over the past spring festival, i got involved in a family dispute. right before i got home, four satellite channels of cctv were added to the 14 channels we had already had. in prime time at night, they all had interesting shows. therefore, the five of us-my parents, my sisters and i-had to argue over what to watch. finally, we agreed that we should watch the "most interesting" programme... if we could agree what that was.
however, all of us there remember that for a long time after we had tv, there were only one or two channels available. the increase in options reveals an important change in our life: the abundance of choice.
fifteen years ago we all dressed in one style and in one colour. today, we select from a wide variety of designs and shades.
fifteen years ago, we read few newspapers. today, we read english newspapers like the china daily and the 21st century, as well as various chinese newspapers.
fifteen years ago, english majors took only courses in language and literature. today, we also study western culture, journalism, business communications, international relations, and computer science.
the emergence of choices marks the beginning of a new era in china's history; an era of diversity, of material and cultural richness, and an era of the rebirth of the chinese nation.
we enjoy the abundance of choice. but this has not come easily.
about 150 years ago, china was forced to open up its door by western canons and gunboats. it has been through the struggle and sacrifice of generations that we finally have gained the opportunity to choose for ourselves. the policy of reform and openness is the choice that has made all the difference.
like others of my age, i'm too young to have experienced the time when the chinese people had no right to choose. however, as the next century draws near, it is time to ask: what does choice really mean to us young people?
is choice a game that relies on chance or luck? is choice an empty promise that never materializes? or is choice a puzzle so difficult that we have to avoid it?
first, i would like to say: to choose means to claim opportunities.
i am a third-year english major. an important choice for me, of course, is what to do upon graduation. i can go to graduate school, at home or abroad. i can go to work as a teacher, a translator, a journalist, an editor and a diplomat. actually, the system of mutual selection has allowed me to approach almost every career opportunity in china.