The Silence Around Tibet’s Ecological Crisis

http://www.theatlantic.com/china/archive/2013/05/the-silence-around-tibets-ecological-crisis/275617/

 

“Tibet is still a very sensitive topic, even if your story is about the environment and not politics,” said an editor, who prefers to remain unnamed, of    the environmental section ofSouthern Weekly, a paper the New York Times has called the most influential liberal newspaper in China.

    In early April, several satellite images were sent to Southern Weekly; the pictures suggested that the fatal landslide in a Tibetan mining site on    March 29 — labeled a “natural disaster” — might be related to inappropriate and illegal operations. However, Southern Weekly did not pursue the    matter further, believing that the evidence was “still not strong enough” for them to address such a sensitive topic, although several Chinese and    international experts believed otherwise.

    “There is no question that the landslide was caused by reckless placement of mine waste by the gold mining operations,” said Jack Spadaro, after carefully    viewing the two satellite images taken in 2010 and 2012 that were sent by Robbie Barnett, the Director of Modern Tibet Studies in Columbia University.    Spadaro is a mining safety and health and environment specialist who has had a 38-year career as an expert witness in litigation related to the    environmental, health and safety aspects of mining.

    “Based on the available information and those satellite images, it is obvious that the accident is related to mining activities, rather than a pure    ‘natural disaster’ as claimed by so-called experts,” said Yang, a geologist specializing in the west China region.

“Tibet’s traditional culture is more threatened by global commercialization than it is by the Han Chinese.”

China faces serious environmental challenges nationwide, and Tibet is no exception. As announced in the country’s 12th five year plan, Tibet was slated to become a mining center and a    hydropower engine. While the environmental impacts of mining are well-known, those of    hydropower are less so.

    “By 2020, the focus of hydropower development would be gradually shifted to Tibet’s rivers,” said Zhiyong Yan, the General Manager of the China    Hydroelectricity Engineering Consulting Group in a 2011 interview for Newenergy.org.    “Most of Tibet’s hydropower is to be sent out for the whole country’s energy needs,” he added, noting that 20 percent of hydropower produced in China could    eventually come from Tibet.

    Hydropower is being developed in part to meet China’s goal of ensuring    that non-fossil fuel accounts for 15 percent of the energy supply by 2020. However, this not only poses geological risks, especially in southwest China, but also    involves environmental degradation around project sites, population migration issues, and other less obvious environmental challenges.

    “Hydropower is sometimes accompanied by and becomes a cheap energy supply for heavily polluting industries such as the mining industry,” said Jun Ma, the director of the Institute of Public & Environmental Affairs in Beijing, in his 2009    article, “Hydropower’s Over-expansion Will Not Help Reduce Carbon Emissions.” Indeed,    the environment has been greatly impacted in both the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) and the greater Tibetan region.

    “We joked that the mountains in Tibet are becoming the bald heads of lamas, and cows are getting skinnier and skinnier,” said Nyima*, a Tibetan who used to    work in the TAR for an international NGO but now lives in New York. He recalled logs floating in the Ganzi River; massive logging operations in Tibet eventually brought about the flooding of the Yangtze River in 1998.

    Tenzin visited his hometown in east TAR about one year ago and was shocked by the numerous hydropower projects on the river and the desertification near    the projects. “I am not an expert on hydropower, but I do not need to become an expert to know it is wrong when you see hydropower stations just several or    ten kilometers away from each other,” he remarked.

When the Miga Tso hydropower project was delayed because Phuntsok Wangyal, the founder of the Tibet Communist Party, wrote to then-Premier Zhu Rongji, the    head of local government blamed him for obstructing the development of his hometown. Indeed, the environmental problem in Tibet is often framed as a choice    between environmental protection and economic development.

    “The problem is not development, but over-development!” said Tenzin. He believes the over-building of hydropower stations is a result of unregulated    competition between different state hydropower groups fighting over profits.

    “People from the China Hydropower Group Fourth Bureau and the China Railway Group Seventh Bureau once fought against each other physically while competing    for hydro projects; one official from the former one was injured and the project was delayed,” said Ms. Zhao, who has an acquaintance in the China Railway    Group Seventh Bureau and says she learned this from an inside source.

    The implementation of projects, even after vicious fights, has been problematic as well, due to a lack of regulation.

    “My hometown’s new highway became unusable after just one year. Along the modern highway, because of digging construction materials, the two parties were    destroyed without preserving,” said Kalsang, a Tibetan living in the Tibetan part of western Qinghai Province.

    Without real regulation and public monitoring, even licensing has become unreliable.

    “The experts did their environmental assessment of mining projects in Lhasa without visiting the actual sites,” said an anonymous source in TAR, who has a    relationship with some officials from mining companies.

    Shakya, who lives in Lhasa, believes that although economic development is necessary, there are better alternatives to current practices in Tibet. For    example, eco-tourism and eco-products like Lhasa beer could generate development, given that Tibet’s unique competitive advantage is its pristine    environment.

    “The mindset is also a significant problem,” Shakya stated, “When New York was developing in the 1930s, the area of Central Park was preserved; but as my    hometown of Lhasa has been developed, many small lakes and small parks have been destroyed for real estate development.”

    “Believing nature is sacred, Tibetans lived in peace with nature, until the shock came from the outside,” said Dolker, a young Tibetan from Yunnan. Many    Tibetans believe that changes to Tibetan society have been effected by Han Chinese, who arrived in the TAR in large numbers as part of plans by China’s    central government to develop the area.

