China News 17th January 2022
In our news of 6th January, we told a touching story of an abandoned baby who then cared for her adopted father from a young age. This week, we look at a very different young person’s story –a schoolgirl who felt oppressed by her parents and her classmates.
At the beginning of the third year of high school, a head teacher told me that Xiaoqin, a girl in the class, came to her crying and wanted to see a psychologist. As soon as I saw her, Xiaoqin’s tears began to fall. After being promoted to the third year of high school, Xiaoqin felt that her studies were getting more and more tense, and her interpersonal relationship less smooth. Her roommates spread rumours behind her back. Her classmates mocked her on WeChat.
Xiaoqin said, “What worries me most is that the teacher will also misunderstand me and criticise me.” She paused. “Of course, when the classmates and teachers finally know the truth, they will come to comfort me. But I still can’t get through it because that classmate may tell things to other people who don’t know me well.
I said, “Can this be true? It’s the third year of high school. Everyone’s attention is mainly on learning, and things will not develop so badly…”
“But what about it after that?” Xiaoqin struggled with tears.
I said, “Listening to your account, I have a feeling that you seem to be worrying what hasn’t happened yet. Is it possible that the classmate who misunderstands you may not really understand the reality? Have similar things happened in your life before, which makes you worry in the same way?”
“Yes, there used to be.” Xiaoqin said that when she was very young, her parents divorced. She was very worried at that time and always thought that “if I had behaved better, they would still be married.” They always quarrelled and asked me what I thought. I said, “I am leaving”. They were angry again and said that I was not filial…”
I asked, “You must have felt helpless when you were so young at that time?”
In Xiaoqin’s mind, Xiaoqin’s mother always taught her to be strong, believing that crying is a manifestation of vulnerability. She must adjust and solve problems by herself. Mothers who have a rational attitude towards their children and have high expectations often make them feel estranged and cold.
I asked Xiaoqin, “Do you need a teacher to talk to your parents?”
“It’s useless.” She said with a wry smile.
Xiaoqin and I discussed some ways to deal with interpersonal relationships and emotional distress. Although she left with much clearer ideas, I knew that my consultation with her had just begun.
I quickly contacted Xiaoqin’s parents through the head teacher. Xiaoqin’s mother was also trying to contact the head teacher, because she accidentally saw the child’s diary and the details of her childhood with her parents. It had been a long time before, but the sadness in the writing is still strong.
The mother is confused and doesn’t know how to help her child. Xiaoqin’s mother also wants to ask for help.
Xiaoqin’s parents were born in an era of material shortages. They feel that today that they have created a superior living environment for their children. It is appropriate for their children to study hard: they deliberately face their children’s failures with cold faces. However, children whose material needs are met, have expectations for higher-level needs such as love, belonging, respect, self-realization. The fierce academic competition between classmates makes them anxious. When they encounter that feeling of failure and depression, their parents’ scorn makes them more negative about themselves.
Xiaoqin’s mother began to realize that, while she hoped that her daughter would be strong, she was deliberately tough on her: this made Xiaoqin more vulnerable. After discussion, Xiaoqin’s parents realised that bringing up their children with love was the right way to encourage them. They agreed to give their children more opportunities to choose independently.
I also gave them the same advice: love yourself. Finding a way to love yourself and dispel negative emotions caused by work, partner, and others in a suitable way. Then go home to face your child. Only when you are in good shape can you pass on your strength to your child.
The family is an eco-system. When one member of the family changes their attitude and behaviour, others will also change. Loving families will learn to express love in a way acceptable to each other and positive energy will flow between them.
Hong Kong is often caught by the rivalries between the Central Government of China and the United States of America. This writer is clear that the solution to this problem for Hong Kong must be found by Hong Kong alone.
China and the United States are in an era of fierce competition. But most Hong Kong people are busy dealing with the troubles around them. It is difficult to pay attention to noise far away. When the United States rolls out various policies to sanction Hong Kong officials, everyone may pay some attention, but it is still impossible to link this with their own lives. We need to ask whether these things have nothing to do with us, or whether we should pay attention.
If the differences between China and the United States were cultural, the harm that a conflict between China and the United States could cause would be unimaginable. Fortunately, the conflict between the two countries is not cultural, but ideological.
However, just like the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union, the game of geopolitical power will not be discussed. Everyone will use ideology as a cloak for argument, accusing the other party of expansive pursuits, including political autocracy and capital autocracy, depending on your definition.
Which side are you on?
China’s COVID epidemic was controlled because the “CCP disregards human rights” and enforces autocratic rule. Conversely, the United States failed because it “only respected human rights and freedoms.”
Once China’s economy officially surpasses that of the United States, the latter’s reaction is estimated to be particularly dramatic.
But the comparison of economic scale is a false proposition.
It is like trade, technology, soft power, etc., all of which provide a stage for the competition between the two ideologies and their power. Even if China’s overall size surpasses that of the United States, the economic momentum generated by each Chinese is still one-quarter of that of the United States. Comparing economic aggregates between two economies with such large population differences is not very meaningful.
Culture and ideology have always been linked. Yet, ideology is also a belief that is based on ignorance and arrogance, a contempt for the unfamiliar, a blind recognition of some abstraction. Americans insist on the freedom to bear guns, but see many lives lost as a result. They insisted on the right to choose not to vaccinate but refuse to take responsibility to help get rid of the epidemic. When American public opinion clings to its own moral high ground, it fails to see violations of freedom and democracy in the United States itself. Americans turn a blind eye to China’s rise, and the way countless people have been lifted out of poverty as a result, and its positive effects on the world economy, and even demonize China’s existence with various absurd accusations.
The USA has been an important economic and trade partner of China for more than 40 years. U.S. companies are an important force in China’s foreign investment. When we realize the difficulties of the United States, we may be able to understand better the path that Hong Kong has to take. The U.S. predicament can help Hong Kong find a way out.
When think about Hong Kong today, it is easy to feel the chaos that the United States is in. The road must be built by ourselves. The central government has helped us solve some difficulties. But this does not mean that the road ahead is necessarily clear. Just like the United States, its guns, racial and epidemic dilemma cannot be solved by others. Even for those of us in Hong Kong who are far away, if we spend a little effort in research, will understand that the United States cannot easily get out of its current quagmire.
When we appreciate the difficulties of the United States, we may be able to understand better the path that Hong Kong has to take.
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