Help the needy without a show

Updated: 2013-12-11 07:20

(China Daily)

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Wang Xiuqing, a worker, lived in an underground heating facility in Beijing for 20 years to save the money he would have had to pay as house rent, which has been rising by the month, to pay for his children's education. Recently, he turned down some sympathetic people's help and returned to his hometown after his life became the focus of the public. Perhaps people should be more veiled with their support to the disadvantaged group, says an article on Excerpts:

It is a mystery for many people why a person like Wang would forgo the help offered by many well-intentioned people. Wang, however, has accepted the special support offered by a company, which doesn't want to be named but has promised to pay the tuition fees for his three children up to the university level.

It is such low-profile financial help that Wang accepted after his family's sorry condition became public thanks to the media. Wang came to Beijing and opted to live in the underground heating facility because he wanted to save money to pay for his children's education. But all the while, he kept his predicament secret even from his friends. And even after the media reported the poor condition he was living in, Wang doesn't want his entire story to be made public. He still is adamant on keeping his family affairs private to prevent people from looking at his school-going children with pity or derision, or both.

The fact is, there are more people in China living under similar or worse conditions, and they are in genuine need of help from society. But people who want to help them should do so without hurting their dignity, because most people would rather forgo the help than compromise their self-esteem. So when local officials go on their year-end visits to poverty-stricken families, they should seek the permission of those whom they provide aid before making their stories public.

Offering help without making a song and dance about it is a moral requirement. And the case of Wang should serve as an example for anybody who wants to help the needy.

(China Daily 12/11/2013 page9)