    According to Wu, an environmental journalist inside China who wished to remain anonymous, the environmental problems faced by Tibet are similar to problems    in other parts of China, and more universal than political. “The Han Chinese did not destroy Tibet’s environment for political reasons,” remarked Wu. “They    are already diligently destroying their own environment.”

    As stated in a book entitled Tianzhu (Tibetan Gem), which documents the experiences of a Chinese person in the TAR, “Tibet’s traditional    culture is more threatened by global commercialization than it is by the Han Chinese.”

While foreign media and NGOs are virtually banned from entering Tibet, domestic media and NGOs are also aware that they should stay out, or at least keep    quiet even on environmental challenges in Tibet.

    “Different parties, including both the Chinese government and overseas ‘human rights’ activists, always politicize problems in Tibet, making real    environmental challenges untouchable,” said Gao, an environmental NGO worker in western China. He was extremely reluctant to disclose his information,    worrying that any news stories coming out would pose further challenges to his NGO’s efforts to enhance environmental protection.

“Many Han Chinese in Tibet think that they understand Tibetans,” he remarked, “But the truth is that Tibetans have learned what to say to Han Chinese.”

    “In Tibet, environmental problems are politicized and treated as stability problems,” said Droje, a Tibetan scholar in TAR, although he agrees that it is    necessary to consider environmental challenges in a broader context.

    On Tibet.cn, an official website about Tibet, an article was posted entitled, “Hard    to Understand: The Theory of Environmental Destruction in Tibet”. In the article, people who claim that Tibet now faces great environmental challenges are    labeled political enemies under the leadership of the Dalai Lama.

    “When people hold protests overseas and call for a ‘Free Tibet,’ it may inadvertently help government officials politicize everything and demonize the    Dalai Lama,” said Howard French, the former Shanghai Bureau Chief of the New York Times. He believes that Tibetans best advance their cause by advocating for    things that are good for all Chinese people, since they share many of the same needs: clean air, clean water, and basic rights.

    However, gaps in understanding and trust between Tibetans and Han Chinese have been huge issues. According to an anonymous source, Li Chuncheng, the former    vice party secretary of Sichuan province, used to visit the Gulden Temple where self-immolations frequently occurred. When he arrived, he asked for people    to share their true thoughts and affirmed that he was there to solve problems. However, monks insisted on telling him that everything was fine. After Li    disappointedly returned without any new information, others would self-immolate.

    “We international journalists want to hear more rational opinions from normal people, but almost exclusively hear politically extreme opinions,” said Mei    Yang, a journalist withRadio France International.

    The communications gap exists not only between Tibetans and government officials, but between Tibetans and most normal Han Chinese. For Han Chinese, the    absence of knowledge about modern Tibetan history and lack of tolerance towards different belief systems make it harder for them to understand the    Tibetans.

    “When I was listening to my Han classmates talking in a mean way about the Dalai Lama, I was very sad and frustrated,” said Dolker. Losing hope in bridging    cultural gaps, some Tibetans have given up on truly connecting with Han Chinese.

    Wu, the environmental journalist who wished to remain unnamed, recalled challenges he faced in convincing Tibetans to share their true thoughts when he was    there to help them when doing journalism works in China. “Many Han Chinese in Tibet think that they understand Tibetans,” he remarked, “But the truth is    that Tibetans have learned what to say to Han Chinese.”

* Tibetans interviewed for this article may be quoted under pseudonyms to protect their identities.


This post also appears at Tea Leaf Nation, an Atlantic partner site.

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We are All Sinners for Tibet – including the West

We are All Sinners for Tibet – including the West

There is now a vicious circle for Tibet: No Chinese or Tibetans in China would wish their names shown in any journalism stories that touch the serious challenges of Tibet, because they know any stories about Tibet would be politicized even if they just want to talk about environment; Since there are only voices of “human rights activists”, foreigners, exiles in existing journalism stories (mostly on western media) on Tibet’s problems, each story coming out makes the issue get more politicized and more intimidating for people inside China to be involved.

How can you solve the problems if the really stakeholders are outside of conversation?

As a Chinese environmental journalist who has two years’ personal involvement in bridging the communication gaps on this issue, I see huge imbalance that jeopardizes the understanding of Tibet’s challenges, not to mention resolving.

 

One side is extremely silent, even though they are the real stakeholders who have important insights or real influence: Tibetans inside China are silent on Tibet issues, even if they have important information that they wish to share; Chinese people inside China are silent on Tibet issues, even if they are extremely concerned about Tibet.

The other side is extremely noisy: the “Free Tibet” exile communities many of who have not even been to the modern Tibet; the westerner journalists who are banned to enter Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) but still write based on their limited access and pre-existing ideology; and us, the readers, who become suddenly politically active when talking about how poor the Tibetans are deprived of their human rights and how awful the Chinese Communist government is.

However, indeed the noisy side is who makes the silent side silent — the noisy side is the sinner in making Tibet’s many challenges untouchable while they do not have to be so, like environmental problems.   

 

As said in my recent story, Tibet’s environmental challenge is not at all special in China, and the real sinner is not the Han Chinese, but the global commercialization, although it entered through the influx of Han Chinese. Therefore, many problems are common for all Chinese, who ask for clean air, clean water, and basic rights to have a healthy life without necessarily demanding a western type of democracy.

While environmental problems are seen by Chinese journalists, civil societies as an area that is not very politically sensitive and where they could make difference, while many problems like pollution, hydropower, mining could be discussed, why Tibet is different?

