Sunday, October 30, 2011

Materialism at the cost of Morals & Ethics? Is it worth it?

As would most people who read about the case of Yue Yue, I was mortified and till today, cannot understand how people could be so cruel and cold. Yue Yue, 2 years old girl, was run over twice on October 13th 2011 in city of Foshan, China. A video posted on Youtube shows over a dozen people walked by and simply ignored her. It was a scrap picker who stopped and finally helped the poor girl. Many in China said that they are burnt by previous extortion cases against Good Samaritans, hence many would understand why people passing would just ignore the dying little girl. Some even accused the scrap picker to be a lime-light seeker. “I’ll bet if it was the new iPhone laying in the middle of the road, people would be diving out of windows trying to save it from being run over,” wrote one blogger. This is so sad but it's so true. Has the search for $$ and materialism replaced the sense and value of humanity? Though what happened in China is very extreme, we see the same issues throughout the world. A not so distant example is Abdul Hamid, young Malaysian student in UK who was robbed by youngsters pretending to help him during the London riot. In Singapore last week, my husband was driving into Singapore and saw an accident involving a motorist on AYE. Ian stopped and got out of the car to help a motorist who was thrown off his bike. The motorist was injured (his leg was bleeding, but luckily he was not too seriously injured) and was distraught. The car behind Ian's car started to horn even though he could clearly see what was going on. Nobody else bothered to help. This bystander effect happens everywhere, not just China. I really hope that no matter where we are, we take a moment to internalise, learn from this and not fall victim to the bystander effect. Help others in need, as Michael Jackson puts it "I'm starting with the man in the mirror". Rest in peace, little angel, Yue Yue, your sacrifice serve as a strong wake up call to our society throughout this world.


  1. Unfortunately I don't think it will serve as a strong wake up call. We are richer than ever and yet many people are more focused on getting more stuff than living a good life or helping those that could use help.

    There are many good people who go out of their way to help others. The jerks tend to be quite boisterous, noisy and busy calling attention to themselves (they by nature are concerned more with themselves than anything else) - so they are much more noticeable. But really there are many more people that are considerate and helpful, I believe. Still the level of self-centered egomaniacs that are extremely inconsiderate of others seems to grow not shrink as time moves on.

  2. I know, hopefully some self-centered egomaniacs will wake up and be better people at least.