A story tells of the different consumption habits between the Chinese and the Americans. A Chinese old lady and an American old lady meet each other in heaven. The American lady says: “Finally I paid off my home loans after 30 hard years.” The Chinese says: “Finally I saved up enough money to buy a house after 30 hard years.” The American lived 30 years in her house, paying off the loans in the half of her lifetime, while the Chinese spent the half of her lifetime saving money for a house. When the money is saved up, she dies, without living a single day in her newly bought house.
The story indicates that the Americans’ way of spending tomorrow’s money is more advanced and enables people to lead a comfortable life in advance. On the contrary, the Chinese are used to saving money and then spending it. They work hard in their whole life but are left with no time to enjoy the fruits of their diligence.
The story continues:
The children of the American said after her death: “Right after mother’s funeral we have to apply for new credits in order to buy a new house.” The children of the Chinese said after the mother went to heaven: “Our mother was really a great one. She was hard-working in her life and left us a house after her death. We shall just do the same for our children. “The children of the American live in the new house bought with loans and the children of the Chinese live in the new house bought by their mother.
The difference of the Chinese and American consumption habits reflect also the difference in family values and social values. The children of the American lady applied for loans, live in the new house and enjoy their lives. The children of the Chinese lady also have a new house to live in and can enjoy their lives. The only difference is that the house is left by their mother.
Maybe that is why the Americans pray before meals, saying “my Lord, thank you for the food and clothes”, while the Chinese worship their ancestors. For the Chinese the ancestors bless and look after the offspring, therefore they are worth much more respect than God.
In consideration of the latest subprime lending crisis in the States the Chinese may still wish to leave the children a house, rather than lead the second half of their lives in the shadow of paying off loans.