Meaningless to compare how much you donate for the quake area

By Puercha
0 CommentsPrintE-mail, May 20, 2008
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Early in the morning, my husband set out to do some repairs around our new home after playing basketball. At noon, he called to tell me that he had eaten lunch at Macdonald's. I played a joke on him, "Macdonald's didn't donate to earthquake-hit areas, why did you go there for lunch?"

It was only a joke. But what I said expressed the thoughts of many people. These days a great number of Chinese are ranking businesses at home and abroad based on their donations to quake-hit areas. These indicate that money has become a decisive factor in judging an enterprise. Companies and celebrities who do not donate or who give less than expected have become Internet targets.

A message about Yao Ming, the most successful Chinese player by far in the NBA, has aroused a heated discussion online. It is said that Yao Ming, who donated 1 million dollars to the USA after Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005, only donated 500,000 yuan to the quake-hit areas in Sichuan. Yao's name has been badly tarnished by this rumor. The same thing happened to Andy Lau, a popular star who is said to have donated 100,000 yuan, an amount not worth mentioning compared to his net worth.

What's the truth?

I checked online for detailed information and found that SAM SUNG donated 30 million yuan, Panasonic donated 10 million yuan and LG donated 10 million yuan. Yet, despite these generous donations, Internet messages urging Chinese people to boycott their products are still spreading online.

Moreover, according to an exclusive interview with Yao Ming by the Chengdu Business Newspaper, Yao donated altogether about 2 million yuan privately. He contributed some 500,000 yuan in conjunction with Yao's Team as well as another 214,000 dollars to the Red Cross, again as a private donor.

Andy Lau, who has made charitable donations of approximately 100 million yuan since 1991, is also an enthusiastic supporter of charities.

How do such distorted rumors spread? Why do many people make judgments based on distorted facts? So-called nationalist sentiment has blinded some eyes.

After such a terrible disaster, we must first do some self-reflection rather than engage in criticism. We should examine our own deeds to see if we can do better and do more.

Censure does nothing to solve problems and donating money is not the only way to help. If everyone in Chinese society cares about the people affected by this disaster then they will do whatever they can to help alleviate the misery it has engendered.

Truly, from a positive perspective this catastrophe has brought out the very best in our people.

This blog was first published in Chinese on May 17, 2008 and translated by Xiang Bin


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