Encountering and Enlightening: The Speech by Dean Mao Haoran at the Orientation for the New Postgraduates

Publish Time:2022-09-07 Author:Author:Mao Haoran; Translators: Du Senwei, Wang Zhijie, Jiang Chongyu, Li Lei; Tutor: Zhan Hai; Proofreaders: Yang Jie, Neville Edwards, Mao Haoran, Li Yanyun Views:15

Dear colleagues, class of 2022, and parents online,

Good morning!

Just now each supervisor expressed excellent expectations and suggestions for the class, and you may find what the supervisors said here are no clichés that might be correct in appearance but empty in essence. Under no circumstances should you utter those correct-but-empty words, which is my sincere hope, and the should-be style of our School as well. Majoring in foreign language studies, we shall never follow others blindly in language use and be influenced by language corruption.

In the First Chapter of The Analects of Confucius, there goes a quote that “An honorable and wise person focuses on cultivating the fundamentals. Once those are established, all courses of action shall emanate from them.” Here fundamentals are indisputably essentials, cores, and keys. How would you grasp the cores of, and practice what matters most in developing your RQ (Research Quotient), IQ (Intelligence Quotient), EQ (Emotional Quotient), AQ (Adversity Quotient), and TQ (Time Quotient) in the next three years? How would you carry out our School Motto “Think Global, Act Local” and let it bloom and bear fruits? The supervisors’ remarks have already answered such questions, and now let me move forward to share with you two keywords: encountering and enlightening.  


1. Encountering

(1) Encountering Classmates


This year in our school, the newly registered postgraduates reach 136, and the newly registered undergraduates are 121. The former has already outnumbered the latter for two years in a row, and therefore, I can’t help asking “can postgraduates, greater in size, powerfully inject fresh energy into our research-oriented School?”

When I was the Dean of College of Foreign Languages at Huaqiao University, I found that every new postgraduate there became very humble after the orientation. You know why? It was because they found 100% of the MTI candidates in interpreting and 80% of those in translation had already gained CATTI Level-2 Certificate. Now in our School here, the past two years have seen a significant soar in the number of CATTI Level-2 Certificate holders, six times more than before. Therefore, it is quite safe to say you are surrounded by a great many translation experts now.

When my second-year postgraduate Li Rongfeng came to our School last year, he was already a CATTI Level-2 Certificate holder, and what’s more, he has now successfully gained his CATTI Level-1 Certificate. Knowing what you achieve is far from enough, you will progress; knowing what others achieve is more than enough, you will progress further. Only by realizing you are much behind others and have nothing to pride in, can you work hard and never complain, and embark on a new journey of radical self-transformation.

As classmates, you need to know that, not all relations will do you good, but those that can benefit each other will. Please ask yourself: “Can I be helpful to my classmates or even teachers?” Keep examining yourself! The more you examine yourself, the clearer your road will be for personal development.

Some people approach you, but only to wear out your soul while others come to elevate your soul. Within the magnetic field of the latter, you can be warmed and powered too, even if you idle away your days together. For your classmates, teachers, relatives, and friends, you should be a terrific gift, not a terrible blow. Remember, never become a “childish adult”, nor a “garbage man” who only troubles others every day. When you graduate three years from now, if your classmates can still say to you “it’s so nice to know you”, you will know they mean it.


(2) Encountering Supervisors


The speeches made by the supervisors just now are all brilliant with different styles, and Mr. Xu Wenbin’s great sense of humor truly explains the wisecrack that an interesting soul is one in a million. Now let me tell you something. Nearly 60% of our teachers graduated from Project 985 universities and over 75% of the supervisors graduated from Project 985 universities and renowned universities abroad, such as Peking University, Zhejiang University, Nanjing University, Shandong University, Jilin University, Nankai University, Tongji University, Ocean University of China, Beihang University, Beijing Foreign Studies University, Shanghai International Studies University, Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, Beijing Normal University, Northeast Normal University, Dalian Polytechnic University, Lanzhou University, Hong Kong Polytechnic University and Edinburgh University. Dr. Zhao Tingting, who has just given a wonderful speech, acquired her Master’s and Doctoral degrees from Peking University. I don’t mean only those who graduate from Project 985 universities are qualified to be supervisors. I’m not from such one. As a non-985 graduate, I can still lead well those 985-graduate teachers in our School. However, I am quite clear that I must work very hard, and if I, a Ph.D. supervisor, don’t work hard, a witty remark will prove true that a Ph.D. supervisor is one whose head is permanently damaged.

