Why don’t we adopt disabled orphans?

A well worth reading article self-criticizing why Chinese are less willing to adopt disabled orphans!!!

 我们为什么不愿领养残疾孤儿

2013年5月13日07:51 中国青年报

原标题:我们为什么不愿领养残疾孤儿_时政·社会_评论频道_腾讯网

事实上,目前大部分的普通中国人所表现的善行,都还只是这样一种自我需求的满足。我并不认为汶川大地震所表现出来的慈善,是多么大程度的飞跃,这种自我完成的需求,其实一直存在于几乎所有人的心中,并且也有很多人在生活中践行了这种需求。举个最简单的例子,看看爱心人士申请认养的表格。很多人都这样写:希望要小一点的,最好3岁以下的孩子;或者是最好没有残疾的孩子,或者是要一个女孩之类的要求。

不可否认,一场地震,震出了一个不一样的中国。但是,当媒体和评论家争相对国民在地震中表现出来的慈善行为进行探索和诠释、甚至夸大和拔高的时候,我们尤其需要冷静下来客观地反思这种行为。

在灾区,当有人呼吁无组织的志愿者不要来添乱的时候,那些各界名人总能通过各种途径,突破重重关卡和警戒,去他们想去的地方,无论他们是在真的关怀还是作秀。在我所在的城市,为了避免干扰灾区转移来的伤员休息,普通市民是不允许进病房探望的,只能把礼物放在医院。但总是有一些人利用特殊关系,被允许进入病房探望病人并亲自把礼物送到病人手中。

很明显,在这场全民赈灾的行动中,有些人利用自己的特权优先满足了某种需求,而这种需求就是行善。

从这个角度来看,这种慈善表达和对爱、崇高、意义的表达,是每一个人与生俱来的需求,好像穿衣吃饭性生活一样普通的需求,只不过这种需求长期以来被我们对物质的强烈需求所掩盖。而一场地震,则一夜之间引爆了13亿人的这种需求。这样看来,也许这种需求的表达,并不是我们当初所认为的那样高尚,只不过是人之为人的一种普通需求而已。正如有网友所言:这一滑动过程并不指向现实中的苦难,而指向一种想象性的自我完成。

事实上,目前大部分的普通中国人所表现的善行,都还只是这样一种自我需求的满足。我并不认为汶川大地震所表现出来的慈善,是多么大程度的飞跃,这种自我完成的需求,其实一直存在于几乎所有人的心中,并且也有很多人在生活中践行了这种需求。比如,扶老人过马路,给穷亲戚送几件旧衣服,资助一个孩子读书等等。这场地震的作用在于,更大范围和更深层次地激发了人们对于这种自我完成的需求,但还远没有上升到“非自我需求的善行”的地步。

举个最简单的例子。我所在的报社组织了认养灾区孤儿的活动,有2000多人报名,还有很多人根本打不进热线电话,可见热情之高涨,爱心之汹涌。但在表象之下你会看到什么呢?最开始是感叹,怎么没人想到收养一下贵阳市儿童福利院里的孤儿呢,其实他们也很需要家和关爱,却从来没得到过像四川灾区孤儿这样的关注。

再看看爱心人士申请认养的表格。很多人都这样写:希望要小一点的,最好3岁以下的孩子;或者是最好没有残疾的孩子,或者是要一个女孩之类的要求。

难道他们对灾区的孩子有什么特别眷顾吗?不是。他们一样不希望收养一个性格已经形成的孩子,或者残疾儿童。他们能给予的爱,依然没有超越“自我需求”,中国社会仍处在慈善行为的“初级阶段”。

难怪国外媒体总喜欢拿中国人从来不愿意收养残疾孩子的事实,作为中国人缺乏爱心的佐证。曾看过的一部美国纪录片《我的至亲骨肉》,讲述一个妇女收养若干个残疾孩子的故事。故事里,有两个双腿高位截肢的小女孩,每天自己推着轮椅出门,校车司机在她家门口放下升降梯把轮椅接上去。在学校,她们基本上不用依赖别人就可以自己处理上厕所等问题,她们甚至还和全班其他同学一起,快乐地挥舞旗帜做旗操表演。这些情景,我们能想象得到吗?我们现有的基础设施和观念,能在多大程度上给残疾人提供一个可以充分参与社会生活、不依赖他人而独立生存,在人群中获得自信和尊严以及充分幸福感的机会?

