Yueyue's death gives us insights into how to live

Yueyue's death gives us insights into how to live

Soul-searching on the mainland may signal a better society

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Yueyue is treated at a hospital in Guangzhou after being run over by two vehicles. She later died.
Yueyue is treated at a hospital in Guangzhou after being run over by two vehicles. She later died.
Photo: AFP
Brahms' lullaby rang in my head when Wang Yue, the two-year-old toddler, lost her battle for life.

Sleepyhead, close your eyes, for I'm right beside you.
Guardian angels are near, so sleep without fear.

Tear-jerking lines like "Farewell, little Yueyue, there are no cars in Heaven" have flooded microblogs since the little girl - who was run over twice by cars - was declared dead. The callous treatment of the toddler also ignited outrage on the mainland.

Terms like "The day the superpower lost its humanity", "Morality hits rock bottom" and "Inhumane" have been seen in newspaper headlines, criticising China for the erosion of traditional values of morality and compassion.

Now that the dark side of China has been so clearly displayed to the world, no wonder our compatriots felt ashamed. "Farewell Yue Yue," they said, "and do not be born in China in your next life."

However, away from the sentimental aspects, there are other issues worth looking at.

First, thought should be given to the laws regarding traffic accidents. Under the present laws, people have to pay a lot of compensation for death or serious injuries caused by their negligence.

Maybe the fear of bankruptcy is why the driver didn't want to help the little girl. Of course, this is no excuse; but many mainlanders cannot afford to pay huge compensation.

Second, besides the driver, the bystanders were also criticised for their inaction. No doubt, they showed no mercy.

But as we criticise them for delaying treatment to the girl, putting her life in more danger, have we forgotten the many more ruthless parents who dump their baby girls under the country's one-child policy? Even so, it is comforting to see that the media was flooded with criticism. This is evidence that the Chinese now do care about life. Let the compassion seen after the Sichuan earthquake in 2008 continue to grow.

Third, we ought to seek the origins of the accident. Why did the little girl walk alone in the road? Let's not forget the responsibility of the mother in taking care of her child. It is possible that the van driver did not see the two-year-old girl.

You wouldn't expect a toddler to know how to cross the road.

Though Yueyue quickly came and quickly left, let's promise her that we will make our society a better place to live in.

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