In addition to the super supervisor team, we also have a strong administrative team. Ms. Liu Shuyan, the Director of the Administrative Office graduated from Lanzhou University, also a Project 985 university, with a Master’s degree in Management. Ms. Liu Wenjing, the Secretary of Postgraduate Education Office, won her Ph.D. from the University of Leeds. Therefore, I suggest that you should never go too far in front of your supervisors and other faculty and staff.

I’ve read some ridiculous stories about students driving their supervisors mad before the thesis defense. To avoid such tragedies, I’d like to give you four pieces of advice:

Firstly, don’t send the thesis to your supervisor at the last minute before the deadline, because you are not the only student to be supervised. For each grade, some supervisors guide 7 to 9 students, which means over 20 in total for three grades, and this number is even bigger for some Ph.D. supervisors. Some students send their papers to the supervisors at midnight just before the defense meeting, emphasizing “Please revise it and I am going to have the defense tomorrow morning!” How bossy and inconsiderate you are! Do you want to tire your supervisor out to death? (laughter)

So please learn to put yourselves in other people’s shoes and do not let your supervisors pay the bill for your procrastination. Life is precious, so treasure the life of your supervisors and yourselves, please!

Secondly, please pay attention to the manner of address. For example, one of my students called me “Professor Mao Haoran”. Oh my God! This manner of the address separates us so far from each other socio-psychologically. (Laughter) As we are all language learners, why couldn’t we use the proper address? You can just call me “Dean” “Supervisor” “Mr. Mao” or “Master”.

Thirdly, don’t mistake your supervisor’s kindness as your luck, and indeed, never take your supervisor’s kindness for granted. You should know that love doesn’t come from nowhere. When seeing that your supervisor shows a likeness to a certain student, you need to ask yourself “Can I put forward the same constructive ideas as he does, or do I always mess things up or even add trouble when it comes to a critical moment?” “To put yourself in other’s shoes” is easier said than done. Between being said and being done, there is an extremely giant gap. I hope that all of you can honor your words through concrete actions and that all of you can put yourself in other’s shoes and think from other’s perspectives.

Some students, who cannot withstand the strictness of their supervisors, may even threaten to resort to extreme behaviour if their will is not satisfied. If I were told this way, I would say: “Do as you like! Just remember to inform your parents in advance.” I will render them no tolerance. I hate others talking to me in such a threatening way. Everyone should have a correct attitude toward how to study, work and speak. We should focus on solving problems. One should not waste time at an early stage while threatening his supervisor when the time is eaten up. I am strict with both the students and teachers in my academic team. During the summer holiday, my postgraduates participated in the “525” program to improve academic thinking and writing through highly demanding training, an almost next to devil training.

Involved in the training too are over 30 teachers in and outside the School, of whom some have obtained a doctoral degree and some are professors. Since our principle is that those who cannot present their academic work within 2 weeks shall be moved out of the group, three teachers failing to do that were removed. While doing research, one should not beg “Can you lower the standards for me since I am a little girl”. Don’t forget that most students in our School are girls, and there is no bargain when it comes to research. Never dream that you are an exception.

Some students would apply to change their supervisors on a whim. For such students, I have a question, “If you can’t swim, can it make any difference to change the pool?” You need to learn to swim, and even manage to swim in the sea. Some may say, “I am already in the water”, but is it of any use just to get your feet wet or play with the spray? You should step out of your comfort zone, striving all the way from the fear zone to the learning zone, and finally you can reach the growth zone. Besides effort, the sequence of doing things is just as important. You need first to make a choice on what to do, and then decide on how to do it. Your efforts will only pay off when you have made the right choice. Choice matters more than diligence.

