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2009 New Year Letter  

2009-01-07 10:50:10|  分类: 默认分类 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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December, 2008

Dear Friends,

 

To begin with, I would like to extend my greetings for the New Year to you and your family and loved ones!

 

2008 was anything but ordinary. During the course of the year, we experienced a series of historically significant events that one might have thought only possible in books or movies. For me personally, it was also a year that will forever be etched in my memory.

 

My dear mother, an extraordinary woman who brought our family great spiritual strength despite suffering through paralysis for 34 years, passed away from this world in July. While we felt the deep sorrow at her loss, we were able to witness again her great gift for bringing loved ones closer together. The condolences and love sent by friends helped us greatly through those difficult days. I began to think deeply about the true meaning of life, our fleeting days on this earth and the eternal nature of the human soul.

 

In May the catastrophic Sichuan earthquake served to remind us of the frailty of the material world.  Wealth and possessions built through the toil of generations were destroyed in a matter of moments, as the precious lives of thousands of souls were extinguished. However, this calamity stirred in us all a long-dormant spirit of love and compassion and a deep sense of service and sacrifice that can be felt even today.

 

Then the tainted milk-powder scandal stunned us all and showed us that without the foundation of a spiritual civilization built on truthfulness, material wealth serves as nothing more than a tower of dust in the desert. Even without attack it crumbles away.

 

In the short year that just passed, we also saw the unraveling and collapse of the century-old institutions of the Wall Street establishment which had been universally revered and trusted. The simple confidence and sense of security we once had is now lost.  As this clearly shows, if we lose our sense of moderation, if we fail to be guided by the principles of justice, if the spiritual and material civilization are out of balance in our lives – society’s very development is jeopardized.

 

2008 was a year which had been long awaited with great anticipation.  As we shared with the world our joy and pride in the Olympics and celebrated its theme of “One World, One Dream”, we glimpsed the dawning light of “the earth is but one country and mankind its citizens”.  With the election of Barack Obama to the Presidency of the United States, we have seen yet another symbol of the growing unity of people of all different colors and creeds.  What’s more, despite continuing news of war in Iraq and death in the Middle East and Africa, there are also hopeful signs of an end to these hostilities. Inevitably the darkness of war will one day be banished by the light of peace and we will see a glimpse of the emergence of a new world order from the chaos of the old.

 

There are two forces at work in forging this new world: one destructive, one constructive, but both vital to the other. We must not be despondent when faced with crisis, nor seduced by the illusion of fleeting material prosperity, rather we must all become active participants, in our everyday lives, in the building of this new world.

 

We must not be alarmed at the collapse of the time-worn institutions of the old world built solely on the foundations of materialism, rather we must fix our attention on the building of a new world where spiritual and material civilization are in harmony.

 

It is clear that a new world must have companies built on different principles.  The old model of recklessly seeking profit at any cost has become like a rampant cancer undermining the fabric of human society and the very substance of our planet, and is the source of the wild instability we see in our world today. For centuries we have been unable to break this vicious cycle of economic boom followed by devastating crisis.  The new model must be one where the purpose of business is to create both material wealth and spiritual wealth, to contribute to harmony and stability in society, and to stimulate the intellectual, the moral, and the spiritual life of the entire human race. This is a goal worthy of us aspiring to as business people.

 

In the New Year, we look set to experience deep societal transformation which is both unprecedented and fundamental. Our greatest challenge at this time comes not from financial depression or diminishing material wealth, for as long as we are neither wasteful nor greedy a depressed economy cannot ruin us. The true challenge is to realize that we have been too prejudiced, our loyalties too narrow, and our truthfulness, unity and justice far too lacking.

 

Let me close with the words of Bahá'u'lláh: “The well-being of mankind, its peace and security, are unattainable unless and until its unity is firmly established.”

 

On every day of this New Year, I will pray for good fortune, happiness and love for all.

 

Zhang Xin   Pan Shiyi  

SOHO China

2009年1月7日 - 潘石屹 - 潘石屹的博客

Lai See

South China Morning Post – B10

06- 01– 2009

By Ben Kwok

 

Pan Shiyi and wife wax philosophical this New Year

 

The New Year greetings card from Soho China chairman Pan Shiyi (pictured) and his wife and chief executive Zhang Xin may have arrived a bit late this year, but it was well worth the wait.

 

While most people usually run out of things to say after four or five words (by the way, the most popular phrase this year has been Wishing you a better 2009), Mr Pan and his wife managed more than 1,000 words on their reflections of 2008 and hopes for the future.

 

The philosophical message begins with a mention of the death of Mr Pan's mother last year, then goes on to comment on the catastrophic Sichuan earthquake and the Wall Street meltdown before taking a more upbeat note on the Beijing Olympics, followed by the high hopes that accompany Barack Obama's election as president of the United States.

 

The couple said we should not be alarmed by the collapse of the time-worn institutions of the old world, which they described as a rampant cancer undermining the fabric of human society and the very substance of our planet.

 

Rather we should embrace the new world where the purpose of business is to create both wealth and spiritual wealth.

 

In the New Year, we look set to experience deep societal transformation which is both unprecedented and fundamental, the message continues.

 

Our greatest challenge at this time comes not from financial depression or diminishing material wealth, for as long as we are neither wasteful nor greedy a depressed economy cannot ruin us.

 

The true challenge is to realise that we have been too prejudiced, our loyalties too narrow, and our truthfulness, unity and justice far too lacking.

 

Hear, hear!

 

Let's not get too carried away by the good start to the year made by the Hang Seng Index.

 

Working for a better new world would seem more appropriate, while Lai See is more than happy to receive such inspiring New Year messages, no matter how late.

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