A while ago, a friend had suggested that I read the book “The World Is Flat”, written by Thomas L. Friedman, but I did not have chance. Recently, I found its 3rd edition in a small book store in Toronto. Immediately, I became attracted to its contents.
With Thomas L. Friedman’s inimitable ability to translate complex foreign policy and economic issues, he explains how the flattening of the world happened at the dawn of the twenty-first century; what it means to countries, companies, communities, and individuals; how governments and societies can, and must adapt; and why terrorist want to stand in the way. The key word of the book’s conclusion is “Imagination”
“The World Is Flat” is Thomas L. Friedman’s account of the great changes taking place in our time, as lightning-swift advances in technology and communications put people all over the globe in touch as never before… it also shows “how and why globalization has now shifted into warp drive” and brilliantly demystifies the new flat world for us, allowing us to make sense of the often bewildering scene unfolding before our eyes.
Reading the book, I suddenly understand many people’s feelings, including my own. I have seen myself as an international person who has moved and traveled to a lot of places, and have seen a lot of different things. But even I find it difficult to handle changes very well. I often find myself falling into a situation where I feel pressure, stress and insecurity, where I am constantly fighting with myself, trying to find balance and the answer to the question: “Why me?”
I cannot imagine a person who has never traveled to other places (which may be true for many Americans) and how big the impact of change could be for them. In addition, there are so many people trying to get life back to the way it used to be, it is just as dangerous as driving with closed eyes. No matter what, we are all on the road. Globalization is not something any individual or any single force can control. Things could never be changed back. The only thing we can do is to deal with the changes. But how?
People might say “with an open mind”, yes, but people hardly feel satisfied approaching every change with just an open mind. Actually, I think a good way to deal with changes is by asking questions, challenging assumptions, and getting on board to steer the changes, so that you will not get pulled along.
Just as the Nobel laureate Joseph E. Stiglitz wrote in The New York Times: “One mark of a great book is that it makes you see things in a new way.” “The World Is Flat” let me think. It has spent more than two years on the New York Times bestseller list. You can see that the effect Thomas L. Friedman calls “the flattening of the world” has made itself felt in countless aspects of our everyday lives. It is a great book to read and to share thoughts about.