I advise you to keep exchanging ideas with your supervisors on the subject of your thesis and choose a valuable one that you are interested in and willing to devote yourselves to. I respect my students’ interest: if they are interested in the TV series Empresses in the Palace, they can study the translation of the subtitles; if they are fond of the novels of Louis Cha, they can dig into the translation of the nicknames of his characters; if they are fascinated by Harry Potter, then they can study the translation of the spells in it.

You’d better not waste your time on a subject that you’re not interested in, or you will get bored and exhausted. All researches are exhausting, but those of your interest can make you delightedly devote your time and energy instead of feeling crashed.

The rate of failure in the thesis proposal, mid-term examination, pre-defense, and defense is fairly high. Ms. Xu Xiaoyan mentioned the forced ranking system just now. It actually means that in dissertation proposal, mid-term examination, and defense, students will be divided into many groups, and in each group the last two or three students would be failed.

However, to our delight, a dozen of students from Grades 2021 and 2020 voluntarily applied for a second dissertation proposal, even a third one. This indicates that they saw it as a great choice for self-discipline and self-development. At the beginning, those who were failed in their proposal felt very upset, but after they went through the second or third time of proposal defense, they were really happy, because, as they told me, “Mr. Dean, I have never expected that I could do such a wonderful job!

Trying or experimenting is a must for you to succeed, and of course, experiment must be carefully designed. When your supervisor is willing to invest in you, don’t let your rebellious nature get the better of you and resist blindly.

Fourthly, when you have questions, please search for the answers yourselves before turning to your supervisors. For all the things you can do, do them yourselves. Some students should think twice before asking questions, for their questions are not worth asking. For those questions whose answers you can find on Baidu, or the Website of the Graduate School of UPC, why do you need to ask your supervisors? Why do you need to ask the staff of the Postgraduate Education Office? Even a high school student can find the answers to those questions. However, don’t push yourself too hard when you’ve done your best yet still can’t solve the problem. In that case, ask your supervisor for help. Reliance on one’s effort doesn’t mean blind self-support.

Your supervisor cannot just give you academic guidance, but also provide life experience.  But I usually don’t like to meddle in my student’s daily life. If they have questions to ask me, I’ll answer them. Otherwise, I’d pretend to know nothing or let it be as it is. That’s exactly how I raised my daughter, who has already embarked on her own journey independently, though quite young.


(3) Encountering Pearls


Pearls, precious, are hard to get. One day when I was still a kid, I was herding cows when something shiny at the seaside suddenly caught my eye. I thought it was something like a pearl, agate, gem, or things like that. I ran 2 kilometers for it, only to realize it was just a piece of glass. (Laughter) Sounds stupid and naive, right? But will such thing happen in your postgraduate life? Of course.

Have you ever heard of the “sugarcane boy”? It’s the type of boy who seems sweet and innocent at first but eventually turns out to be a bad guy. That goes for your thesis proposal too. At first, you may think: “Wow! My topic is great!” But soon you’ll realize it is entirely without merit. (Laughter) So, listen. It’s dangerous to be alarmingly overconfident about your proposal as if it’s your newborn baby. To make a solid breakthrough, very possibly you will forsake at least 10 topics that merit no further research, particularly those concerning trivial subjects or subjects which seem new superficially but old in content. It’s like finding an ideal boyfriend or girlfriend. You need to pass more than 10 choices hardly worthy of your attention before you find the right one. Don’t pour your heart out the moment you see any man. You know what I mean.

Raise your awareness and be discreet. Not every man out there is reliable. The saying “Reading broadens the mind” is not necessarily true. Never expect to excel academically by simply reading all those low-rated, non-credible literature from unrecognized sources. Some even called it “to walk before you can run” in their defense when reading some journals of normal college or master’s theses. Remember: read articles published in CSSCI, SSCI, and A&HCI, or don’t bother to read at all.

