Page 18 - The Way of Beauty - Meidao

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6

that it has affected his analytical thinking. Without spending too much time on it, he blurts out the first answer that comes to mind: "World Peace?"

Yamada closes his eyes and falls silent for a moment. "Yes," he sighs, "frankly speaking, that really would be a very good answer, if it weren't that practice proves otherwise. Nowadays war only seems to be waged in the name of peace. Haven't millions of people already been murdered in the name of peace? It depends which side you are on, because the fight is always between peace-loving and war-mongering armies. And each side calls itself peaceful so the other is automatically labeled the war-monger. History teaches us that there is little difference between war-mongers and peace-makers." Yamada sits up a little straighter and softly massages his left shoulder.

"But now something else," continues Yamada. "Do you feel like having a cup of tea?"

Murphy, still under the spell of his thoughts of world peace, reacts quite slowly. "Yes, please!" Meanwhile, the thought flashes through his head that a cappuccino would be much better.

"By the way," asks Yamada, "how are things with you at the university in Rotterdam? Right after my departure there was to be a large annual conference at the university. How did that go?"

"Oh, you mean the Business Week. That went very well. This time the theme was 'Development: social and economic interests'. There is a clear trend in the academic literature that business is not only about profit but is a search for balance between economics and the community. Nowadays people in Holland talk about 'sustainable development'. Slowly but surely, some students are waking up to it."

"Interesting. How are things with, what is the name of the organizer again, Eric? Wasn't he doing that full-time?"

"Oh, Eric is the Chair of the Economic Faculty Association, Rotterdam, this year. He got what you might call a promotion."

"Don't these people go any classes when they are a part of that association?" "Some students get to keep their study grants, but get a year or two off to organize the Business Week. The whole idea is to help students bridge the gap they experience, as we say, between theory and practice. It exposes them to the real world of business, so they don't remain in an ivory tower. Even our Prime Minister, Mr. Balkenende, was invited to deliver a speech last year, and it looks like he'll be joining us again this year."

Page 18 - The Way of Beauty - Meidao

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