一件伟大的事业。

只知道穿名牌和住 五星宾馆, 他们一辈子的志向就怎么短见啊? 自己不想给人类留下一种影响吗? 我的最大愿望就是能死前发现我做的一切努力让人类社会变得更好, 能让其他人更幸福。

所以我选择了科学可科技。 我特别喜欢用数学作医药研究 (model-based drug development, bioinformatics). 希望我这辈子可以帮助解除一些人间疾病造成的痛苦。 这样或者才有意义。 光自己享受太狭窄了。

Yesterday I was chatting with a young female colleague about life and career goals.

She mentioned that many people worked tireless at getting into Goldman Sachs, only to find out the miserable long work hours after they enter. These people enter GS mainly to earn good money. But they cannot find time to enjoy the material that the money can buy. So I mentioned to her, why don't they just quit and find a different job? She said, how could anyone forgive a life of wearing brand name apparels and living in five-star hotels?

I was shocked. How can the best educated students in China be this materialistic? Could they possibly think that money can bring true happiness? As the current economy of China booms, we must admit to the great contributions that new generation of entrepreneurs made. However, their satisfaction should be based on the accumulation of account balance but rather from a sense of achievement for overcoming obstacles.

If you only know about living in luxury hotels and wearing expensive clothes, isn't that a rather short-sighted view of life? Ask yourself, what impact do you want to leave on society? What do you want your legacy to be? A life time of ostentatious hedonism? My own personal goal is to leave the world seeing that it is better place based on my efforts.

This is why I chose science. I hope to use science and technology to make people's lives better. To discover knowledge that would benefit mankind for years to come and to lay foundations for future generations. Living like this instills meaning in life. A lifetime of self-enjoyment is not for me.

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