Nowadays, you can get your hands on top articles, just like the manuals of Nine Yin Manual, Nine Yang Diving Skill, 18 Dragon Subduing Palms, and Heaven and Earth Great Shift, teachings of top martial arts in Louis Cha’s works, without paying too much price. So, why not read them? Remember the swordsman Yang Guo’s daughter, who managed to become a smiling proud wanderer in the martial artists’ community as a teenager. What’s her recipe for success? She read from Jade Maiden Heart Sutra to the Nine Yin Manual, all advanced manuals of some sort. Here is the moral of the story: read good books and follow great masters and you will get things done with half the effort.

Never spend the prime of your life making unnecessary mistakes. Your time is an invaluable asset, isn’t it? Go and hit the gyms, buy beauty products, pursue relationships and enjoy your life. Life is simple. Don’t complicate it.

Friedrich Nietzsche has a famous quote, “The reason why I am so smart is that I never waste time and energy on unnecessary people and things.” So, set your priorities in life. But here is a question: How to use “pearls” properly? How to read books effectively? When reading other students’ theses, many would say, “That is all? Not impressive!” Does that sound familiar? Well, certainly. I myself used to be like that. But later, I invented a new method of reading literature—to press the “pause” button. Say if I notice an article, I won’t read it in a hurry. Instead, I will ask myself how I would write an article with such a title, and what abstract I would manage to write. Then I’ll try to identify the author’s new ideas and then figure out how the author finds them in his mind.

Whenever I encounter linguistic data, diagrams, or results, I’d press the “pause” button and do some analysis, to see if I can find out any key points or patterns, or think about how I could write a discussion. After all these considerations, you’ll start to realize your shortfalls and make up for them in a targeted manner. There’s no point reading in haste. Try to slow down when reading, and you’ll come to appreciate the beauty of the proper usage of “pearls”.

Let’s say there’re dozens of “pearls”, then which do you need the most? The answer is that you need a thread, the so-called logic that several supervisors have all mentioned before. You need this thread to weave inside your brain all bits and pieces of information together, which, without a clear structure, would be otherwise hard to be internalized. Knowledge without being well-structured can’t be incorporated into your knowledge framework. To build well-structured knowledge, you’ll need the logic and the multi-layer and multi-label classification method.


(4) Encountering Lovers


Sometimes parents would say to me, “Mr. Dean, since they’re postgraduate students now, perhaps you should encourage them to find boy/girlfriends?”

I would answer, “As a supervisor, that’s not really within my power! If they’re willing to tell me, I am sure to help them. But if they don’t, I can’t do much then!”

But I want to give you two special pieces of advice. One is for boys here. We have quite a few men in Grade 2022. Remember: Girls are into boys with bad vibes, but not bad guys. Be smart. Act stupidly and your relationship will end.

Another one is for girls. What is a woman’s biggest failure? It’s to let your partner think that money is the only binding factor in this relationship. So, instead of becoming eye candy, try to be a smart beauty. Don’t become a sophisticated egoist.

On top of that, I’d like to give a third piece of advice for both boys and girls. Imagine this: One girl got mad at a boy. “What’s wrong?” The boy asked first. “It’s nothing!” Replied the girl. “Come on, tell me.” Continued the boy. “I said it’s nothing!” Said the girl. My suggestion for the boys. Just say “Sorry, my bad.” And for girls, don’t push any further by asking “What is your mistake?” Boys don’t know what exactly they did wrong. They just said those nice things to try to make you feel better. In the worst-case scenario when girls do ask the follow-up question, how do reply, boys? You could just say, “What? Can’t I be scolded by you without any reason?” That would probably settle the problem.

We all want to meet our Mr. or Miss Right in our best years. But it is often the person we meet that brings us the best part of life. I hope you are that very person who can bring his or her partner the best life, not someone who will hear his or her partner complaining years later: “Gosh! How could I be so blind to fall into you back then?”


(5) Encountering Yourselves


As a postgraduate student, you need to acquire skills of reading, questioning, and studying to graduate. Some students may ask, “Isn’t MTI all about translating or interpreting?” If you simply want to be a translator or interpreter, just directly go to find a job in a translation company. You don’t need to choose MTI. The development of scientific thinking is what truly makes you a postgraduate student. Learn to ask all sorts of questions. Is it true? Why? What’s the reason behind it?

