Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Confucius is rolling in his grave...

This week has not been pleasant for me for reasons not related to this post, let's just say "school sucks" and leave it at that (I don't actually believe that). So what happens to make me feel even shittier? I read an article in the news about a toddler getting run over twice by the same van in China in an open air market who spends hours writhing in pain in plain view while person after person walks by and ignores her. The child later dies in a hospital after finally being rescued by a garbage man. WHAT DO YOU EVEN CALL THAT???

Notice just how close the passers by come to the child, you would think from that distance they would have figured something was horribly wrong with her.

Alright so it is impossible to argue that this is seriously wrong. You can see from the pictures that the poor child is plainly suffering right in the middle of the road there, yet no one does anything. The moral implications, or lack there of, are horribly astounding. This article will also have nasty implications toward Chinese society at large. The problem with this story though is that a lot of people will likely take it at face value, i.e. they will say something along the lines of "Oh my goodness, those Chinese certainly have no compassion! That would never happen in here in ________ (insert country name here)". But in my opinion the problem is this. This sort of thing happens EVERYWHERE. It's just that in this case it's extreme, in plain sight and has piles of evidence to back in up. Think about it? How many times have you witnessed someone falling in the street and no one stopped to ask them if they were okay? How many times have you seen someone drop a pile of change or papers or what have you and no one stopped to help them? These are much less dire situations to be sure, but it is the same moral dilemma. From an ethical standpoint most people would say they would help the child, but think about this. If you were walking down the street intent on completing some important objective, would you have stopped to help the child? If you were the man on the motorcycle possibly speeding to make his next delivery would you have stopped for the child? Maybe you convince yourself the kid is just being a kid and rolling around on the street for fun (I've actually seen kids do this) who can say? My point is when we accuse people of lacking compassion we must have introspection, we need to ask ourselves if we would do the same, and we need to look at the bigger picture. Maybe some Chinese do lack compassion, but that is just evidence of a larger human problem. Some Chinese surely lack compassion, but that's only because many people in the world lack compassion. So next time you see someone in a pinch, see if they need anything. The worst thing they will say is "no".            

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