Spirit of Lei Feng lives on

Updated: 2012-03-05 08:10

(China Daily)

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The tragic death of the toddler Yue Yue in October shocked the nation and led to much soul searching about people's willingness to help others.

The 49th anniversary of Learning from Lei Feng Day provides us with the perfect opportunity to reflect on both ourselves and the society we live in.

In 1962, March 5 was declared a national day to honor and remember this soldier who died in an accident at the age of only 22.

What could he have accomplished in such a short life that we should look to him to be a role model today?

Born into a poor peasant family and orphaned at 7, he explained in his posthumously published diary that feeling grateful to the people who helped him constantly motivated him to help others.

Five decades on his name is still remembered for his selflessness, and his willingness to help others should be an inspiration to us all.

Good Samaritans are always needed and the Lei Feng spirit is important for the cohesion of any society.

Our country's phenomenal development over the last three decades has raised people's living standards and made life convenient to a degree that would have been unimaginable 50 years ago. But at times it can seem that people are wearing blinkers and making money is the be-all-and-end-all of their existence.

Yet we should remember that this is only one side of the coin and there are people who are always willing to extend a helping hand to others in their time of need. The Lei Feng spirit is still with us, even if at times it seems a flickering flame in danger of going out.

The celebration of the 50th anniversary of Lei Feng Day should serve as a reminder to others that altruism is always necessary for a harmonious society and provide fuel to the flame so it burns ever brighter.

That fact that Lei Feng is still remembered today, should inspire us to see beyond our own self-interest and to realize that making others happy is an important part of our own happiness.

(China Daily 03/05/2012 page9)