I am an ordinary resident of Beijing, not a celebrity. However, today I would like to take action to support the worldwide relay hunger strikes, further the efforts of nonviolent resistance by those who are persecuted, and hope for the peaceful transformation of China.
Over the past several years, my thinking has changed a lot. Perhaps because I grew up in the capital of China, since I was a young child, I have seen a lot of the dark side of society. The people in power exercised no restraint in fighting for power; the businessmen only sought profit and spared no means; even the ordinary people also only cared about themselves and had low morals. Although I felt sad and pained about this, I still believed in the Chinese Communist Party's propaganda, which said that the current time period was the early stage of socialism, and the problems it experienced were normal and similar to that of the very early stage of capitalism. When the economy developed, these problems would be naturally resolved. However, ten years passed, but I have not seen any signs of improvement. Furthermore, I think the situation is deteriorating. Ten years ago, I might have been able to turn a blind eye to the problems and only live in my own little world. In contrast, now I have nowhere to hide amidst a host of frightening problems including degradation in the natural environment, climate changes, and air, water, and food pollutions.
I have always known that if the entire society declines, everyone will have to pay the cost. People ignore the consequences out of weakness and selfishness. Actually, the changes in the environment and food are not the worst. The worst is the change in people's hearts, which permits and consents to the ugly behavior in society. Some people even take the initiative to acquit or hide these issues. For example, almost everyone knows that many high-ranking officials are corrupt and promiscuous. Most ordinary people can't do anything about it. However, some intellectuals say they understand it, and some even say that they themselves might do the same if they were tempted with so much money and sex. Seeing this, I used to say that this society was ill, and there was no medicine for it.
Time cannot save people. People don't naturally become wiser and more moral as they age. There are many elderly people around us who don't really understand the world. In contrast, after experiencing some obstacles, some people become more selfish and defensive. By the same token, society doesn't naturally become better with time. I also found that money cannot save people. A person will not actively help others because he is rich and can take care of his own food and shelter. In contrast, some people are even greedier after they become rich. Ultimately, I found that knowledge itself cannot save people, either. Some people have studied many things and have master's or Ph.D. degrees. However, their knowledge does not make them more responsible. They do not realize that the intellectuals should be the conscience of society, and they only want to use their knowledge to gain a higher salaries and a more comfortable life. When the social status of such a person rises, their amount of sympathy and care for the weak and disadvantaged actually decreases.
A former classmate of mine once told me about his grand house-hunting plans with great excitement. He already owned a condo in Shanghai and one in Beijing. He was still looking for a city in which to buy a third condo. I said, “There are many people without a roof over their head, including those people whose houses have been forcefully torn down by the government against their will. There are also people who don't even have enough to eat, such as those who were infected with AIDS when they had to sell blood to buy food.” He nodded in agreement, but went on to talk about the third condo he was trying to buy. I looked at his face; my heart was bleeding: who turned a man into this?
Then I attributed all the vice to the ugliness in the character of the Chinese people. I thought the source of the evil is the low character of the Chinese. However, over the last thousands of years, the Chinese nation has believed in traditional values such as kindness, justice, courtesy, wisdom, and faith. There are many touching examples in history. Why did our character take such a dive when we thought we were becoming more civilized and technologically advanced? Tormented by this confusion and pain, I tried not to think too much, since I did not have to worry about food or shelter for myself. Once I read an interview with Cheng Yizhong, who said he lived in a nice pigpen with plenty of food and clothes. I could not help smiling as the analogy was accurate. I, along with many of my friends, all live in such a pigpen. Some pigpens are better than others. Some don't even provide enough food.
About a year ago, I read Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party on the Internet. When I first read it, I thought the words were too harsh. I knew the CCP was bad, but was it that bad? As I read it chapter after chapter, every chapter untied a knot in my mind. When I was finished with the Nine Commentaries, I told myself, “That's how it is. Everything came from [the CCP]. I was deceived by it, and the Chinese nation suffered so much from it! The CCP initiated one movement after another. It brainwashes the Chinese people, tightly controls the existing administrative system, orderly and purposely changes people's thinking, and has erased the line in people's minds between good and bad.” That explains why China's morality and culture deteriorated so quickly since the CCP took over. Shortly afterward, I withdrew from the CCP and all its affiliated organizations on the Internet. From that day on, I saw hope for China.
I know Falun Gong practitioners face great danger in promoting the Nine Commentaries and helping people withdraw from the CCP. When I read about the pain and suffering they went through over the last several years, tears often filled my eyes. It is especially hard because although they are helping people, they are often cursed at. How can they do it unless they have reached a high cultivation level of their minds? I also know that they are still cultivating, and that their goal is not anything in the human world. The Chinese people need to save themselves if they want to have a future. Although we've been told the direction, we need to walk the path ourselves. Because of my weak character, I thought I could not be a hero to lead the change, but I had been hoping for a hero to emerge.
When attorney Gao Zhisheng came to the public, his insight and courage shook me. I felt that he was a gift from god to lead people on a path of hope. I have been paying close attention to Gao's situation in the last few months. If on any day I find that I cannot find news about him, I become anxious for his fate. I often told his story to others, despite some people's indifference. Recently Gao suggested that people across the world all go on a hunger strike to resist the persecution.
I think it's time for me to do something to help. I decided to go on a hunger strike for 24 hours to support the efforts against the persecution. I hope more Chinese people can join me. If their situation does not allow them to publish their names, they don't need to disclose their names; instead, they can go on a hunger strike at home and publish a statement on the Internet. They can also tell their families and friends.