Caring for Others

Wenyan - Hangzhou, China
Entered on May 17, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

Four days ago, on a very normal math class, my desk mate nudged me to wake me up from my “half-focusing” in geometric figures, and whispered, “An earthquake just hit Sichuan.”

I nodded, seemed to be indifferent. I didn’t care much, for I thought the earthquake would be just like a little trembling of land which Japanese go through every day. Never had I thought, at that time, the devastating impact this “little trembling” was to have.

The following days were miserable. Every quivering voice traveling from radio waves was talking about the disaster; every used-to-be-emotionless face up in the television was about to show heartbreaking scenes of buildings transforming into ashes, and people struggling hard to get out of the concrete and metal. I have heard the most desperate voice of a woman in Sichuan who was expecting her daughter from school that day but never could witness her beloved girl’s coming back; I have seen the sincerest tear of a male broadcasting host who had never showed any emotional expressions during the program before this. I have felt care all across the world, though in a second-handed-way, I have truly felt the care like I am the one who have received care.

I have a confession to make: I am not a person who believes in altruism. As a schoolgirl who has published her book in junior high, I cared most about my own brilliant future. I have never stand up in a crowd speaking up for a complete stranger, nor have I ever cared much about other’s life. But this time, I cared.

When I read the describing news of a school being buried during the earthquake, I felt my heart was twisted by a chisel and pounded by the heaviest sea on this planet. I could picture the authentic image just like I saw it with eyes — I could even smell the smoke and feel the strong shaking. At that moment, I cared. At that moment, I believed in caring. And at that very moment, I knew that I would keep this belief for the rest of my life.

Four days have past now, four days. During these four days, I gave out my care and concern. I donated, wrote essays on a blog, and motivated others to care, just like every one of my friends did. My donation is not high, but I donated with all my care; my essays cannot be read by people all over the world, but I wrote them with all my care; my influence is limited, but I tried to make others care with all my care.

I believe in caring. I didn’t feel shame for my initially numb behavior, for I believe that my later care has made up for my past indifference. I believe that caring for others makes one’s life valuable, just like how it is making my life now.