YueYuePosted: October 21, 2011
2-year-old Yueyue’s untimely and tragic death has struck the nation and the world. It is unthinkable that there are people out there who can casually stroll by a bleeding body–not to mention a young child–and not do anything about it. It is also most bizarre that two cars that likely avoid large rocks and potholes normally, somehow did not see a walking child.
At first, yes, I too dropped my jaw and was near tears in horror at the indifference of the 18 passers-by , but then I remembered that fear and selfishness proceed helping others in this country (in many cases, anyhow). However, I also remind myself that there is greater context to why people behave this way. It is much deeper and more complex than just heartlessness and indifference.
In a conversation with my mom, she told me that many people are scared to help others because they literally cannot afford it. (This is possibly why in a news clip you might have seen, one of the drivers that ran over Yueyue talks about money.) There are many cases where innocent strangers help victims of accidents but are blamed nonetheless for their money. According to my dad, for a while, it was even common for people to stick out their feet to be run over by cars so that the victim could gain a small profit. When hospital bills are outrageously high for people who can barely afford to feed their families, well, I guess I can understand why a passer-by would be unwilling to help someone else if they can’t afford the risk of being responsible for the victim.
Where do morals come into the picture, then? I’m not sure I have an answer. Although, it is possible that the frequency of good deeds going punished in this country might have something to do with it.
Adults tell me all the time to not be too nice to people nor to react to obnoxious and infuriating people as both may incur unwanted consequences such as being taken advantage of or stabbing, respectively of course. In the many years that I’ve been visiting China, I have seen countless accidents, and never do I see people helping people–not even the police.
So, where have my people gone wrong? No, no, not wrong, just misguided. It’s all in the history, and quite recent history I’d say. History that has advanced so quickly in the past few decades it has forced its way into an international playing field where it’s all about $$$$$. Everything is about money nowadays–food, driving, friendship, love, education. Where did all that money come from? And so quickly? And what has come of that money? A cut-throat society, not on purpose, but consequentially. Therefore, in times of need, if you won’t help me, then why should I help the next person? It’s a bitter never-ending cycle that I wish would end so that tragedies like Yueyue’s never happen again. Ever.
I’m not sure if I’m making any sense here, but I’m trying to make a point that those passers-by were indifferent for a reason that can be explained by placing their situations in context, and not just pointing our fingers at the “degenerative” Chinese society. There are too many reasons that these people just walked by Yueyue, and I think fear is one of them even if it doesn’t appear so on the surface.
You don’t have to agree with me, and may continue to think that those passers-by were simply heartless beings, but before passing judgement on Chinese people as a whole, I think everyone should take a look at this post. (It is a leftist blog called “The Maoist Rebel News,” but it makes excellent points even if you don’t agree with them politically.)
Finally, I think Yueyue’s undeserved death is a much needed, though heartbreaking and unforgivable, reminder to Chinese society–and the world, actually, because this could have happened anywhere–that we are all human beings and it is our duty as fellow human beings to help other human beings in times of distress no matter what the situation. And we must rid our expectations of reward and lend a hand non-conditionally because that is the only way to overcome our current state of fear, greed and indifference. As unlikely as that may sound, I believe it will happen some day. Slowly but surely.