Everything around you can be the subject of research. Recently, a movie called Return to Dust hit the big screen. After watching the movie, have you ever wondered whether it is proper for poverty to be portrayed purposefully to evoke people’s sympathy? Have you ever raised questions like: What is the root cause of poverty? How to uproot it? What will the future be like? Examine the social phenomenon, work out the essential question below the surface, and then put forward your targeted solutions. That’s the thinking pattern that a postgraduate student should have.

Again, for example, does the China-India conflict center around those dozens of square kilometers of territory? If not, what’s the real reason behind it? Some netizens lashed out at Russia, listing its past wrongdoings inflicted on China and questioning the revival of China-Russia diplomatic ties. You can’t randomly jump on this anti-Russia bandwagon. You need to think rationally and take a national perspective. Don’t repeat what other people are saying, nor say absurd things just for show. Support yourself with facts and figures.

The greatest difference between postgraduates and undergraduates is that the former can be called young scholars after training for some time. What does it mean to be a scholar? It means that you should know more and more about less and less. Scientific research values not quantity but the quality of knowledge. The very thing postgraduates should do is to know more and more about less and less. But this doesn’t deny that we can certainly read as extensively as possible and even read interdisciplinary literature, which is conducive to broadening our horizons and opening many doors.

Many of you are MTI candidates who have learned concepts like functional equivalence, domestication, foreignization, literal translation, free translation, inter-subjectivity, etc. In my view, translation is not a shadow of but a creative wing for the original text. But you cannot let the wing take the lead without consideration of the original text, or you are going to extremes.

For example, you are all familiar with the saying “Stay hungry, stay foolish”. Does it sound ridiculous if it is just literally translated into “保持饥饿、保持愚蠢”? What is your translation? Some people translate it into “求知若渴” (being thirsty for knowledge), and others render it into “大智若愚” (great wisdom in disguise of ignorance). “若愚” is acceptable, but “大智” is not appropriate since it implies one’s arrogance. Will “虚心若愚” (be open-minded and hiding one’s edge) sound better?

Our School motto is translated from “Be Global, Act Local”. I rendered it into eight different versions, among which “全球视野,家国情怀” was my favorite. On September 25th, 2020, we finalized it. Coincidentally, on September 25th, 2021, President Xi Jinping wrote back to the senior professors of Beijing Foreign Studies University, “You should cultivate more well-rounded professional talents who think globally and act locally (全球视野,家国情怀). I dare not say we have a tacit agreement, but at least the motto I rendered is not misleading.

Sometimes you can stay happy for a few days after coming up with a brilliant translation. In this sense, for things that merit deep thought, you must take them seriously. I often encourage my students to treat their work as if creating a piece of fine art, pursuing quality rather than quantity. Just doing things without deep thought is not conducive to making progress and breakthroughs.

Your discipline is Foreign Languages and Literature, which, as its name implies, includes both linguistics and literature studies. Some people consider linguistics as language learning. Is it true? No! Postgraduates must learn to give clear definitions instead of understanding concepts vaguely. What is the definition of linguistics? Linguistics is the scientific study of language and its structure. Notice, it is “study” instead of “learning”.

Besides, the research scope of linguistics is very broad. It covers all things regarding languages, such as language acquisition, foreign language teaching, artificial intelligence, international and regional studies, translation studies, etc. Quarrels between couples belong to the conflict discourses of love and marriage. In the past, China was invaded and looted by foreign countries, which made Chinese people suffer a lot. Now, China is criticized and slandered by America and other countries in the West. What should we do to fight back? Isn’t this our mission? Are we well prepared for this?

China witnessed more than 10 million graduates struggling for employment this year, but until now only over 3 million have found their jobs, accounting for less than 40%, a rare phenomenon in many years. However, the situation may turn better when you graduate in three years as the pandemic is supposed to end then. When you participate in various contests, the horrible thing is not failing in a competition that you have been certain to win, but not knowing why you fail. In this sense, the ability to review and reflect on yourself is of vital importance.

