Thursday, June 29, 2006

Compassion in action

In my daily meanderings across the internet, I came across this article. A Chinese woman, working as a doctor in prisons, saw the need for prisoners' children to have a safe place to go, since often they were rejected by family members for being tainted by their parents' crimes. The article quotes a saying of Chairman Mao- "a son of a hero is a hero, a child of a bad egg is a bad egg". This is another example of what I learned about Chinese culture when I was there 3 years ago- that family connections are very important, and there isn't the same sense of individualism that some Western cultures have. One person can disgrace their family, and the other members are seen as 'bad' too. Anyway, this Chinese woman has started four homes for prisoners' children. She runs them with minimal staff, because she relies mostly on small foreign donations, and mostly the older children watch out for the younger children. Some kids come from the street, some from living in prison with their parents, some from relatives who don't want them anymore. The doctor, Zhang Shuqin, tries to build up their self-esteem and tell them that they are not bad because their parents have done something bad. The article makes no mention of any religious motivation for her, just that she has compassion on people who desperately need it- prisoners and their children. As someone who spends much more time thinking or talking about compassion than actually practicing it, this woman is an incredible example of compassion in action.

PS- I'm not posting anything on my lack of blogging for the past 3 months (!) because it's pretty much a laundry list of the usual excuse- too busy. Until May I was 'too busy' with school, and in June I've been 'too busy' doing all the stuff I didn't have time to do during the school year (read: optional, fun stuff like reading an entire novel in one sitting). Guess I have an excuse for every occasion! :-)

No comments: