The title means ‘The world shouldn’t be this way’. I decided to express it in Chinese because it sort of loses its meaning when translated to English.

Last week, after a hearty teppanyaki dinner with my colleagues, while waiting for a cab, two beggars loitered around outside the restaurant asking for money for a meal. It wasn’t the first time i’ve seen beggars or interacted with one; there are plenty in New York, but somehow its a little different when I see Chinese ones. Anyway, I had just had my fill, and to be honest, my life is pretty comfortable now and I feel really blessed to have such an enjoyable job and to be living comfortably in a hotel, that I felt really bad when one of the beggars tugged at my jacket and pleaded with how all she needed was some money for a meal. Actually, she wasn’t totally begging, she was selling flowers for 5 yuan each. I instantly felt sorry for her and so i gave her 10 yuan without taking the flower. She was really grateful and walked away, but the other beggar, seeing my display of kindness, instantly leeched on to me and begged for money. I got a little afraid and was worried she might ask for more, so i didn’t give her any, but she pestered and wouldn’t let go. She was there wailing for over 15 minutes, pulling my arm at the same time. I tried my best to ignore her and talk to my friend, but she wouldn’t leave. Even when i boarded the taxi, she stuck her arm in the door to prevent it from closing, although the taxi driver eventually drove off and she was left behind. I vowed never to donate to beggars again, at least not in this way.

Yesterday, i bought KFC for dinner, and was on my way home, when a mother and a daughter eyed my bag of food and suddenly asked if I could buy them a meal. I was shocked for a while and didn’t know how to react, although everything happened so fast. What I did, which i think i will remember forever, was I turned and walked away. And then almost in a millisecond, i felt a pang of regret and wished i had given them my bag of food. But then, even if i could feed them today, what would they do tomorrow? And, how many people could i feed by myself? Yes i could afford helping one or two people, but i couldn’t save everyone. I felt a tinge of sadness in me as I walked home, half wanting to cry, but I didn’t as I knew it wouldn’t solve anything. I kept thinking what were their lives like, and what were they doing now, did they manage to find food, and did they have a place to sleep in this cold weather? Why should I, a normal Chinese person, be allowed to live comfortably in a hotel with everything provided, and not they? Why should I be provided with a decent education, a life never lacking in food or shelter, and not others?  I felt so much injustice, but I didn’t know what to do.

I went home and talked to my girlfriend about it, and she said maybe I could do something to help with my resources. Maybe the world was unfair, but if i was more able than others, i could turn this ability to save others. I told her I don’t know how i can go on with my job in advertising fabricating ideas for big corporate clients when people are starving and homeless out there. It doesn’t make sense, I should be doing something more meaningful. But then she said maybe it’s not time yet and maybe all this is part of a bigger plan. I hope she’s right. But I do know God didn’t give me a brain for nothing, and someday, I will use this conceptual ability of mine to do something for the less fortunate.

That is a promise I will keep.

One Response to “世界不应该是这样的”

  1. Stephano

    Nelson, I just saw that you had opened this part of your site. I’m glad you’re posting some of this stuff.

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