Moral Degradation in China (2) To Help or Not to Help

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Jun 10, 2011 17:33
Peng Yu case stirred up a huge controversy at the time. The Judge’s opinion “if it was not you who had knocked her down, why would you have helped her up? (if you hadn't done that, why did you help her up?)So it could have been you”, which is a patent nonsense to the most (people). They argued that the judge denied the exisistence of kindness and rightousness in society. After the judge decided that Pengyu should pay half of the medical bills, people have become extremely cautious, as to whether they should help out, when they find strangers have seizure in street.
Below the report about the old man in Fujian Province, the website carried out a survey, trying to investigate what people would do if they met such a situation (if they had been placed in such a situation?). Nearly 70 percent of the respondents said they would’t help the old man, the rest saying they would, whatever would happen. Objecting to the latter, a person who logged on as “Ligang12” commented, “Help the old on the floor? Nice (or OK?), but make sure you’ve prepared extra 10,000 RMB for that. ”
It did make sense, since living in China has become a tough thing. 10,000 RMB means a fortune to an ordinary family. Soaring prices of apartments, high CPIs and taxes, expensive education investments, exorbitant medical bills, and even hefty funeral expenses, cementary maintanace ---- all these put together makes the life extremly difficult for an ordinary Chinese, who tease themselves, “生不起,死不起,” which means “both living and death are unaffordable”. They found out it was hard to make ends meet, and had to pay the money they earned all their lives to buy a little(small) appartmant, especially in big cities.
For that reason, offering help (helping out??) has become a luxuary, particularlly when there is a risk of being sued. The same reason, Xu was afraid of paying exorbitant medical bills on her own, so she turned against Peng and charged him in court.
There is an old saying in Chinese “老吾老以及人之老,幼吾幼以及人之幼”, whose English translation could be “when we pay maintances and respect to the biological elders, we are not supposed to forget those who are not; when we feed and educate our offsprings, we should not leave other’ behind.” As a maxim, this has been practiced from one generation to another, but now it seems to fade into oblivion.
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