Is the Great Resignation a global phenomenon, or we're safe to label it as a "Made in the USA" thing?
"All eyes on (the) US" because of the record number of workers who "simply" quit their jobs. Well, it's not that simple. How do you define the Great Resignation? Give me your best shot (guess). And, while we're at it, don't blame it all on the pandemic.
Tang Ping means 'lying flat' in Chinese, literally and more importantly - existentially.
It seems that the Gen Zs in the USA and China are on the same page of resignation, but in different books. It would make more sense to say the different pages of the same book, but hear me out.
The young workers in China don't "technically" quit their jobs like their counterparts in the USA. Instead, they choose to enter into the uber low maintenance mode when it comes to their professional lives. Less is more doesn't actually cover this kind of lifestyle the right way.
Here's the "father" of this "movement" himself, Luo Huazhong, explaining in his own words what it really means to lay flat:
Lying flat is a state of mind – that is, I feel that many things are not worthy of my attention and energy. Life is just lying down, lying down and lying down. Lying flat is justice.
Now, it's worth emphasizing that this young man didn't quit his job. On the contrary, "he found work there that he considered perfect – acting as a dead body in movies."
“When I say lying flat, I don’t mean that I just lie down every day and don’t do anything,” Luo later said in media interviews. “Lying flat is a state of mind – that is, I feel that many things are not worthy of my attention and energy.”
Backward to another Leo's iconic movie:
I know how it sounds, but there's no other way to say it. The "lying flat" idea has spread like a virus all over China to an extent that has become a serious threat to the "Chinese Dream."
And across the country, T-shirts printed with “Do nothing lie flat youth” have become hot selling items. Authorities have been scrambling to suppress the phenomenon, fearing that it could challenge the established social and economic order.
So, what would a Chinese equivalent of the good old Uncle Sam? The Chinese Dragon, of course.
Dragon City is a free-to-play social network game developed and published by Social Point that features an "Uncle Sam Dragon" character.
"When censors realised how popular Luo’s original post was becoming, it was scrubbed from the internet. However, copies quickly spread online, sparking lively discussions and videos – many of which garnered millions of views each. But they, too, have since been deleted."
This trend has been characterized as "shameful" and heavily criticized by the state-owned and regulated media, such as the Global Times:
Young people are the hope of this country. Neither they themselves, nor the country, will allow them to collectively lie flat.
It's more than obvious that the Great Resignation is a hot and controversial topic in the USA. However, it strictly remains limited to debates, articles, analyses, and comments. The Americans are optimistic that the Great Resignation problem will be resolved on its own, sooner than later. China doesn't see a silver lining when it comes to "lying flat:"
Dr Gavin Sin Hin Chiu, an independent commentator and former associate professor at Shenzhen University, has been quoted by SCMP as saying, “If it [lying flat] becomes widespread, it will affect young people’s expectations of income growth, consumption, marriage and childbirth, which will be detrimental to China’s ability to avoid the middle-income trap, where growth stagnates and incomes stall.
The significant difference is that [similar] movements occurred when the United States and Japan had already entered the stage of advanced economies, with per capita disposable income much higher than the current level in China."
In one of my previous articles published on Hacker Noon, I already wrote that the Great Resignation had to be approached from different angles, and treated (solved) "gently." I'm afraid that a hammer and sickle aren't the right "tools" to resolve the "lying flat" situation in China.
What's your take on Tang Ping (lying flat)?
Vote, share, and comment, so we can end the Great Resignation as soon as possible not only in the USA, but all over the world in all shapes and forms. Thank you.