China may have cut off a foot to save a stomach. To be clear, I don’t support the antiabortion movement in the United States. The one-child tragedy in China is similar to the United States where the self-esteem movement fostered millions of narcissists, out for themselves—the everything is “I” people. I’m sexy. I’m going to be famous. I’m going to be rich. I’m going to be the next Bill Gates. And this is before they become a teen.
Studies predict that China will soon be short 24 million wives. It doesn’t matter that China bans tests to determine the sex of the fetus for non-medical reasons. Since the culture traditionally prefers boys, many parents will go to underground private clinics to find out what the sex of the fetus is. If it is a girl, many terminate the pregnancy illegally. With the shortage of women, illegal marriages and forced prostitution (sex slaves) is a problem for the police and courts.
If the growing shortage of women wasn’t enough of a tragedy, there are also the little emperor and empresses—spoiled rotten children. Later, many of these brats end up in marriages that don’t last long. The divorce rate in China among those born around 1980 is the highest of all the age groups because they cannot get along or compromise.
Today, it is as if older people are to be invisible and silent while handing over everything they worked hard for to youngsters that expect to do or get whatever they want. In North America, we have spawned more than one generation of narcissists.
There are other countries where children are still taught to be respectful of their elders and value the work it takes to gain an education. China is one of those countries.
More than twenty-four hundred years ago, Confucius dedicated his life to the moral training of his culture. He lived during the Warring States period before China was unified. Living with all of that violence and death, he dreamed of a land where people could live happily and harmoniously together.
Only in this sense can one understand the tremendous emphasis placed on filial piety, which is regarded as the ‘first of all virtues’.
To learn more about Confucius and piety, check out this site at the Journal for International Relations. I’m not saying what Confucius taught was perfect but it served China well for centuries and still play a vital part of the culture in China.