It is different because many westerners do not want to compromise their “moral principles” “professionalism” for some people to have real benefits — “I only pursue great journalism, never think of the influence is constructive or not”, said many great western journalists friend of mine. The western journalists feel satisfied when they wrote things like “authoritarian regime” “human rights” “The hardline policy on Tibetans”, but they never consider what their stories would bring to the problems and the people in the problems. They do not want to not talk about the untouchable pains for the central Chinese government, such as some mistakes in modern Tibetan history, even if that could save the face for the central government and make it more capable of self-adjusting to fix some fixable problems at least. A more concrete example is westerner journalists’ obsession in pursuing real names in stories, which made them less likely to have voices from Chinese and Tibetans inside and more likely to have voices from people outside and sometimes with extreme political views.

It is different because ideology participates wrongly — ideology like western democracy, human rights usually exists in the journalism stories written by western journalists, even they all claim to be objective. Those words do not have to be present in the articles. However, through the narrative, those ideologies are implanted in the stories and every story about Tibet, about China becomes a “democracy” story or a “human rights” story, which is not only not appealing but also annoying to not only the Chinese government, but also many Chinese people, including myself. Even for people like me, justice is a universal concept, love is a universal concept, but “human rights” is a narrative under ideology, and “democracy” is a narrative under ideology. The westerners do not have to believe so, but they should be aware that if you can’t put your pre-existing ideology aside, they are disconnected with a major part of China’s realities.

 

The question is what is more important, the starting point, the moral principles to self-satisfy, or the results?

There are three simple things for us — people outside China — to contribute to Tibet’s future:

Discuss Tibet’s concrete problems like environmental problems on their own, put aside ideology like human rights and democracy, do not politicize the problems and generalize the problems into “China problem”;

Prioritize the influence on the issue, rather than your self-satisfaction or any professionalism;

Adjust your attitude, instead of criticizing, be constructive and think about feasible solutions, work with the Chinese government rather than be against it.

 

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Where is Gao Yaojie?

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  • Published in Xin Bao of Hong Kong on Dec 1st, 2011, World AIDS Day
  • Retweeted and reposted thousands of times online around that day, by all who still remember and love Gao, by who still want to make our world better.
  • about Gao Yaojie (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gao_Yaojie), about us, about our future.

   Gao Yaojie (Chinese: 高耀潔; pinyin: Gāo Yàojié; born 1927) is a Chinese gynecologist, academic, and AIDS activist in Zhengzhou, Henan province, China. Gao has been honored for her work by the United Nations and Western organizations, and has spent time under house arrest.

   Now, this 85 years old hero, who touched the whole China by her deep love and care for the poor HIV patients in vast rural China, who offended some government officals by pointing out blood transfer was the main cause of HIV in China, lives lonely in a house in upper west of Manhattan. While going back to China and staying with her families is no longer an option, what accompany her and comfort her now, are Columbia University students’ care and her strong own care: about “how are my patients now?”

   From her eyes, we could feel her intelligence and imagine the times when Gao was running in the vast land of China, fighting for concrete human rights and justice. From our eyes, we could feel the threat of reality: Gao is here, she could not be able to fight any more. Therefore, while many people are still suffering, there is no Gao runing and fighting under this blue and sad sky.

   Where is the next Gao Yaojie?

   What are young people doing now? What are we pursing now?

   Trying our best to get in Wall Street, the determined eyes of youth may look similar to Gao’s eyes, but something has changed, right? Is it the times, or is it us?

   You don’t need to go that far to fight Wall Street. Wall Street is near us, Wall Street is in us. As long as top students are still trying their best to get in, Wall Street would not collapse.

   Similarly, as long as we can choose to stay outside of, thousands of AIDS villages in rural China, along with the sorrow of a grandma watching her children died from HIV and holding her little grandchildren who would definitely also die by HIV, and thousands more like her, would not disappear.

   And just feeling sad while listenning to such stories would not be good enough. The key is: how long could you keep your sadness, how much effort could you transfered from your sadness? Tomorrow you could again happily go shopping with your friends right? Tomorrow the food would also smell good, right? If so, this world would never be changed.

    If we have dream, could we also inheritate Gao’s unfinished dream? If we don’t have dream, could we start to have one?

   Could we? Could our future be hopeful?

by Hongxiang Huang

Orginal Article:

  刚刚和朋友探望了病中的高耀洁老奶奶,这位当年感动中国的「中国民间防爱第一人」,在这2011年世界爱滋病日即将来临之际,孤零零地住在纽约曼哈顿上西区一处不起眼的建筑中,离哥伦比亚大学不远。有各界包括美国政府的援助,有一些学生的照顾,如今高奶奶的物质生活条件不算太糟糕。但是按照她自己的话,身体是越来越不行了。文革时失去了大半个的胃,现在只能喝疙瘩汤度日,还面临著血栓等问题,曾让饱学的她引以为傲的脑子和记忆力,也不如从前了。这一切,仿佛是要逼我们去瞪大眼睛看著这个世界。英雄,已经八十多了。

  高洁的灵魂

  这是高奶奶送留学生们的自传的名字,也确实是她人格的写照。在昏黄的灯光下,我们回到了中原的艾滋村,回到了一幕幕人与猪一起睡的老画面,回归了活人和死人一起存在的空间和时间。

