Thursday, March 23, 2006

Not your father's 12 Step Program anymore

Once again improving on an American invention, led by President Hu Jin Tao, the Chinese are now seeking to rival the Japanese for adding value to existing ideas and products. What did they do this time? I'm sure most of you are following the details of China's government-led moral crusades more closely than I, but I just came across an improvement on an American tried-and-true. The 12 Step Program.
All the math and science degrees in the Middle Kingdom must be paying off, because China's President has made the 12 Step Process more efficient. If that seems impossible to you, then you are simply an unbeliever. Because he did it. He took the 12 Step Process and shrank it down to 8. That's right, now a 12 step process can be completed in only a week (if one does a step a day and twice on Sunday!)
Why does a country with such excess labor need this kind of efficiency? Wouldn't it really be better to stretch it out to help employment numbers and to fill people's free time? Absolutely not. And it's a point addressed in the 8 Steps themselves.
• Love, do not harm the motherland.
• Serve, don't disserve the people.
• Uphold science; don't be ignorant and unenlightened.
• Work hard; don't be lazy and hate work.
• Be united and help each other; don't gain benefits at the expense of others.
• Be honest and trustworthy, not profit-mongering at the expense of your values.
• Be disciplined and law-abiding instead of chaotic and lawless.
• Know plain living and hard struggle, do not wallow in luxuries and pleasures.
What genius leads to this type of innovation? I have a couple of ideas, but I'll hold off for now. This is the language of the six-party-talks. Absolutely amazing. Skillful. Dare I say it, Inspired. I've always been amazed at those who can pull together seemingly disconnected phrases and make them sound 1. like they are somehow connected, and 2. give them sufficient weight and meaning that they mean anything to anyone.
I guess maybe another Chinese Nobel Laureate may be in the wings. Maybe this one will even be allowed to live in China.

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