THE CON­FU­CIAN WAY

Vicky Xu, founder and CEO of Are­teos Fam­ily Of­fice and the driv­ing force be­hind the Global Group’s new Life­style & Sports Club, points to the teach­ings of Con­fu­cius and their quest for har­mony and hap­pi­ness as the in­spi­ra­tion be­hind her suc­cess

Hong Kong Tatler - - Tatler Focus | Areteos Family Office -

For Vicky Xu, hap­pi­ness is a con­scious choice. It comes from de­cid­ing to live life in a pos­i­tive, right­eous and op­ti­mistic way. And for Xu, that way is to be found in the teach­ings of Con­fu­cius and the tra­di­tional prin­ci­ples of Chi­nese cul­ture, which were passed down to her by her mother.

When Xu’s mother be­gan to study and fol­low the lessons of the great Chi­nese teacher, states­man and philoso­pher Con­fu­cius, she felt an im­me­di­ate affin­ity with his val­ues, which pro­mote har­mony and in­ner peace. As a re­sult, ten years ago, she de­cided to set up a non-profit char­i­ta­ble or­gan­i­sa­tion, the Zhuhai As­so­ci­a­tion for the Pro­mo­tion of Hap­pi­ness.

This so­cial wel­fare as­so­ci­a­tion is aimed at peo­ple who re­spect the val­ues of Con­fu­cian­ism and who are there­fore in­ter­ested in pro­mot­ing har­mo­nious com­mu­ni­ties and serv­ing so­ci­ety. The as­so­ci­a­tion’s pur­pose is to pro­mote tra­di­tional Chi­nese cul­ture and a happy life through a range of ac­tiv­i­ties, in­clud­ing lec­tures and talks. In such ways, it seeks to guide peo­ple to prac­tice good moral­ity and to cul­ti­vate both body and mind, which in turn serve to im­prove the qual­ity of life and pro­mote the har­mo­nious devel­op­ment of so­ci­ety. In 2013, the or­gan­i­sa­tion was ap­proved by the Zhuhai Civil Af­fairs Bureau as an NGO.

“I have found that it’s mean­ing­ful, even in­valu­able,” says Xu of the as­so­ci­a­tion. “The cul­ture and spirit of warmth, mu­tual as­sis­tance, tol­er­ance, friend­li­ness and ded­i­ca­tion is deeply rooted in the hearts of the peo­ple, and this can help guide more peo­ple and en­ter­prises to ap­pre­ci­ate the virtues of hap­pi­ness and to vol­un­tar­ily par­tic­i­pate in char­i­ta­ble ac­tiv­i­ties in so­ci­ety.”

The as­so­ci­a­tion pro­motes har­mony as a means to achieve in­ner peace, teach­ing that this is the ba­sis of fam­ily life and that it can also bring about good for­tune and bet­ter re­la­tion­ships both at home and work. “We should al­ways be con­sid­er­ate to oth­ers, re­spect our an­ces­tors, aim for har­mony and bal­ance in all things, avoid ex­tremes in be­hav­iour and emo­tion, and live in peace and har­mony, keep­ing in touch with the spir­i­tual forces of the uni­verse, in­clud­ing na­ture,” says Xu. This ap­proach has deeply in­flu­enced her, both per­son­ally and pro­fes­sion­ally.

“Con­fu­cian­ism gov­erns ev­ery re­la­tion­ship, in­clud­ing those of busi­ness,” she says. Xu is the founder of Are­teos Fam­ily Of­fice and re­cently set up the Global Group Life­style & Sports Club at her hus­band Johnny Hon’s bou­tique in­vest­ment firm, the Global Group. Global Group Life­style & Sports Club pro­vides its mem­bers with ac­cess to world-class events. She has found that tak­ing Con­fu­cian­ism’s prin­ci­ples into the work­place can play a role in im­prov­ing the per­for­mance of the busi­ness. “Con­fu­cian­ism preaches dili­gence, re­spect and con­sid­er­a­tion, and it also teaches peo­ple to use rit­ual to com­mu­ni­cate. In short, it sets out the cor­rect forms of be­hav­iour in any given sit­u­a­tion so as to pre­serve both har­mony and face.”

Xu’s ap­proach to achiev­ing a har­mo­nious and happy life has no doubt en­cour­aged her pro­fes­sional suc­cess—and has driven her de­ci­sion to make char­i­ta­ble en­deav­ours and so­cially re­spon­si­ble prac­tices cen­tral to her busi­nesses—as well as per­son­ally, help­ing her to nur­ture a happy home with her hus­band and three young daugh­ters.

“In­flu­enced by this faith, we are calm, con­sid­er­ate, united and re­spect­ful peo­ple, who have strong and close-knit fam­i­lies and help each other to over­come dif­fi­cul­ties,” she says. And Xu is al­ready pass­ing on the prin­ci­ples that she has learnt to the next gen­er­a­tion, en­cour­ag­ing her chil­dren to al­ways be­have with “love, jus­tice, re­spect, wis­dom and sin­cer­ity.”

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