  出生於富人之家,饱读诗书的她,正做著妇科大夫,却毅然踏入了「中原血祸」,揭露阳光下的黑暗,为那些因卖血输血而得爱滋病的人呐喊。走进艾滋村,跟爱滋病人同吃同住,纵是医生,有几个人做得到?数十年如一日,「你政府官员的面子再重要,也重要不过人命。」她与地方权贵斗争,容不得生命面前的谎言。纵然经过了百般折磨,千种不幸,直到前些年,她还在防艾的最前线战斗。给我们看的,是2002年的照片,上面蔓延著斑驳的苦难。而那苦难一直在延续,无论是当年激昂喧哗的,或者是而今静默哽咽的。

  而最为珍贵的,除了坚毅的品格,大概要属她的灵魂了吧,是的,除了「高洁」,无其他可形容。

  「人们给我的钱,我要省著花。」五美元一副的眼镜,守护著最清澈的瞳孔。

  「我准备把家电什么都卖掉,活不了多久了,把之前搜集的材料照片都出成书,给人们留下来。」散去了千金,消去了物欲,她什么也不打算带走,一心想要留下更多。

  「中国政府是有过失,比方说有的官员贪污腐化、贫富差距、社会治安问题等,但是在这里打著批判共产党旗子的,都是好人吗?现在出国来的中国人渐渐多了,鱼龙混杂,国内的小混混,甚至贪污犯,跑到国外摇身一变就成了英雄。」

  高耀洁谈了很多人和事,借著做公益事业、救助受害者为名,以诸如关注爱滋病人的名义,在国外招摇撞骗。更甚者披著宗教外衣、打著救人的幌子、干著捞钱的勾当。虽然吃透了文革的苦,恨却占据不了她冷静分析的头脑和高洁的心灵。

  「高祖提剑入咸阳,炎炎红日升扶桑……」她至今仍能将三国等儿时所学背出,聊起很多事情还是很有见地,说到兴起,像小孩子一样嘻嘻嘻地笑起来。

  高耀洁在哪里?

  高奶奶说当时广东也出现爱滋病问题时,有记者撰文:高耀洁在哪里。「我就在家里嘛。」她又嘻嘻嘻笑了。

  但是,笔者却笑不出。是的,高耀洁在这里,在家中,她已经连出门都困难了。因而,苍茫的中国大地上,竟已经没有奔走的高耀洁了。

  那么,下一个高耀洁在哪里?可以放弃物欲,放弃家财,放弃与家人的团聚,放弃呆在深爱的祖国的机会,只为了那世上的伤痛,而去与贪污腐败,与谎言,与不公,与世界的「不应然」战斗的人儿,在哪里?

  探望过高耀洁老人的孩子,大概也很多了吧?从那本厚厚的赠书名录,可见一斑。而相信所有的来者都和我们一样,被老人的品质人格所震撼,为那段历史的浓缩所倾倒。但问题是,走出了老人的家门,除了「高耀洁奶奶真是太伟大了」,我们是否还打算去具体地,做点什么?如果我们有理想,那理想是否准备也继承起老人未完成的部分?如果我们没有理想,那么,是否可以从这一天开始有理想?

  以前听过一句话,「慷慨就义易,从容赴死难。」其实放到这个情境也是类似的,我们在老人家中的这一刻,被老人的故事带回从前,我们的灵魂被老人带到那些求生不得,求死不能的可怜人面前时,慷慨激愤是很简单的,问题是,之后呢?那些双亲因卖血染病而死的孩子们,那些目送儿女死去、抱著携带爱滋病毒的小娃娃对著陌生人跪倒的老人,那个拽著上吊的母亲的裤脚说「妈妈你快下来呀」的孩子,他们的痛,老人大概是一生记住了,并且从来没打算让自己从那种痛里走出来。正因为长久地记得受难者的痛,她才可以放弃物欲和享乐,一直地为了某些目标努力。而我们呢?我们也许在那一刹那也感觉到痛楚了,但是,可以保持多久?

  第二天的饭菜还会香对吧?第二天又可以跟朋友逛街购物了对吧?这样的话,世界不会有丝毫的改变。

  我们不是特别需要很容易难过的人,但是我们需要不容易从为别人的难过中走出来的人。因为只有这些时时刻刻无法忘记别人身上伤痛的人,才可以真的决心去行动,为了有朝一日带来改变。你不需要走那么远

  2011年,对於纽约客来说,是亲历了浩浩荡荡的「占领华尔街」的一年。10月,许多学生走出校园,去参与那场本质上是对社会不公的呐喊,哥伦比亚大学的学生也不例外。只是,当兴奋不已的学生涌向地铁站前往华尔街时,他们已经跟华尔街擦身而过了。是的,和身边西装革履的「Mr.和Miss.华尔街」们。

  当一群人在斥责华尔街的贪婪时,另一群人正在精心准备高盛、摩根斯坦利等华尔街巨头的面试。十月是面试季的开始,无论是商学院还是听上去更加承担社会责任的「公共事务学院」,大多数最顶尖的学生以进入华尔街、拿天价工资为追求。而留美的中国学生中,以去金融业为目标的比例尤其高。无论承认与否,随著商学经济学变成显学,随著一次次社会价值观对於物欲的妥协,对金钱的追求在中国已经甚嚣尘上,青年无法免俗。

  他们奔走,於一个一个招聘会之间,那匆忙的脚步大概和高耀洁当年有几分相似。

  他们努力,於一次一次面试之中,那执著的眼神大概和高耀洁当年有几分雷同。

  那么,是什么变了呢?是时代变了,还是青年变了?是时代变了导致青年变了,还是青年变了导致时代变了?是青年已经不需要再去像高耀洁那样奔走了吗?