千万别被例如“汶川大地震,痛出一个新中国”这样的标题所蛊惑,我们仍然需要自我反思和自我检讨,探究我们人性深处的动机何在、自私与否?

(责任编辑:霍玉倩)

 

Why don’t we adopt disabled orphans?

07:51 BST+7, 13 May, 2013 China Youth Daily

 (Original article in Chinese: http://opinion.cn.yahoo.com/ypen/20130513/1738627.html)

Original title: Why don’t we adopt disabled orphans? (Tencent- Review-Current Politics/Society)

 

Actually, philanthropy showed by most Chinese people is an action of self-satisfaction. On my part, there was no big jump ahead when people were being kind in the devastating Wenchuan earthquake. The need of self-realization remains in people’s hearts, and they try to meet it. For example, when the kind-hearted people were filling the adoption forms, many of them preferred younger children who were under three years old. And it would be better if the children were without disabilities and were girls.

There was no denying that China embodied a different image after the earthquake. However, when the media and the critics were exploring, explaining and exaggerating the benevolent actions, it was urgent for us to have calm and objective reflection on the deeds.

Although the unorganized volunteers were not encouraged to enter the disaster areas, the celebrities could always break the barriers to go wherever they wanted. We were not sure about their real intentions: offering care or showing off their kindness. In my hometown, citizens were not allowed to visit the patients transferred from the earthquake-stricken areas in order to guarantee their rest and the gifts could only be left in the hospitals. However, someone managed to pull the strings to visit the wards and gave the presents in person.

Obviously, in the campaign of national disaster relief, some people made use of their privileges to meet a certain demand —- being merciful to others.

From this perspective, expressing philanthropy, love and nobility is a demand rooted in our blood, which is as common as eating and drinking. While it had been covered by the strong drive for materials, the earthquake awoke the 1.3 billion to feel its existence. Therefore, the kindness was not as noble as we thought; instead, it was just a popular demand. One netizen once said, “The transition does not target the hardships in reality but the sense of self-accomplishment in psyche”.

Actually, philanthropy showed by most Chinese people is an action of self-satisfaction. On my part, there was no big jump ahead when people were being kind in the devastating Wenchuan earthquake. The need of self-realization remains in people’s hearts, and they try to meet it. For example, helping the old to cross the road, sending clothes to the poor relatives or finance one child to complete his/her study, etc. The earthquake further and more deeply stimulated people’s demand, which was far from not being related with self-satisfaction.

A simple example would be that the newspaper agency I was working in organised a campaign to adopt the orphans in Wenchuan. More than 2000 people signed up for it and the hotline was too busy to get through, which fully revealed people’s passion and love. However, what was behind that? We sighed and asked why no one ever thought about adopting an orphan in the children welfare association in Guiyang, a southwest city in China. The children there need home and care as well, but they have never received so much attention.

When reading the adoption forms, many people preferred younger children who were under three years old. And it would be better if they were without disabilities and were girls.

Was that because they did some favour to the children in Wenchuan? No. They did not want to adopt someone who was disabled or already mentally mature. The love they offered was within the boundary of “self-achievement”, and the Chinese society is still at the initial stage of philanthropy.

It is no wonder that the foreign media regard Chinese as lack of love because they are never willing to adopt disabled children. I watched an American documentary titled My Flesh and Blood, wherein the mom adopted eleven disabled children. Two of the girls were high paraplegia, but they managed to go to school on their own by using the wheelchairs and with the help of the school bus driver. They could go to the toilets by themselves and happily perform the flag dances together with their classmates. Can we image these happening in china? Are the infrastructure and people’s minds advanced enough to let the disabled fully involve in society, independently live and gain confidence, dignity and happiness among the crowd?

Never be deceived by the titles like The Pain of Wenchuan Shapes a New China. We still need to reflect on ourselves and find out what our true motivation is and whether we are selfish or not.

(Editor: HUO YuQian 霍玉倩)

English Translation by MBL volunteer:YAN YunZhi 严韵致