What Is Balance?

There is no semblance of a working week in rural China. Farming requires daily contribution in order to get the most out of the land and minimise waste. Other industries follow suit, with the familiar sounds of a construction yard heard even on a Sunday.

Paradoxically though, Andrew thought, the entire system is full of inefficiencies. Today he caught the bus into town for the first time. As he went to hand over the fare, the driver palmed him off, indicating payments are to be made to another man sitting further back in the bus.

While it’s true that the ‘work-life’ balance is a Western construct, Andrew found it interesting that the principle hadn’t made its way to the East. Or perhaps it was still permeating its way from the main cities to the countryside? Is this why countries like China continue to languish behind developed nations in many ways?

Furthermore, their shortsighted approach becomes apparent when it comes waste management. With the government pouring endless resources into creating tourist attractions, such as the irony of modern temples, they fail to educate people of basic waste disposal. Instead, trash heaps can be found everywhere and anywhere.

In saying that, the locals seem happy. As Andrew rode the bus back to the academy, a small child smiled and waved at him playfully and the whole bus was drawn into the interaction, smiling too.

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