It’s that time of year! Around the world people are celebrating the winter holidays and New Year’s in both the West and in China.
This being the Chinese year of the Dog possesses the best traits of human nature: honesty, faithfulness, and strong sense of responsibility. The season for giving is not just an expression but can part of your great success.
This New Year is an amazing beginning for Wayal and all their family members and partners. And this is the definition of family – receiving happiness from other peoples’ success and their achievements. We spend so much time with one another, we should support each others’ success.
Therefore, it is appropriate to share something different this season in achieving success. It’s not about the destination but the journey and what you do with that experience, your knowledge, your wealth, and your time.
First recorded in 1250–1300, kindness is from the Middle English word kindenes. In Chinese, the word Shànliáng” is one way to express kindness. The characters 善良 for kindness get the root from the symbol for people – 人. This symbol is inherently so beautiful, for if one side falls the other side falls with it. We only stand together and survive together when leaning on one another.
This symbolism should not be a surprise for as far back as 1046 BC (close to 3,000 years ago) the Zhou Dynasty practiced traditional Buddhism and Confucianism with respect to charity was practiced by giving food and medical treatments to orphans. In 2014, a similar practice by Zhang Xin, CEO of SOHO and her husband Pan Shiyi donated $100 million in an endowment for underprivileged Chinese.
This concept of charity from successful members of the Chinese community has been adopted by similar practices of their American counterparts. In the last ten years Chinese charitable foundations have increased 430% to almost 6,000 foundations. Similarly, Chinese American foundations are up 400%. Almost 50 percent of Chinese charitable gifts go to education. One such gift comes from Gerald and Ronnie Chan who donated $350 million to Harvard University.
China now boasts more than 600 billionaires – more than in the United States. Approximately 110 million Chinese individuals have $50,000 to $500,000 in savings; significantly more than in the United States. However, the U.S. gives 2 percent of its GDP to charity while in China it is only 0.1 percent, according to the World Giving Index.
This being said, you will witness these numbers increasing year by year by visible role models. People like Jack Ma of Alibaba have created a new degree at Peking University in “Not-for-Profit sector”.
This phenomenon of giving is also more common place amongst Asian and Chinese Americans. Asians are the fastest growing demographic in the U.S. – between 2000 and 2010 – growing by 46%. Lulu Wang, founder of Tupelo Capital, donated $25 million to Wellesley Women’s College. Chinese American financier Oscar Tang also donated $25 million to his Alma Mater Phillips Academy.
So many Chinese philanthropists are inspired by the likes of Li Ka-Shing, who donated $130 million to the Technion University in Israel (the MIT of Israel), and will partner with a branch in the city of Guangdong. Others like Dong Fangjun, Chariman of Dongfang Huiquan Financial Holdings, and You Zhonghui , Chairwoman of Shenzhen Seaskyland, have become part of a unique group of individuals around the world who have agreed to give at least 50 percent of their wealth to charity through “Giving Pledge” founded by Bill and Melinda Gates. People like Warren Buffet have pledge even more than 95 percent. Jackie Chan has agreed to give 50 percent of his net worth to charity.
Money is not the only thing you can donate – it’s your “time”. When my wife Donna and I got married in 1990 we didn’t have the savings to truly donate so we joined an organization called Dorot which had people such as ourselves “adopt a grandfather or grandmother” who didn’t have any relatives living in New York. So we visited this nice man in his 80’s once or twice a week and would pick up his groceries and help do his chores.
It’s all about finding a cause. Many of you are becoming experts in nutrition and soon to be skilled in cosmetics through Wayal’s new vertical. Imagine donating your time to help women with cancer through the use of make-up. There is even an organization “Angels in the Air” that donate mileage to family to travel with loved ones who are ill, the list is endless. Imagine if collectively we, as an organization, put our energies together to make a significant difference. Together, as a great salesforce, we can achieve wonderful success while at the same time impact the world profoundly.
I want to wish all of you and your families a happy and healthy Holiday Season.
Dr. Peter Kash Ed.D/MBA