  每次见到出发去游行的团队,都很想对他们说:你们不必跑那么远去和华尔街「作战」。华尔街就在我们的身边,华尔街就在我们的心里。

  华尔街是什么?那是一个独立的存在吗?不是的,那是一个一个具体的人组成的。这样的权与钱的集合体还有很多,只要学生中的精英们仍以进入它为目标,它就不会倒下。

  爱滋村是什么?那是一个独立的存在吗?不是的,那是一个一个具体的苦难组成的。这般的天灾与人祸的衍生还有很多,只要我们还置身事外,它就不会消散。

  此刻,高耀洁在纽约的家中,由於心律缓慢、乏力等等病症,活动困难,已经无法出门奔走了。而我们青年人自由的脚步,哪怕是在高耀洁的家中稍作停留和涤荡,也大多在出门后马上追著利益和物质。中国的未来,我们的未来,会好吗?

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慷慨激昂易 踏实立志难

   今天和朋友探望了高耀洁老奶奶,这位当年感动中国的“中国民间防艾第一人”,孤零零地住在曼哈顿上西区一处不起眼的建筑中。毕竟是被希拉里救出中国的,有包括美国政府在内的各方面资助,物质生活条件不算糟糕,但是按照她自己的话,身体是越来越不行了。文革时失去了大半个的胃,现在也面临着血栓等问题,脑子也不如以前好了,毕竟,已经八十多了。

                                                  高洁的灵魂

   这是高奶奶送我们的自传的名字,也确实是她人格的写照。在昏黄的灯光下,我们回到了河南的艾滋村,回到了一幕幕人与猪一起睡的老画面,回归了活人和死人一起存在的空间和时间。

   出生于富人之家,饱读诗书的她,正做着妇科大夫,却毅然踏入了“河南血祸”,揭露河南政府的黑暗,为那些因卖血输血而得艾滋病的人呐喊。走进艾滋村,跟艾滋病人同吃同住,纵是医生,有几个人做得到?数十年如一日,“你政府官员的面子再重要,也重要不过人命。”她与地方权贵斗争,容不得生命面前的谎言。纵然经过了百般折磨,千种不幸,直到前些年,她还在防艾的前线战斗。2002年的照片,苦难一直在延续,关注渐渐不发生。

   而最为珍贵的,除了坚毅的品格,大概要属她的灵魂了吧,是的,除了“高洁”,无其他可形容。

   “人们给我的钱,我要省着花。”五美元一副的眼镜,守护着最清澈的瞳孔。

   “我准备把家电什么都卖掉,活不了多久了,把之前搜集的材料都出成书,给人们留下来。”散去了千金,消去了物欲,她什么也不打算带走,一心想要留下更多。

   “共产党做过错事,但是那些反对共产党的也不都是好人!”法轮功、民运人士很多试图拉拢她,但是她始终保持警惕。“国内的小混混,甚至罪犯,跑到国外摇身一变就成了英雄。”她还谈到很多人,借着做公益事业比如防艾的名义,在国外招摇撞骗。虽然吃透了文革的苦,恨却占据不了她冷静的头脑和高洁的心灵。

   “高祖提剑入咸阳,炎炎红日升扶桑。。。。”她至今仍能将三国等儿时所学背出,聊起很多事情还是很有见地,说到兴起,像小孩子一样嘻嘻嘻地笑起来。

 

                                      高耀洁在哪里

    高奶奶说当时广东也出现艾滋病问题时,有记者攥文:高耀洁在哪里。“我就在家里嘛。”她又嘻嘻嘻笑了。

    但是,笔者却笑不出。是的高耀洁在这里,在家中,她已经连出门都困难了。因而,苍茫的大地上,竟已经没有奔走的高耀洁了。

    那么,下一个高耀洁在哪里?可以放弃物欲,放弃家财,放弃与家人的团聚,放弃呆在深爱的祖国的机会,只为了那世上的伤痛,而去与贪污腐败,与谎言,与不公,与世界的“不应然”战斗的人儿,在哪里?

    探望过高耀洁老人的孩子,大概也很多了吧?从那本厚厚的赠书名录,可见一斑。而相信所有的来者都和我们一样,被老人的品质人格所震撼,为那段历史的浓缩所倾倒。但问题是,走出了老人的家门,除了“高耀洁奶奶真是太伟大了”,我们是否还打算去具体地,做点什么?如果我们有理想,那理想是否准备也继承起老人未完成的部分,如果我们没有理想,那么,是否可以从这一天开始有理想?

    以前听过一句话,“慷慨就义易,从容赴死难。”其实放到这个情境也是类似的,我们在老人家中的这一刻,被老人的故事带回从前,我们的灵魂被老人带到那些求生不得,求死不能的可怜人面前时,慷慨激愤是很简单的,问题是,之后呢?那些双亲因卖血染病而死的孩子们,那些目送儿女死去、抱着携带艾滋病毒的小娃娃对着陌生人跪倒的老人,那个拽着上吊的母亲的裤脚说“妈妈你快下来呀”的孩子,他们的痛,老人大概是一生记住了,并且从来没打算让自己从那种痛里走出来。正因为长久地记得受难者的痛,她才可以放弃物欲和享乐,一直地为了某些目标努力。而我们呢?我们也许在那一刹那也感觉到痛楚了,但是,可以保持多久?

   第二天的饭菜还会香对吧?第二天又可以跟朋友逛街购物了对吧?

