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August 13th, 2009 | By Key | Opinion
From Beijing News:
by Shi Jia (石嘉)
The reason China’s reaction was so fast when after Haiti earthquake struck, is perhaps due to our painful memories of the (Wenchuan) earthquake. Disasters do not happen frequently, but difficulties happen very often. Maybe if we only land a helping hand, they would not be buried; if only we help out a little, they would not be submerged.
Haiti earthquake shook far more than just the people of Haiti. On January 14 New York Times’ report on Haiti started like this:
The Associated Press reports, Help began arriving early Thursday when an Air China plane carrying a Chinese search-and-rescue team, medics and aid landed at Port-au-Prince airport, and more than 50 people in orange jumpsuits got out accompanied by trained dogs.
This I am afraid is one of few times when international media reporting on a foreign disaster, which puts actions from China into the text, and more than once.
Every major disaster is (like) a final exam. At least so far, the Chinese people’s performance passed the exams, they were even outstanding. During the Wenchuan earthquake, the whole nation united in a concerted effort of disaster rescue, and won the respect of the world. This time after the Haiti earthquake, China’s disaster relief teams and rescue supplies boarded the earliest flight to Haiti relief.
The reason China’s reaction was so fast when after Haiti earthquake struck, is perhaps due to our painful memories of the earthquakes. Whether it was Tangshan, or Wenchuan earthquake, we know that time is life, we are fighting against time for the survivors’ lives. We also know large-scaled natural disasters will hurt a society and a country deeply. A netizen posted a message on Sina micro-blog “Thought of two years ago witnessing the disaster areas in Sichuan, my heart was tightened and twisted.”
Empathy, is maybe the most important reason why we passed the exam. Disasters do not happen frequently, but difficulties happen very often. The development of Chinese society is progressive, the people in a social transformation often encounter all kinds of unexpected difficulties. A variety of security and insurance system is only provided at the institutional level to the citizens for the means of surviving. But everyone does not exist in isolation, we need support and hope in this society. China has the traditional philosophy of “helping the weak and rescuing the troubled” since the ancient times, these kind of traditional philosophy goes far beyond what was seen in the level 7 earthquake or any other storms. Maybe if we only land a helping hand, they would not be buried; if only we help out a little, they would not be submerged. These are as important as the rescue during a disaster relief.
Since the Wenchuan disaster, the Chinese society is undergoing a subtle change. If everyone in the society are able to share the feelings of other people’s problems, then at least this society is warm; if we can care for the citizens who are in different kinds of difficulties just like how we cared for the earthquake victims, then this society will have nothing to fear for; if when someone is facing hardship, our rescue comes as fast as the disaster relief, then this society will be very strong.
Facing the disaster, Chinese people’s volunteering sprit and selfless consciousness naturally floats out from the bottom of their hearts, and aspires China’s love after Wenchuan earthquake; so that in a different day of bitter cold, intense heat or rain and snow, we have a reason to rely on each other. At this time, we are listening to the voices of Haiti; we also hope at every moment, we can hear the voices from their hearts.
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