Wednesday, July 30, 2008

the trip to the School of Public Affairs at OSU

John Glenn’s School of Public Affairs

As it is known to all of us, the U.S. is the most developed nation in the whole world so that stepping on the land of America has always been one of my dreams. Fortunately, the WHU and OSU’ collaboration on this summer program helped me realize this dream. I am not willing to pretend myself to be tranquil, as even until now I am feeling a little bit surreal – surreal but nice.

During the ten days trip there are quite a lot of wonderful experiences that I have never had in my life, such as the tour in the Air Force museum and the visit to City Hall and State House, which helped me better understanding the American political system. Furthermore, I found out the serious reason that should mainly announce for some conflicts between Western world and Chinese government: the fundamental opposition between power-centralization and decentralization. Absolutely there are advantages and disadvantages in those two styles, thus it seems like a waste of time to discuss the controversy or about which type is superior to the other.

However, one point of commonality that I should have to mention and highlight is the special recent experience – the excellent lesson in the John Glenn’s School of Public Affairs at OSU.

Some history:
As a national heroic character, John Glenn is well-known for being the first American astronaut that traveled to the outer space in 1962. He was born in the early 20th century and now lives at the age of ninety. In retrospect, his whole legendary career seems like an introductive movie about how to become an American idol. During the WWII, John Glenn attended the U.S Air Force Army and was trained to pilot fighters. Then he was awarded for many times because of his supreme fighting ability that might originate from his desire of flying in his childhood. In the 1960s, he was selected to participate in NASA’s program of sending humans to space. As it is known to us, the program achieved success in 1962 and cheered up the citizens so much that they lauded John Glenn as national hero. Several years later, like many other idols, John was elected a Senator and started to focus on public affairs until now.

Although public affairs include manifold aspects such as economy, policy and welfare, its main subject is to distribute limited resources to maximize the utility of community as a whole. To achieve this goal, the department of public affairs should concentrate on working out some strategies and encourage people to get involved with the country “actually”, which means not only a member of the society but a host as well.

In my point of view, the core spirit of the public affairs investigation is that “everyone should contribute to achieve harmony”. Though the fundamental duty of John Glenn’s school is to do research to offer some efficient suggestions to the government, it seems more important and necessary to guide civilians to actively care about social issues. In modern society, while accompanied with the improvement of technology, we are facing more challenges and more new problems than before. For instance, wars happen every day in different areas on earth; new sorts of dangerous diseases appear; the exponentially increasing demand of fuel constructs an ironic comparison with the tremendous amount of wastrel (something that has not been properly used). On the other hand, drugs, violence, divorce and some other social problems jeopardize the origin of human virtues.

Thus no matter whether we view this from a material or spiritual perspective, our homeland is in serious crisis of which a solution can only be provided by all people’s effort. The country of origen is irrelevant. To protect our beautiful blue Earth and our bright, high-level and promising civilization, we will really need everybody’s effort.

One drop may not be powerful, but billions of drops together may become oceans; an individual’s effort may seem useless, but a whole community’s effort can create a giant wave of positive change.

Yisiwei Zhu
Francis 31/07/2008
posted from the hotel in Piscataway, New Jersey

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