No cliches to condemn

Updated: 2011-10-20 08:06

(China Daily)

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A 2-year-old girl was left bleeding by the side of a road after being hit by two vehicles in Foshan, Guangdong province, recently. More than a dozen people passed by the fatally injured toddler but none stopped to help her, reflecting the declining moral standards in Chinese society. But instead of using clichs to criticize the indifference of the people, we should find ways to change their attitude, says an article in Changjiang Daily. Excerpts:

The media have highlighted the extent of indifference in today's society, and we should accept that lack of basic values has become a severe social problem in China, a country which is proud of its moral tradition.

Since such incidents have become increasingly frequent, we should refrain from using clichs before beginning a deep self-examination.

Some people have suggested that the government introduce new laws to prevent people from acting indifferently. But if we deny the importance of morals and rely on laws, a more indifferent society will emerge.

We should not blame the market economy, which China has embraced, for the declining morals. Some believe that the lure of money and material benefits is the main reason why people are ignoring spiritual pursuit and have become indifferent to other's pain and suffering. So, economic development should give way to reconstruction of moral standards. But such views don't hold water because people in some developed countries have high moral standards.

We should not blame the failure of the education system for people's indifference, either. A large group of people think that we don't teach our children love and sympathy. The truth is that many children have strong feelings of love and sympathy but lose these essential human traits when they grow up. Therefore, something else is wrong besides education.

On the road to modernization, we face the problem of how to inculcate people with traditional values and how the values would better fit into modern society. For that we have to restructure the moral system, based on traditional culture and the reality of development, accepted by all Chinese people.