I believe that individuals should have the right to know the truth, and I believe that politics has a corrupting effect on this truth.
I learned this earlier in my life when I was sixteen. In the spring of 1989, an affair which involved politics and students happened in China. At the time, I was young; I did not understand what they meant by democracy and other slogans, even though I got a decent grade from politics class by remembering the rules very well. Most of my former classmates had the same feeling as me. No experience to help us understand the meaning of most political words except to read and remember. These used to be just words to me but now they were really happening.
I sensed events becoming serious gradually. I saw an overwhelming number of unsigned writings about freedom and democracy on the wall in the path that I walked everyday. The media over and over glorified the patriotism of the students who were organizing the strike and appealing to the government. We had to give up our normal weekend amusement; instead we were gathered and taken to an auditorium to watch the self -titled DVDs of some scholars’ opinions several times. These scholars called themselves freedom or democracy fighters. I was excited at first, but an issue appeared. These descriptions of the opinions cheered my spirit up but confused my mind. I understood that they were against the conservative government system. They insisted on change, but how and what conclusion, they did not provide. I fell asleep without feeling guilt while I was watching.
Later my classmates invited me to join their strike showing they had been inspired. They planned to walk by the main street to wake up the people. Their goal was to appeal to the state government leader. I did not know any more details. According to what they said, all I had to do was walk with them. I told them that I would like to give it a try. The fact is I went to a movie instead after I had watched my classmates slowly approach the street. Up to today, I still do not know why I did this personally.
I intended to find my classmates and apologize during the evening class. Everything changed dramatically in the evening. An important government decision influenced the entire country. Now the government had forbidden any strike of students and warned these students to behave themselves immediately. Finally, these students were named by the government as trouble makers, not political heroes anymore.
As time went by, this affair became a controversial topic. Some criticism questioned the government’s craven double speech, fooling the people, and persecuting patriotic students. The government accused these students of using patriotism as an excuse to destroy the public system.
Soon the main leaders of the patriotic students’ movement had abandoned their followers and run overseas. Many of my classmates who attended this movement have tried to deny their participation during their entire career life, especially when they applied to government positions. Some thought my accidental absence turned out to be a wise prediction. I only stand by my own beliefs. I had viewed the cruelty of politics and this made me become indifferent. Even today, here in America, I am not easily inspired from any political speech. I care more about what the politicians practice than they preach.