My daughter works late until 1 a.m. every day. She is used to spending an hour reviewing her work through data deduction before going to sleep, which is completely the way of thinking for scientific research. She works in a super e-business and spends less than two years getting a position that may cost others six to seven years. However, as the saying goes, “Heavy is the head who wears the crown”. She must put forward a new marketing plan for tomorrow every day based on scientific analysis of massive data and creative thinking. The quality of her plans directly relates to the revenue of the company and her own income.     

One of my former students is the boss of six companies now. He said: “Professor Mao, to be honest, I have almost forgotten what you taught us in class, but the way of thinking you have trained us to develop benefits me a lot. Nowadays, every time I hold a board or regular meeting, I ask a series of questions: What problems do you have? What is the biggest challenge in tackling your problem? How many departments will be needed for coordination? What challenges have you overcome? What are the remaining problems? Accordingly, what plans do you have?” Isn’t this exactly the way of thinking for scientific research featuring rapid focus through literature review before problem analysis and solving? Knowledge is easily accessible with search engines like Baidu and Google. But it is of paramount importance to improve one’s various abilities of thinking, which means the development of one’s judgment, insight, comprehension, foresight, execution, reflection, etc.      

Your confusion probably arises from the fact that you know too little but think too much. What should you do when your capability is insufficient to pursue your ambition? Just read more and more. Someone said: “I have read it, but it is still not working.” Reading does work. It does not work on you because what you have read is not enough. Do you know how many books foreign students need to read during their undergraduate years? 800! When I was in Britain, an undergraduate student at Cambridge University lived next door to me. She even had no time when her mother asked her to go downstairs to celebrate her birthday. Pupils in elementary school abroad do not read books that much and can play freely most of the time as they like. But they must read numerous books during their high school, college, and postgraduate school years. Many of my students who are studying abroad tell me, “Professor Mao, what you have said is exactly true, and the reality is even more horrible. We did not realize that until we truly experienced it by ourselves”. Have you ever read 200 books in your undergraduate years except for textbooks? I don’t think so. You even have not read a quarter of that. In this sense, what should you do? Make up for it from now on, and read as much as possible. Set a goal in your mind. Make sure you will see your advancement and be proud of yourself when you look back on your three postgraduate years here.


2. Enlightening

(1) To Focus on Core Competitiveness


“Sweeping changes unseen in a century” sounds like a slogan. But it is not. No one guarantees what will happen tomorrow because of too many uncertainties. The only thing we can do is to improve our core competitiveness and the solidity of our core competitiveness, to meet the uncertainties in the future.

You must ask yourself: What core competitiveness do I possess? Which thing or experience makes me proud of myself most? Which experience embarrasses me the most? Think about it carefully. When you take part in an interview, the interviewer may ask you which experience or achievement makes you proud of yourself the most. Don’t say that you have been a monitor or the like, which is not impressive enough. Instead, you can describe a significant experience, especially a thing that you thought you could not finish at first but finally got through. This kind of experience helps make a great impression in future job interviews.

One of my senior students was asked to perform a show in the final part of an interview. She took out her phone from her pocket and said: “I’m not good at that, let me give you a product presentation instead.” Then she gave a very professional product presentation in English about the phone she used. Would you employ her if you were the boss? Yes. Why? Because the company requires talents like her who can introduce the newest three characteristics of a phone clearly and professionally in three minutes. She was once trained in my visual-audio-oral class during the first semester of her freshman year. All students in that class could tell three unique advantages of a phone in fluent English without a script. So we must push ourselves. We need to lay a solid foundation and develop a targeted way of thinking, focusing on not only professional knowledge but also the competence required for employment.

Don’t base any decision upon irrational feelings. You must be outstanding enough to be able to replace 95% of your competitors instead of being substituted by them. Those who plan to take the national civil servant examination or public institution employment examination should ask themselves whether they are in the top 2% of talent. According to official statistics, the number of graduates who plan to take these two exams accounts for less than 2% of the total. You have no choice but to be one of the top 2% of students or the doors, and even the windows will be closed for you.

