Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Yueyue. My Parents.

  • I first heard about Yueyue when my wife saw the video.  Jenny watched the video of the little girl, Yueyue, in Foshan being run over by the van and became very upset.  I then watched it and can only say it was horrific.  It was a parent's worst nightmare.  
  • The aftermath, with the child being run over again and not helped by many passers-by, raises so many questions.  What were these people thinking?  Was this behavior an indictment of a region of China, all of China, Chinese culture, the Capitalist system, Socialism, a lack of religion, Modernity, Chinese law, the pursuit of material wealth, or Chinese's current peculiar form of government?  Could this happen in other countries?  Can any good come from this?
  • I have so many thoughts about these questions that I don't know where to begin.  Disincentives to helping people in need must be removed.  I have been told over again that in China, that Good Samaritans run the risk of being made to pay if they help strangers in distress.  One also has to have incentive to take responsibility for one's actions.  I can understand, but not condone, the van driver's desire to run away.  Yes, that would be my instinct too if I made such a horrible blunder.  Hopefully, I would overcome my instinct, stop my van and help the child.  I would have a stake in the child's being that is as great as the mother's.  I would feel just as horrible for the driver as I would for the mother and child if he had stopped.  We all make mistakes in life, and should feel lucky when no one else is hurt or killed.  But he didn't stop and as far as I know, he hasn't turned himself in. (I have heard he offered to compensate the parents as long as he doesn't have to turn himself into the police)  A driver's worst nightmare is to hit a child.  Or as least it should be.  
  • But how does one have incentive to take responsibility for one's actions?  If you base it on material values, there isn't any, except to make it much more expensive to run away than to help.  But even then, it would be better to try to pay zero than amount X or amount 2X, because X would have to be big.  One has to think of the consequences for one's soul.  Religious people believe the costs involved would be infinite.  Atheists would believe the costs fade away in time.
  • I and other English teachers are going to be finding out what their students think about the incident.
  • Update on my parents.  My mother's surgery was successful.  My father was said to be in a chipper mood.  They are in the same hospital, in Brandon, but on different floors.  I didn't realize, till my sister told me, that I could phone their rooms for updates and if lucky enough, get to talk to them.  I have to work out the time zone differences to phone them.

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