Recently I returned from Singapore and Hong Kong, where I enjoyed site-seeing, shopping, dining, clubbing, etc with many friends.
In Singapore, Brenda and I were able to spend time with our mutual friends: Stuart, Stanley, Melissa, and Quan. And she saw another friend from high school. I also saw Aana, as well as my very close friend from USC, Kacey. In Hong Kong, I reconnected with Teresa, Phoebe, Edmond, Raymond, Vivien, Leon, Hilton, Peter, Grace, and Joseph. It was great to see all of you again! I also enjoyed meeting other friends of Aana, Stuart, Kacey, and Joseph. Since most of us met either on out-going exchange, in-coming exchange, or through case competition of the USC Marshall School of Business, I think we all owe our thanks to Sean O’Connell for facilitating the international programs and therefore our meeting. I’m so glad to know you all and I hope the next time you will come to visit me and I can show you around. 🙂 A special thanks to Brenda and Aana for letting me encroach on their personal space for far too long.
All of us studied business and as we chat about who we know across the globe, we come to find we are actually a fairly small global community of undergraduate business students who participated in exchange (or other international programs). This makes me wonder if in 3-7 years we’ll all be competing to get into the same MBA programs. Then we may find that those same people who were only our classmates for 1 semester in undergrad (say at USC) may become our classmates for 2 years of MBA say at INSEAD, or somewhere else completely remote from USC. Then in 15-35 years we may all find ourselves leading some of the world’s largest and most well-known firms. And we may again come to rely on each other, not as group mates for a group project, but as suppliers and customers, or consultants or financiers that help us make our next billion $$. I wish all of you the best of luck!
Its truly a wonderful thought to know that I have friends in multiple countries. When you think about it, knowing people in other countries really enhances your appreciation of those countries. Those far away and exotic places become more real, more tangible, more authentic, and more human. When we know people, and particularly have friends in other countries, we are more likely to have a favorable impression of those places and to feel they are trustworthy. In doing so, we won’t feel ill-will toward them, and also would have no reason to want to cause them harm. In its most basic form, the concept I’m referring to is Peace Through Tourism. When written like this, this seems like a very basic, straight-forward concept. But yet, in reality, it seems very difficult to put into practice. I wish that more people would have and would take the opportunity to make friends throughout the global community. In doing so each of us could individually contribute to peace on a global scale. As we create trans-border friendships, we strengthen our global bonds, interconnect our worlds, and create peace among us. I wish that everyone could have at least one good friend who is not of their birth country.