Pragmatism & Deng Xiaoping

My thoughts, this morning are still digesting the text I read last night from Kishore Mahbubani on the need to be open-minded and pragmatic.On the other hand, I would encourage you to read the life path of Deng Xiaoping from whom we can take lessons.

At the beginning of the twenty first century, as we enter into one of the most intense period of change experienced by humanity, America is abandoning its pragmatist streak when it needs it most. We are moving into very uncertain political and economic terrains. It would be foolish to assume that the western ideological assumptions of the 19th and twentieth century will necessarily work in the twenty first century. It would be wiser to keep an open mind and to challenge every ideological assumption embedded in our minds. Pragmatism is the best guiding spirit we can as we have as we venture into the new century. It is therefore only appropriate to quote once again the greatest pragmatism of the twentieth century, Deng Xiaoping: ‘it does not matter whether a cat is black or white; if it catches mice, it is a good cat.’

I cannot prevent me to flash back to my grandfather with whom I had the great privilege to have been closed to during his retirement years when he took up the projects of looking after the repairs and maintenance of some of the family properties. It was precisely his open-minded thinking and pragmatism that struck me. In his own words he told me: do not be ideological, understand the underlying principles of any theory then apply them in your practice using your good sense. Good thinking is through good questioning and hard work.

How I would have loved to think that these open-mindedness and pragmatism are traits of Hakkas?