Thursday, October 20, 2011

Toddler victim of hit-and-run sparks rethinking of life values

MANILA, Oct. 20, 2011—While the fate of a two-year-old Chinese girl hangs in the balance after being run over by two different vehicles a week ago, people around the world have been weighing in on the incident, mostly condemning what is seen as a callous disregard for people’s lives and a general decline in morality.

On October 13, Wang Yue was seriously injured in two hit-and-run incidents by two different vans in the town of Foshan in China’s Guangdong province. Over a dozen bystanders and one motorcyclist simply passed by the little girl lying and bleeding on the street after the incident, which was caught on a closed-circuit security camera.
Based on reports, around 10 minutes later a 57-year-old trash collector saw the child and pulled her to the side of the street. She started calling around for help, thus alerting the toddler’s mother who was within earshot.
The girl is currently on life support at Guangzhou Military District General Hospital. According to a report by ABC News Online Radio, the two drivers are in police custody. One was arrested by the police and the other turned himself in.
“I watched the video two nights ago on CNN. It was horrible. My first reaction to it was how the Chinese view children because of their disregard for life,” observed Alan Dacanay of Families Against the RH Bill.
“If the story is true about the babies found on the Yangtze river when they were building the Three Gorges Dam in China, then this will not be a surprise for the locals. They seem to have very little regard for life. The passersby and the motorist were unmindful of the toddler. What a sick society,” he lamented further.
Looking inward
Others looked inward and urged Filipinos to keep certain cultural values alive.
“May this indifference and callousness to the plight of others’ suffering not be found in the Philippines. Compassion (“awa”), caring for others (“kawanggawa”) and a sense of community (“bayanihan”) are part of our values as Filipino people. We are not individualistic,” said Pro-Life Philippines Board Member Dr. Lissa Poblete.
“Because we are a God-fearing nation, Filipinos from all walks of life are quick to show acts of kindness and mercy. Heroism and kindness are still alive in the Philippines.”
Apparently, the victim’s mother subscribes to the same other-centered values, based on comments she told China Daily newspaper which indicated an absence of bitterness over the situation.
“Let them make their own judgment. If they are married and have children, they will know. But I bear no grudge and refuse to be disappointed by society. Many kind people have come to help,” she was quoted to have said to the China paper, according to an October 19 The Telegraph story.
Not only in China
Despite the Chinese government’s much-criticized one-child policy and cases of forced abortion in the country, some refuse to label last week’s incident as characteristic of a nation’s lack of soul.
“The tendency to be individualistic is not peculiar to the people in China. Why would Jesus use that parable [of the Good Samaritan] if such a situation would not apply to us? And it happened back then, too — that’s [part of] the message to us. Hindi isolated sa China ‘yon,” said Jose Descallar, pro-life advocacy officer of BUHAY Party List Rep. Michael Velarde.
“It’s a reflection of an instrumentalist culture, yes. Kapag ang kapwa ay nangangailangan, iiwasan mo kasi you have to go out of your way [to help], ayaw mong ma-involve. And the irony of things is, in this incident, the ‘lowly and oppressed’ is the one who helped. Kung sino ‘yung mahirap, siya pa yung tumutulong.”
Descallar pointed out that while more moneyed individuals riding vehicles could have easily stopped and lent assistance to the bleeding child, no such thing happened in this case.
“Ang tumulong sa nangangailangan ay yung wala — basurero. Ang basurero, isa sa mga marumi o pinaka-inaayawan na trabaho,” he said.
Essentially, it was the shunned in society, one engaged in trash-collecting, who rescued another who is being shunned — in this case, the child, Descallar mused.
It was a case of the poor being the generous one, he added. (CBCP for Life)


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