   这样的话,世界不会有丝毫的改变。

   我们不是特别需要很容易难过的人,但是我们需要不容易从为别人的难过中走出来的人。

   因为只有这些时时刻刻无法忘记别人身上伤痛的人,才可以真的决心去行动,为了有朝一日带来改变。

 

2002年的照片,似乎离我们不是很远。

河南,安徽,广东等,似乎离我们也不是很远。

但是,他们的伤痛,离我们的日常,又有多远呢?

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写作的理由

   有的人会好奇,为什么像我这么忙碌不得休的人还要坚持不断地写东西,明明连参加个Party都舍不得花时间去,明明走路都不舍得慢慢走,累病了那么多次。其实理由很简单:这就是我希望做的一件事情,用笔传播理念。无论付出任何代价都想去做的事。

   学新闻出身讲究价值中立,但是我认为现在我们的问题不是缺价值中立,而是价值错位。面对世界各地甚至说就在自己身边的苦难,我们视而不见,看着路边的乞丐说哎他肯定摇身一变就拿钱吃香喝辣从而为自己的麻木不仁寻找合适的借口,却关心哪个明星结婚了没有,为此伤心流泪,为此欢欣流泪;曾经是个读书人都有共同的志向,要修身齐家治国平天下,在某个时间之后,虽然这个没有了,但是我们还有一个共同的志向:为中华之崛起而读书。今天呢?我们为什么而读书?是不是除了名与利,没有理由了?中华是什么?中华跟GDP多少没半点关系,跟有没有像上海这样高楼林立的城市没半点关系,跟追求着更高利润而不在乎价值观不在乎道德不在乎别人的今日许多人没有关系。中华的本质是人,是承载着中华的价值观和信仰的人,是人心中的价值体系,或者叫文化,或者叫心。

   价值中立,很容易就变成我们不要讲价值,都去娱乐就好了;价值中立,很容易就变成我们不要讲价值,讲利益就好了。不行,我们要坚持强烈的价值取向,不要价值中立,要像孔子那样去宣扬仁与礼,不要价值中立,要像新青年那样去传播科学与民主,不要价值中立,要像信仰一样去让人热泪盈眶,热血沸腾。其实不是不要价值中立,是不要没人来对错误的价值说“不”,对正确的价值说“我要”。

   其实价值体系是那么重要。我们痛恨的是什么?是腐朽的官员对吧?是华尔街那样的大资本家对吧?是看着小悦悦却自顾自走掉的路人对吧?是伤害小摊贩的城管对吧?他们是什么?是人。二十年后,站在他们位置的,就是我们了。如果我们的人是正确的,那么,正确的世界,离我们最多只有二十年。是的,二十年后,世界各国的领导人就是我们了,我们想要有个什么样的世界,这很重要。

   我还只是一个普通学生,没有孔子那般的成熟理论体系,没有毛泽东那样的权力,没有甘地那样的影响力,但是我希望世界有所改变。于是我开始努力,仅此而已。

   相信每个人都思考自己的人生意义,都思考自己从哪里来,要到哪里去。于是我写作,因为哪怕是一点点也好,也希望能够对人们的思考有所启发,至少不要觉得赚很多钱,买什么名车,当什么CEO,进什么摩根高盛就是唯一有价值有意义的事情、就是仅可以有的追求。意义,不该被限于此,我们的生命可以有更多的价值。

   相信每个人都在通过了解别人怎么活来衡量自己该怎么活。于是我写作,因为想把自己的活法告诉大家,希望有更多的人可以发现换种活法的话,很精彩。看什么电影啊,电影里吸引我们的是什么?是勇敢地去追求理念的人们,是为了梦想出航的战士,是为了真善美而不惜牺牲自己的英雄,这些很难吗?让自己的生活变得跟电影一样精彩很难吗?你不需要通过电影里的角色去实现自我价值的体验,真的。我有信心,当八十年之后,我的生命经历会是一部精彩的传说,哪怕失败,我会让它如樱花雨一般。你呢?你期待你自己的生命在接近末尾的时候,世界对你的看法是什么?你对自己的看法是什么?在最后的时刻,在回首往事的时刻,你能够流露出最洒脱的那种笑容,说一句“我的人生真是太棒了!”吗?

   你不需要出生在那个年代的苏格兰,如果你想有一颗勇敢的心。

   没有天真到觉得一个人可以让中国重新变成道德礼仪之邦,没有天真到觉得一个人可以让社会重新充满关怀、信任与爱心,没有天真到一个人可以让世界向着一个不仅物质发达,而且精神充实的方向发展。但是,至少,我们还可以这么去执着地追求,力所能及地去做吧?不要滔滔不绝地说“应该这样”就完了,去做点什么,去梦想,并执着地把梦想变成现实啊。我最近认识了很多这样的人,我看到了变化,你认识这样的人吗?你想成为这样的人吗?真的,你不想吗?

   我会去做NGO,成为公共活动家、实干家,但是同时,我想成为记者,专栏作家,作家,心里想着,坚持去写,也许不经意间,能够带去点什么。虽然后半截的理想,写专栏、出书对于我而言,还是摸不着渠道的事情,至今也不知道怎么才能开始为一些杂志、报纸写文章,但是我会往这个方向继续前进。一点点就好,前进就好。

   写下去。

 

文/泓翔

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心之力

 

心之力

 “今日之中华,物力强大,而心力不济;

   今日之青年,知识渊博,而心力衰微;

   虽高楼摩天而立,大道康庄而驰,外族为之惊叹,国人因之自豪,吾未见国之强盛也。”

 

   国家是什么?民族是什么?是政府吗?是体制吗?是疆土吗?是GDP吗?是人口吗?

