Kevin Kelly is the founding executive director and now Senior Maverick of Wired magazine.
Jim Rogers is a legendary American businessman, investor and author.
What could these two people possibly have in common?
To begin with,
- They both are American.
- They both are American men.
- They both are known American men.
- They both are popular in China. Kelly gained his popularity in China through his book "Out of Control," a book he wrote in 1994 but didn't quite take off in the west, Yet, it was crowd-translated into Chinese and became hugely popular around the time of 2010 in China. Rogers has long been popular partially as co-founder, along with George Soros, of the Quantum Fund, partially because of his bold and long view on China.
- They both have genuine interests in China. Kelly's deep connection with China starts with his Chinese wife and his bilingual children bilingual, while Rogers as a perspective investor and travel adventurer.
- They both take a long view on China. Kelly dropped out of college, traveled in Asia instead and became a lifelong student of Asia. Rogers has long advocating his bullish view on China, bearish on the US, and his interests in investing in emerging markets.
- The both travel extensively in China. Both are frequent speakers in China. Kelly goes to China almost every three months, traveling not only to big cities but also to hinterlands, remote areas such as Yunnan in China. Rogers, on the other hand, is known for his three adventurous tours in China (twice as part of his worldwide tours), twice by motorcycle and once on his customized Mercedes.
- They both spend significant time in China. Kelly spends more and more time in China for both family and professional reasons. Rogers moved his family to Asia completely and now lives in Singapore. The main reason he moved to Asia was so that his two daughters would grow up speaking Mandarin and knowing Asia. Plus, he send his daughters to local school over international schools.
But, most important of all,
- They both raise bilingual children, equipping them with the knowledge of both English and Chinese, one of the best tools to succeed in today's global economy.
The best advice I can give you, of any kind, the single best worded advice I can give you: Teach your children and your grandchildren Chinese. It's going to be the most important language in their life time.*
And they are not the only visionary parents.
About twenty years ago, I was at a bankers' meeting at one of the very first joint ventures in China. The American banker sitting next to me told me already then that the best gift he could ever give to his children was the Chinese language.
There are also visionary kids.
Two teenagers, Emily and Danny, are the daughter and son of an American friend of mine. Emily learned Chinese and interned at one of the philanthropic organizations we support in China two years ago. Danny, the younger brother, went a step further, he not only speaks Chinese, but also speaks fluent French and is learning Russian.
Yet, I have also seen children of some friends, half Chinese, could barely speak any Chinese.
A lost of opportunity indeed...
* Source (2'57'' - 3'10'')