作者:Tom Peace(美国 外教)
Jiangsu - Rivers of the Past, Rivers of Tomorrow
Water is extraordinary. Its pulsing power and soothing calmness together reveal the precarious balance of Yin and Yang in Nature. Whether in the form of ocean, lake, or river, water projects both a physical and emotional power over the people who live near it. Simply, life depends on it.
Jiangsu Province is blessed with water. Rivers wind through the province seemingly with a lazy but unrelenting sense of purpose. The Jiangsu rivers formed the backbone of the Grand Canal connecting China North and South, essential to the strength of the past Dynasties.
Jiangsu's rivers connect us to Nature. For thousands of years, its markets refill daily with the catch of fresh fish. River banks beckon us for community gathering and personal reflection. Artists have been inspired by the river's scenic beauty.
Zhang Ruoxu captured the power of the river to both separate and then reunite lovers in "Spring, River, and Flowers on a Moonlit Night". But it is not just lovers that the river waters bind, it connects us all.
Launch a vessel inside Jiangsu and you can begin a watery journey that can touch nearly every other province on China. Jiangsu's products sail over the final kilometers of the Yangtze River out to the Maritime Belt and Road to be sold in markets everywhere in the World.
The rivers connect us to the Past. The bridges that we cross daily are testimonials to the engineering prowess of past generations. Generations who sought to harness the forces of river with dams, levees, and canals starting over 6,000 years agoin theLiangzhusettlements of the Yangtze Delta around Suzhou. Ancestors who built peaceful river villages such as Zhōuzhuāng, Mùdú, and Suzhou.
And the river connect us to the future. Each Fall, small children enter schools for their first day like small rain drops on far away foothills entering the streams that feed the Huai and Yangtze Rivers. Today, they begin their own journey towards the future on a river of ideas.
I recently had the opportunity to judge a speech competition where Jiangsu high school students shared their visions of that future. The unifying theme for so many was of a future with greater connection with greater understanding and concern for one another.
Encouragingly, they did not shy away from discussing the challenges faced by the modern world. Instead, they found promise in the emerging computing and communication technologies with great hope that innovation will allow greater collaboration in working towards meaningful solutions for those challenges.
At the university where I teach, I feel so fortunate to witness the transformation of those young visions into the technological skills needed for the journey on the river of ideas. It is these students of today who will be the next generation of business entrepreneurs and engineers leading the way in adapting the emerging Artificial Intelligence technologies that will collect and analyze the Big Data that will drive the innovations to transform the World.
But even as the technology changes, still we remain river people, always longing for a morning riverside stroll, an afternoon riverside gathering with friends, or a quiet evening of scenic reflection of the setting sun across the river banks.
Then, now, and always, may the rivers of Jiangsu run clean and blue.
Author: Tom Peace came from the United States (US Passport # 460197945) to Jiangsu where he teaches at the Huia'an Institute of Technology.
As a young boy, Tom built a small dam on a small creek next to his backyard to create a swimming pond for his family and friends. He has been in love with water ever since.
Tom spent 25 years working for IBM customers in software development and strategic planning. He holds a Masters Degree in the Management of Technology and Innovation from the University of Southern California.
He can be reached by phone (18832635356), by weChat (ID = tpazzi) or by email (firstname.lastname@example.org)