“Being number one is the result. It’s not the goal. It’s the mission that leads us. So, what’s the mission for the U.S.A? What’s the mission for China?. . . the mission is what drives you. It’s not being number one that drives you. The mission drives you.”

Chinese billionaire, Jack Ma, the head of the Alibaba Group discussed competition and the “Chinese Dream” on ABC’s World News on Monday, Nov. 15, 2010.

The Alibaba Group is the largest e-Commerce company in China, with almost 22,000 employees. China has the world’s 2nd largest economy. Ma’s billionaire concepts, which have grown his company, are ideas he admits he learned in the U.S. (while working for a software company in Seattle).

“What you see here [at Alibaba],” exclaims Ma, “is the Chinese dream. It is a part of the American dream. The American dream is what motivated us . . . and most of the world!”

My commentary:

  1. All of us — companies, not-for-profit organizations, churches, schools, individuals — can benefit from spending a few quiet moments pondering the “mission.” I agree with the conviction of Mr. Ma. Illustration: Fitness is a result. We do not wake up one day and say, “I want to be fit.” We wake up and say, “I’m going to eat well and stay active. When I am consistent with that, I will be fit.” The mission is to eat well and stay active, not to be fit.
  2. I also know, however, that man’s ambitions, like his heart, are selfish and darkened. One’s “dream,” (for himself or the organization he belongs to), may not be right or good. Take, for example, China’s one child policy: China’s aim for population control for the past 30 years is directly responsible for countless abortions.
  3. As laid out ad nausea in this past post, the U.S. is in an irrecoverable decline. It has been predicted by P.A. Sorokin in his book “The Crisis of Our Age.” Everyone may see that the glory days are gone. Not everyone sees how far gone they really are. However, an honest look at history and our current decline reveals that China, not the U.S., will be the dominant culture of the world in the not-too-distant future. The U.S. quickly rose to power and will quickly slip from that summit — the fate of every civilization.
  4. Side note: I am not under the conviction that the United States was blessed by God to become a superpower because she is/was a “Christian nation” with “Christian” founding fathers and all of that. Nor do I then follow them to the conclusion that because she has abandoned her First Love, God is abandoning her (insert references to abortion, removal of prayer by the so-called “secular-humnaists,” and all of that).

Whether we struggle to remain number one, or whether the U.S. quietly concedes her seat, there is still merit in considering her mission. What is her mission?