It’s been a few weeks since I’ve been at home. I’ve spent my time talking up China, telling people that my life there is enjoyable – but of course difficult. Most importantly, I’ve had to remind people that (as long as I remain quiet) I am safe and taken care of. It’s important to let people find other things to worry about than their loved ones.
Nonetheless, it’s been difficult to tame their panic recently, given the streak of violent attacks that have taken place in kindergartens across the Eastern provinces of China. They come more and more frequently, with more and more deaths and my parents continue to reinforce loudly that I need to practice using common sense (and perhaps my until now unknown kung-fu techniques) as soon as I return to teaching.
That’s not the point. Rather, I’m trying to wrap my head around this aggression, in violent form, that is ending the lives of children who deserve nothing but to live and learn. I can’t make heads or tails of it, but it seems that although most people may feel this way, the large majority of citizens are trying to dig their way out of confusion into understanding.
I will, at some point, write down my views on the entire…mess (as I see it) that has come out of this. But for now, I leave you with the words of Han Han, a 27 year old singer, rally driver, writer — but most importantly, blogger. His articles reflect a kind of humanism that needs to be promoted and pushed in this world — and particularly in China, and I find that his comments on the recent sweep of kindergarten (copycat) killers holds the most on-point observations I’ve seen as of yet.
“Wretched children, it is you who are poisoned by milk powder, harmed by vaccines, crushed by earthquakes, and burnt in fires. Even if there’s a problem with rules in the adult world, you are the ones adults stab in retaliation. I truly hope it is as the Taizhou government says, and you’re all just injured and no one has died. We elders have failed in our duties. I hope that when you grow up, you will not only protect your own children but build a society that protects everyone’s children.”