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Guest Post: Greatness and Humility

A few days ago, I wrote an open letter to a good friend of mine - "I Think Greatness is Something You Are, Not Something You Do" - I said to him, I'm not a great man, just a normal man working on great things. Greatness is something you do, not something you are.

To give you some background, my friend Brendon is just one of the most amazingly good people in the world. He takes care of everyone around him, his mind, body, and spirit are sharp. He's a black belt, an excellent programmer, a philosopher, a Shodan in Go (actually, even stronger than that - he's a Shodan under the Asian rankings, so probably even higher in America), a hard worker, extremely loyal, a clear and free thinker, widely read and knowledgeable, and again - an amazingly good guy. I've learned a lot from him (notably, he taught me how to play Go, sysadmin Linux, understand basketball at a very high level, improve at martial arts, improve my fitness, and other good stuff - we'd usually go drink green tea and play Go at Samurai Restaurant in Boston, go fight in the park, talk philosophy out at nightclubs, do stuff like that).

He wrote back to me about greatness and humility. I think this is a really beautiful piece, so I asked him if I could gently edit it and put it up. He graciously agreed. It's long, but go ahead and just start it and give it whatever time you have - there's a lot of amazing insight in here.

A Quick Favor Request - if you learn from this or it helps you, please send Brendon a quick email to mail@bobz.in - he was actually a little gun-shy about having such a personal piece put up with such raw power in it. He only agreed when I told him how many people it could help - so please, drop him a short line to say thanks if this teaches you as much as it did me.

Without further ado...

Elderly Population and physical activity in China and the US

On The Thoughtful Young Djedi from Bermuda

[Note: I wrote this as a sophmore in university.]

The elderly population of a developing country can be a good indicator of its development and social progress. It can show an improved standard of living, technological innovations and economical advances within society. Fundamentally, a look at the lives of an elderly population can give good insight to the general direction and prosperity of that country. No better example of this phenomenon is happening in present day China, which hosts the largest population of elderly people in the world.

In the last 10 years China’s economic development plans has enabled it to grow at an unprecedented rate of 7-8% per annum. The rapid development of China’s economy has produced great advances in the living standards of Chinese people. Moreover, China has experienced both rapid growths in the sheer number of elderly people and in their proportions of the total population. This has created an ageing problem in China and is one of the countries’ biggest challenges moving into the 21st century, with the elderly ratio projected to reach 27 percent by 2050.

An extended period of post-work life and an increased standard of living have been the results of the economic reforms implemented by Deng Xiaoping in the 1980s. As a result the lives of elderly people, particularly their leisure life are an increasingly important topic of social conversations in China. This demographic shift in the structures of Chinese society can be observed in Shanghai, China’s largest city in terms of population. Leisure life of elderly people in Shanghai is centered about public parks and this will be the main focus of the paper.

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