If you plan to take these two exams, just work hard to be among the top 5% or even 2%. Aim high, and you may end up being medium; aim medium, and you may end up being low. You must not be content with being among the top 20% and you should try to be in the top 5% or even the top 2%. And only in this way can you have full assurance of success.

You should break from the inside instead of the outside. Breaking from the outside entails breaking open an egg and frying it while breaking from the inside may create a new flying creature.


(2) To Transform from Specialists in Foreign Languages to Specialists in Foreign Countries


We must change from specialists in English to specialists in foreign languages. What does the “specialist in foreign languages” mean? Multi-language, mastering more than two foreign languages. How many languages do you master? You should master at least three. In our school, courses in eight different languages are available. You may choose your favorite and audit the course after contacting the teacher of that course.

We should not only master foreign languages but also know well the foreign countries as a whole. The way we praise a foreigner who is proficient in Chinese is to call him a “China hand” instead of a “Chinese expert”. Then why don’t we praise ourselves as we do foreigners?

The question is how to know China and foreign countries both well? For that to happen, firstly we need to be proficient in both Chinese and foreign languages; secondly, we need to grow and broaden our knowledge base. For example, students majoring in linguistics also need to learn literature, international relations, diplomatic gamesmanship and journalism and communication, and so on. Never sharpen your spear right before going into battle.

In this connection, our School offers many courses such as “artificial intelligence”, “big data”, “speech and debate on major-country diplomacy”, and “international relations and global governance”, to prepare you for the future when the country needs you. If you want to be a civil servant or a diplomat, please ask yourself if you are fully prepared.

You need to work so hard as to be proud of yourself. Some people tend to be moved by pretending to work hard. This is an act of plugging one’s ears while stealing a bell. Pretending to work hard is more terrible than lying flat. Only when you have done your utmost can you let nature take its course. Not all hard work pays off, except for two things: study and exercise. What you have learned today will come in handy sooner or later. Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple, is a case in point. If he hadn’t taken a calligraphy class, would there be fancy fonts on computers a decade later? Many “a little” will, one day in the future, accumulate into “a lot”.


(3) To Develop Good Time and Emotion Management Habits


There has been a supervisor talking about time management just now. Here, I would like to give you a suggestion that, starting from today, you had better write down 3 to 5 most remarkable things which you think make your day meaningful every night before going to bed, and indicate how many minutes each thing takes. If you can stick to it for 21 days and don’t fool yourself, you will find yourself making great strides. On a day when you don’t have anything to write, you might must write “swiping through Tiktok and chatting with girlfriends (180 minutes).” Then you will know where the time has gone.

Don’t waste strategic competitiveness on non-strategic opportunities. Strategy, which emphasizes focus, is about prioritizing. You must know what to do and what not to do. The first is to do the right thing, and the second is to do it in the right way. Not everything is worth investing in. For 80% of things, done is better than perfect. Only 20% of things are worth spending 80% of your time and effort and perfecting. Be sure to prioritize and be determined to complete what should be done, so that you will not leave yourself any regret. If you fail to planyou plan to fail.

Therefore, we need to stay true to the original aspiration and forge ahead with “delete”, which means we should “delete” unimportant things, literature that is not worth reading, and people who are not worth associating. For a gentleman, revenge is a dish best served cold; while for a petty mind, revenge is a dish best served scalding. Do not care about a petty mind or a toxic person. People who get away from those who are emotionally negative all the time and focus on important things can grow quickly.


(4) To Experience the Pleasure of Growth


Focus on growth and taste the amusement of it. Whether you can empower yourself holds the key to empowering others. To be honest, everyone’s life has a messy time. At least as far as I’m concerned, high spirits are on the podium while low spirits are off the podium. Every family has a skeleton in the cupboard, and it is just a matter of who is better disguised. The life of adults is not that easy.

Seeking the best solutions based on the realities is what we should pursue. When you are unlucky, troubles rarely come singly; when you are lucky, good things will be more than in pairs.