   不是的,国家,民族的本质是心,或者叫价值观,或者叫信仰,或者叫理念,或者叫追求。这叫做心的东西,让我们站在此刻,身后却有千年的历史在流淌,诉说着我们的缘起,并告晓我们何为英雄何为枭雄;这叫做心的东西,让我们无论生于何处,都得以共同的羁绊,庆幸着与伙伴一起降临,并清楚伙伴会和自己一起追求美好的世界;这叫做心的东西,让我们以承前启后的姿态矗立于天地之间,去追逐那也许叫愿望也许叫梦想也许叫天下大同的太阳,去相信那也许叫宗教也许叫道德也许叫修身齐家治国平天下的信仰,将微不足道的自己投入到世界和时代的洪流,踏在前人的叹息与狂喜之上,前往无数个心灵一起约定过的,遥远的彼方。

   心是自由而潇洒的,有心的民族,他们不需要有疆土,在吉普赛的歌谣声中,他们舞蹈之处,太阳升起之时,国家便在他们的脚下;心是强大而自足的,有心的民族,他们不需要有物质,他们可以箪食壶浆,可以裸衣而高歌,可以披于茅屋之下而欢颜,子曰,士志于道而耻恶衣恶食者,未足与议也。真正的士是什么?是有心之力的人。

   至于今天,随着历史作为宗教的倒下,伦理作为自然的瓦解,我们进入了一个心之力奇缺的时代。先是儒家是封建,是腐朽,于是我们因人废言,一并抛弃了修身齐家治国平天下的读书人理所当然应该有的共同的理想;然后是黑猫白猫抓住老鼠就是好猫,于是我们舍弃了过程,选择了目的,大家一夜之间发现:哦,原来不择手段是可以的嘛;随着“见义不必勇为”,我们拿来了西方的个人主义,把它发展到了今天“见义不需勇也不必为”的程度,把强调个人权利的理论变成了个人至上的理论,终于打造了一个见幼童被车碾也可以与己无关的社会——没有信仰没有宗教的民族,拿来了个人主义的话,是很可怕的,认为为了个人考虑可以无视“义”的想法,是很危险的。鱼我所欲也,熊掌亦我所欲也,然而为了义,哪怕是会给自己带来麻烦,甚至会让自己牺牲性命,我们也是有不得不去做的事情的。舍生取义必须被提倡,见义不为必须被惩罚至少被唾弃,一个不会舍生取义的民族,心之力便丧失了,没有义的他们,走向的必然是堕落而腐朽的世界。

   拥有着坚定的信仰和理想,不要提1940以前,哪怕是二十一年前的青年和今日的青年截然不同。没有宗教来告诉人们要去奉献去服务的我们,如今也没有了修身齐家治国平天下的共同追求,没有了天下大事匹夫有责的常识,一个个再也找不到自己应该做什么了,追求着物质享受,没有价值的他们逐渐把物质作为了自己的价值。是的,我们可以替他们辩解说是吓怕了,但是,这真的可以解释吗?不可以的,虽然规定说你不可以跳起来,但是你跪下就是自己的问题了。不可以去游行,你关心国事民生不看娱乐节目可以吗?不可以结社,你努力一点学习知识可以吗?不可以兼济天下,你路过乞丐时用怜悯的眼神看一下他可以吗?不可以跑去东师古,你为了那些勇敢抗争的人内心激动上一小时可以吗?不要说五十步笑百步,不要说是一样,不一样,是否做一件事,用什么方法去做这件事,做这件事时心情是怎样,这些不同,最终就会累积成世界的不同。不要觉得自己不能跟自己理想中的英雄有完全一样的言行举止,就让自己索性变成一个在物欲和娱乐中沉落的庸人。心之力是强大的,心之力有时候是什么?就是你的心情。心情不同,做的事情哪怕是和庸俗之人一样,你也和英雄有几分神似。

   对于国家的未来,世界的未来,我们寻找着答案,但是其实答案就在我们的心。

   是的,财富的不均正在侵蚀这个社会,所以才有了如今蔓延全球的占领华尔街。但是,其实华尔街是什么?华尔街不是一个独立的存在,它是由无数的个人,尤其是出类拔萃的个人组成的。为什么今日的占领华尔街像是闹剧一般喧闹而无功?因为他们没有看清谁才是华尔街,在去地铁站的路上,他们和身边的华尔街擦身而过了。华尔街不是那一条街道,而是一个个实实在在的人,仔细留心,在你的身边,在常青藤的大学校园里,那一个个西装笔挺的,准备着高盛摩根之类投行面试的人,不就是以后的准华尔街吗?你不必跑那么远去占领华尔街,华尔街就在你身边,华尔街就在你心里。真的想要摧毁华尔街,我们必须从心之力,心的骨气入手,重塑社会的价值观,让人们以身处华尔街为耻。否则,只要还有一帮常青藤的精英竭尽其力要加入华尔街,华尔街就不会倒下。但是,充满希望的,如果20年内再没有人愿意去华尔街工作,那么,20年后,华尔街就不复存在了。我不喜欢财富不均的世界,有人浪费有人却要在医药和栖身之处之间抉择的世界,相信你也是一样,对吗?那么让我们打倒华尔街,以及以华尔街为代表的1%吧,不必去游行,不必去示威,但是请你从心里牢固地树立这个观念:华尔街可耻,金融圈可耻,包括里面的每个人,他们明明是最优秀的一群人,却在从事着最没有意义的事情,并因此从大众那里聚拢了巨额财富。我们树立这个观念,并不是为了去恨某个人,而是为了整个社会的“义“,为了这个义,甚至我们不得不得罪身边的人。请注意,这是有区别的,同样是士兵在训练,你问他们为什么训练,有些人会说是为了打仗,有些人会说是为了保家护国,这是有区别的。我们不以制造冲突为目标,但是我们不能为了避免冲突而损害心中的义。如果你还能做的更多,那么请对身边准备着投行面试的朋友说一声:我觉得你比我聪明很多,能干很多,为什么你要把生命浪费在这种肮脏的行业呢?你原本可以做很多对你和对世界更有意义的事情!

