October 26, 2012


The Modest Giant-- Former NBA Star Yao Ming

It was impossible for people not to notice his extraordinary height. He bent a little to reach the height of the  microphone. His talk was slow and he used several quotes from Chinese classics, not like the speedy pace he had on the basketball court. The tall while moderate giant, the former NBA star on Houston Rockets, here he was-- Yao Ming.

On October 26, 2012, Yao Ming started his first speech on campus. The first stop was the prestigious school for business and social science in Taiwan, National Chengchi University (abbreviated as NCCU). There was a craze before he showed up. Students waited in the long line for more than an hour. Yao Ming did not hold high position but friendly. He answered every question from the audience patiently, which was exactly the opposite of our stereotype of a super star.

Never Stop Learning--No Racial Discrimination but Ability Discrimination

"There is no racial discrimination but ability discrimination on the basketball court." Said Yao Ming. For the past nine years in the United States, he had never stopped learning. "Never had I wasted a day." he said proudly. He worked harder than the coach expected. Even after he left the court, and became the manager of basketball team, he still keeps learning diligently. He once dreamed to be a Archaeologist but forced to give up by his height. "How could I enter holes with my height?" he joked. And now, he not only did not confided to his glorious past, but started to learn his favorite Geometry, History, and even Linear Algebra in Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

Proud of the Culture; Fulfill by Philanthropy

In addition, Yao Ming shared the difference between the East and the West. As most of us know, Westerners are more confident in showing themselves and express their own opinion, while Asians are more moderate and respect the authority more. At the beginning, he was too moderate to express his opinion on the team, which was usually a good behavior of respect in the East, but was recognized as irresponsible by his American coach. Time by time, he now deals with both culture perfectly, and he kept reminding us to be proud of our culture again and again.

How Yao Ming loves the culture was put into practice by philanthropy, especially focusing on children. In the West, Christian teaches people to donate and contribute to the society. While in Chinese culture, there was also a wisdom proverbs to express similar meaning. All he wanted to do is to create an equal learning environment for the children in need. 

Success by Gifts, Hard Work or Luck?

"In addition to gifts and hard work, one very important factor to success is luck." Said Yao Ming. Indeed, gifts are born, and hard work are what we could control, but adding up the two does not always equal success. Luck is also significant. Without luck, you could not do anything, not matter how talented you are or hard you work. However, the definition of success depends on how you take it. So just work hard and be positive!

Yao Ming, moderate to people and proud of his culture. He no doubt gave us the best example of moderation cultivated by Chinese culture.












picture from NCCU