If you don’t take yourself seriously, nobody else would. As the popular saying goes, borrowing a verse from the bible; “If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities.” Luke 16: 10. Average Chinese are experiencing the panics and anxiety of compromised unsafe foods, drinks and merchandises being shoved down to them unwillingly more often than not interrelated in a way of their own doing and didn’t actually come to terms with it. It’s the hidden heavy price one paid in the relentless pursuit of material wealth and going through the economic uncertainty after a historic streak of aggressive growth. The pillar of unusually high level of social trust in the society, workplace and family, have succumbed; there are three elements of interacting factors affecting each other that led to this situation; flooding and acceptance of imitated branded goods as an accepted social behavior, Increasingly inequality in all aspects of living and insufficient state intervention for moderation; relatively lack of higher spiritual sentiments mainly due to cultural revolution in the 60s.
The exceptional high quality standards of counterfeits flooded China across all corners of merchandises, especially in high end branded goods which usually targeted specified consumer group and well known for its quality and carries prestige of desirable social status and pleasant emotional relationship, many are endorsed by global and local celebrities and manufactured by well known export oriented factories with stringent quality control. Associating with them usually invokes a perception of noble personal taste, command respects from others, and personal satisfactions are more or less guaranteed. Working on the concept of scarcity, branded goods carries exorbitant premium and had no intention to target mass market unlike the lower entry barrier of consumer electronics. Ironically, as the classical victims of their own success. The whole supply chains of producing, retailing, buying and using branded counterfeits are probably as big a lucrative business in China as the official one. People willingly unknowingly compromised their individual integrity using the much cheaper and affordable counterfeits hoping to uplift individual’s pride and self-image as influenced by the massive public advertising media. In fact, on the contrary, it effectively degraded one’s perception to honesty on oneself and have the same ruined self-identify projected to others. If we can short change ourselves, we do the same to others and believing others are also capable of short-changing us. The strong trust within the social fabric had been broken with ourselves taking the first initiative unknowingly on the heavy price we had to pay morally with the acquisition and display of seeming genuine possessions for gaining social status.
Inequality twist appeared to underscore the fiery nature of robust and rapid economic growth not exclusively in China, rich get richer, poor get poorer. Authority didn’t do enough to balance the sharing of the fruits either through taxation, scholarship and affirmative programs for the under privileged students and so on. As a result, majority of the rural residents are unable to share a reasonable portion of the fruits of economic progress missed out on many opportunities to upgrade with the relevant skills and acquire higher social mobility level by taking part actively either thru employment or business operation. Inequalities exist in social levels, academic, income, opportunities, gender, place of residence, gene, intelligent and so on. A healthy functional State need to balance them out appropriately to minimize potential social unrest and dissatisfaction among the different classes. Not putting a cap on maximizing one’s full potential for the influential, rich, powerful and well connected of the top 5 to 10% of the population but moderate some out to the disadvantaged group for the sake of the benefits of overall breeding ground of social stability.
It’s uncommon if one hasn’t been fleeced before in China as the minority of the disrespectful business operators had righteous claims to the relentless pursuit of individual well being and justifiable doing so as the highest mode of worship for Majority of the Chinese are the RMB currencies due to complicated cultural and historical reasons, the cultural revolutions in the 60s had most if not all of the traditional moral values being wiped out; (仁、义、礼、智、信、恕、忠、孝、悌). With the absent of higher governing body like the influential local authority governing rules and regulations for all aspects including jobs, accommodations and family planning, many rural under privileges are left to fight for their own basic survivors and the matters were worsen and stoked by the lack of strong moral principles for self-governance and self-examination heavily influenced by social circumstances within their immediate environments. Its widely acceptable for one to achieve great financial and economic excellencies through all means so long one are not caught doing so as one isn’t self-governed by the higher spiritual force being anymore.
In summary, it’s a total package and one can’t simply expect stringent and high standard of safety level on foods, drinks, and merchandises without having the same expectation being imposed on oneself. Meaning that, it’s a transitional pains and suffering going through for everyone and situations can be improved only if everyone willing to play by the same rules of the games. No accessibility to cheap pirated software, no imitated branded goods, having high quality standards for one’s trade of profession, no compromises on all aspects even for the seemingly innocent mutually beneficial lies, no cutting corners, no jumping queue, trusting the system, strong faith on basic kindness of any individual, no short changing others and most importantly, keep one’s moral values at high ground at all cost. Borrowing a rather harsh popular saying: “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” (Edmund Burke). One must stand out for his or her rights to be protected as there simply no short cut around it and the time to do it is now as good as anytime.
Uncle Garfied Enjoys His Cup of Coffee at Charlie Brown Cafe, where a slice of your childhood memory comes alive again