   是的,腐朽的官僚和不完善的体制正在暗淡我们的正义和未来。所以,才有了那么多的眼泪,那么多的悲伤,那么多的挣扎和反抗,那么多的自燃和灰飞湮灭。我痛恨伤害善良的人们的腐朽官僚,相信你也是一样,那么让我们打倒他们吧,同样,结果就在心中,不必外求。在心里种下正义和善良的种子,严格地约束自己,绝对不对不正义的人和事有所妥协,这里面包括自己的老师,自己在政府部门工作的亲人,哪怕是身边的友人。如此,急什么呢?二十年,最多二十年,就是我们的时代。如果我们的“人”是正确的,那么,最多二十年,我们的世界一定是正确的。

   心是什么?心是义。什么是义?义就是无论有怎样的代价,你都应当去守护的东西。这种代价可以是肉体损伤,但是更多时候是更为小的、不可见而人人心里想着避免的,比方说眼前的争执。不行,不该避开的争执我们不能避开,道理很简单,乡愿,德之贼也。谁都不想给自己的利益带来损害,谁都不想跟身边的人有争执,谁都不想从自己的舒适圈走出来,走到那个淌血的小女孩前,或者是走到那个被殴打的小贩前,站在不义的棍棒之前。但是,虽然我们爱惜自己的生命和利益,我们更爱惜义。义是什么?是心。心是什么?是我们向往的美好的世界。为了我们向往的世界,总有些血是要流的,一切,以义为先。“若有流血,请从嗣同始。”

   心是什么?心是观念。觉得这个世界物欲横流的你,是否意识到了自己观念里物欲的菌床?物欲横流的不是世界本身,而是你和你身边具体的人。面对一辆所谓名车,面对一只所谓名表,面对一个所谓名牌的包,你能不能嗤之以鼻,而不是出于讨好友人的心理夸奖对方?是的,扭转这个物欲横流的世界就这么简单,有心之力,我们终于一天可以到达一个这样的世界:“啊?你花了一万块去买了一只手机?你是不是受刺激了?为什么不拿去捐给乡村小学,或者是至少买点书之类,有点意义的东西?”面对友人在崇拜什么歌手,什么演员,你能不能嗤之以鼻,而不是虽然自己不追星也不愿意说人家偶像的好话?是的,扭转错误的崇拜就这么简单,有心之力,我们终于一天可以到达一个这样的世界:“瞧,那个谁,虽然是个唱歌的,虽然长得帅,但是去帮助了很多人,我佩服他!”

   心是什么?心是人本身,心是时代本身,心是对的,世界就是对的。

   心是什么?心是理想。什么是理想?理想就是你此刻的心情。

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What if we are indeed not rational

  “The first time I heard of food stamp was in my social work class years ago. The senior social worker told us that the reason we want to give people food stamp instead of cash is that people sometimes cannot make the best choice for them, they simply cannot control themselves. They would probably use cash to buy alcohol, cigaratte even knowing it is wrong. By giving people food stamp, they would at least buy a certain amount of things that are truly good for them. 
   But by saying food stamp sometimes make people unable to get to the optimal choice, are you suggesting even if the opitimal choice is more soda, more alcohol, more drug, less food, it is still better than the kink? When you said the fact that people can only choose kink rather than the old basket is where this policy is inefficient, I was wondering: isn’t this what food stamp is designed for? The purpose of the food stamp is maybe to drive you to the kink, right?
    I do understand that here saying the policy is not efficient, we assume government only cares about cost. But still I want to ask you about the “utility” and talk with you about the real situation instead of problem sets.
    My understanding about this is that the definition of utility and maybe the whole economics theory is based on the assumption that human being is rational and would make the best choice for themselves. Under this assumption, even if people choose more soda and less food, the utility is still higher than the opposite way. Or maybe I could say, the utility we talked about is the utility perceived by people, instead of necessarily the true utility for people? So what if this assumption is false and people are not rational at all? Is this the key about whether food stamp policy is good or not?”

    This is part of the email I sent to discuss with economics teacher.
    My own background is communications and psychology, and I have studied a lot about why and how people are not rational. I am scared by economics since it is so dominant in today’s social management. In country like China, people used to rely on philosophy and history to manage society, however, now it is all about economics.

    And economics keeps failing us. I have been wondering why. Now the answer begins to be more clear: what if the assumtion is false?

   What if people can’t make the “best” choice for themselves, instead they just act by emotion and impulse, usually misled by something?

   What if people, even if the smart ones, can’t understand the undergoing information and do rational analysis, instead they just follow people, and follow intuition?

   What if people are constrainted by bias, and they fail to recognize the flaw of the system they rely on to recognize something?

   For many people, you can say no that’s not the truth. However, I have been studying this for long time, and I know such things are true. When it comes to crowd instead of individuals, it is even more true.

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