Archive for October, 2011

A Chinese Mother’s Heroic Forgiveness

This article is worth reading.  A moving story of a Chinese mother’s heart-wrenching forgiveness of the man who hit her son and ran from the scene, causing her son’s paralysis and so much suffering and hardship.  She has a beautifully open and empathetic heart!  May we all seek after such generosity of spirit!

Outrage in China as hit-and-run toddler dies – Asia-Pacific – Al Jazeera English

Outrage in China as hit-and-run toddler dies – Asia-Pacific – Al Jazeera English.

 

There have been a number of incidents in recent years here of good samaritans helping people who fell/were hit/etc… and then being blamed as the culprits.  Those same good samaritans have been held liable for hospital bills and have also been found wrongfully guilty in courts.  As you may imagine, this has had a really negative effect here in China on people’s willingness to help out a stranger in need.

The most recent victim of this public reticence to reach out is a poor little 2-year-old girl, Wang Yue, who died because she was run over not once, but twice, in a double hit-and-run accident.  Between the time the little toddler was hit the first and second times, apathetic strangers walked past the bleeding, writhing child and did nothing.  Finally a street cleaner came to her rescue, but it was too late.

This is a really serious problem here and I’ve witnessed it with my own eyes.  I saw an 80 year-old man fall from his bike and no one came to his assistance even though he was in the middle of a major intersection and taxis were swerving to keep from hitting him as he struggled to get to his feet.  I waited for someone to act before running to help him up.  I was furious at the shallow crowd of unhelpful people around me, and I let them know it too!  This was when I first got here to China though, and I did not know the history.

My second direct experience with this problem was a fall I took when I was about 7 months pregnant.  I slipped and fell in the rain and while I was alright, I was dazed and soaking wet, and what was worse, not ONE person stopped to help me up until one of my non-Chinese friends happened to pass by.  By that time, I understood the issues surrounding people’s hesitancy to help out, but it was bitter to realize how selfish people can be.  I’m sure I’m not immune from such selfishness, but experiencing it firsthand from so many others who passed me by was disheartening.

This little girl’s death though, is a tragedy that I hope will awaken Chinese people’s greater instincts to help their fellow man.  It certainly is causing a major uproar in the media here.  I hope that it lasts and I hope that it drives the provinces to pass strong ‘good samaritan’ laws that will protect people who reach out to help others here.

There is a huge and deep lack of trust between strangers here.  Even so, I can not think of anything that would cause someone to walk past a bleeding toddler on the street.  It is a new low, and I hope this is a low we will never see again.