Precarious arrangement

Updated: 2013-05-13 15:26

By Raymond Zhou (China Daily)

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Rich-poor divide may play a role as the flaunting of wealth may hurt the feelings of those who have to borrow to pay their tuitions. But most of the collisions cannot be explained away with the class-struggle theory. It takes an unhappy turn of events to make a tragedy.

The latest case involves a pair of roommates in a Nanjing college. One of them forgot his key and knocked on the door, and the other was playing a computer game and did not jump to open it. They got into a scuffle, resulting in a fatal stabbing.

Most of the incidents started as something so trivial that you would shake your head and have difficulty believing they happened at all. Most likely, it's not about a girl that triggered the deadly infighting, contrary to the formula of coming-of-age stories.

I believe some people are indeed inflicted with some kind of personality disorder and the environment of group living simply aggravates it. If one is prone to negative disposition, there may be nothing you can do to change it. Even a simple smile could be interpreted as a sneer. If push comes to shove, it's better to notify the school authority and let professionals deal with it.

For those who cannot stand their roommates, no matter which side is in the right, it's important to take a step back and see the whole picture. One has to develop a healthy dose of tolerance to survive in the outside world. Live and let live is probably the best recipe.

Meanwhile, we should probably refrain from jumping to sociological conclusions based on what seems like a string of such tragedies.

While the cutting down of a life in its bloom is always reason for sorrow, given the annual turnover of seven or eight million college students, a certain percentage of bad things may be inevitable.

One may cool down hot spots that follow a logical trajectory, but there is no way every abrupt flare-up of enmity can be anticipated or resolved.

Schools should make counseling readily available. Other than that, common sense is probably the best panacea, which sometimes can cruelly evolve into a placebo.

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