Life is bumpy, and hardly can we confide in others. Each wonderful moment in our life should be remembered. Zeng Guofan wrote a poem:

Flowers are not always full-blown, just as the moon may wane,

Mountains will show all their beauty when one is not completely drunk,

Why worry too much about the gain and loss,

Lesser fullness will prevail over perfectness.

There is no “big fullness” in the 24 traditional Chinese solar terms, only “small fullness”.

On the one hand, when we are frustrated, we can try to comfort ourselves in an “Ah-Q spirit”. Euphemistically, “Ah-Q spirit” is about making peace with our hearts. Many problems just don’t have a solution. What cannot be cured must be endured.

On the other hand, when a problem is solved it is not that the problem is solved, but that you are strong enough not to worry about it anymore. Therefore, growing strong enough is essential to solving problems. One must be strong to forge iron; development is of paramount importance.

An eagle will never worry that the branch it stands on would be snapped. Why? Because it depends on its wings, not the branch. If we have strong wings, we will have sufficient confidence in whichever branch we stand on. Therefore, please keep asking yourself: what core competitiveness have I developed during my postgraduate study?

Core competitiveness refers to the “first” product and core label which are presentable and can be written on your resume and business card. Think about what superior skills you have and what skills you lack when you first go into a job, then you will know where you should focus your efforts.

Make people around you see your big progress after doing a postgraduate study. Make sure that you should be good at both thinking and doing. Try to turn yourself into a person of willingness, ability, attainment, cooperation, and carefulness. Working hard can be addictive, especially when your efforts pay off.

(5) To Nourish the Brightness of Human Nature

We should learn to enjoy the spotlight of taking the center, and at the same time, bear loneliness. It is hard to develop a pacific temper. It is easy to shift from frugality to luxury, but not the other way around. If there is one thing you can’t let go of, listen to this story: a female went to consult an eminent monk and said, “Recently I have something that I can’t dismiss from my mind.” The monk asked her to hold the teacup and poured her piping hot tea, “It’s full!”, yelled the female. The monk ignored it and continued to pour, “Shhh! So hot and painful”, she put down her teacup. The monk said, “There is nothing you can’t let go of. When it hurts you, you will let it go.”

Why can’t you let it go? Because you are not painful enough. That’s my lesson, too! I used to like preaching, but later I realized that I was wrong. It is because some people, must make their detours. Only pain can make them know that ambition never dies until there is no way out. Let him be so hurt as to be unable to be endured, then he will turn back. Now I have a habit of not reminding him more than three times at most, and if he still does not listen to me, then leave him alone! He must stand up on his own after falling into a pit.

Of course, falling into a pit will be awkward. But when it happens, don’t blame your supervisor for not constantly reminding you. Some people fall very painfully, but this is a garden that you must enter in growing up. There are many thorny roses in it. When you walk through the thorns that you don’t have to go through, you will know how terrible it is to eat the bitter fruit of your own making.

Russell was once asked a question in an interview: “If you had two pieces of advice for people living 1,000 years from now, what would you say?”

Russell replied, “One is about facts, and the other is about morality.” To do scientific research, we must first base ourselves on facts, what are the facts? Regardless of whether this fact is beneficial to anything, we must make rigorous deductions and judgments based on it. The second is about morality. Loving is wise, and hating is foolish. We should be inclusive and embrace those around us. “All of us are not perfect and I have various shortcomings too. How can we demand perfection from others if we are not perfect?”

Just now, I said that we should get away from a toxic person. But this doesn’t mean getting away from those who have a few shortcomings, otherwise, we will become a loner. We should learn to be inclusive and sometimes even render good for evil. We need a sound interpersonal relationship and an enabling environment in which we all can coexist together. There is in Go a term, which is called “double-living” or “co-living”. This term is also applicable when it comes to the case of living environment for humanity.

You give roses to other people, and the fragrance of these roses still lingers on your hand. When you radiate your light, you needn’t blow out others’ lamps. This is the virtue that teachers and students in our School should have.

The brightest thing in the world is the light of human nature you see when you have traveled a long journey on a dark night. Let this warmest light be nourished well and shine brightly in our School, our university, our country and even the whole world.  Thank you!