Where has filial piety gone?

Updated: 2012-02-03 08:06

(China Daily)

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An 84-year-old man in Chongqing fell sick after being forced to sleep on the doorstep of his youngest daughter's house during Spring Festival because none of his six adult children agreed to "accommodate" him. The refusal of some grown-up children to take care of their parents is aggravating the aging problem in the country, says an article in Changjiang Daily. Excerpts:

He Daxing has six children who had agreed to take care of him in turn. But owing to a rift among his children, his youngest daughter refused to allow him into her house - she alleged that she was always "treated as inferior to her brothers". The senior citizen's other children refused to accept him for reasons of their own.

In the end, the homeless man was forced to sleep on the doorstep of his youngest daughter and fell ill. How could the traditional Chinese virtue of filial piety be reduced to such an extent?

During the four days that he was forced to sleep under the sky, some of her daughter's neighbors gave him quilts to keep warm. But why didn't the community residents' committee provide more timely help to protect the senior citizen from harm? The hands-off attitude of the committee workers and his daughter's neighbors also reflects a kind of social indifference.

China as a nation still attaches great importance to filial piety. Unfortunately, materialistic desires have distorted some family and social values. It's time people as well as the authorities took measures to inculcate traditional virtues, including filial piety, among children to pass them on to the next generation.

(China Daily 02/03/2012 page9)