Moral education cast aside when we are consumed by results and online fantasy

By Wan Lixin
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Shanghai Daily, April 20, 2016
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Dance College of Sichuan Normal University

On March 27, Lu Haiqing, a student at Sichuan Normal University, was hacked to death in his dormitory, allegedly by one of his roommates, a man surnamed Teng.

According to a report by, the day before the tragedy, Lu annoyed Teng by singing aloud. This led to a row and a scuffle.

The next day, Teng allegedly decapitated Lu with a knife.

One of Lu's relatives was quoted as saying that over 18,000 yuan (US$2,800) had to be spent just to have pieces of Lu sutured back into a whole.

And do not dismiss this as an isolated case.

A 22-year-old student named Wu Xieyu, who once studied at the prestigious Beijing University (Beida), is now wanted by the police, and remains at large. He is accused of having killed his widowed mother last July, and then raised 1,400,000 yuan (US$218,000) from his relatives and his mother's colleagues by forging his mother's identity.

A recent China Newsweek (sponsored by China News Service) tries to dispel the halo that still surrounds Xie — how he impressed everyone who knew him as "perfect."

From an early age, he is said to have demonstrated a strong sense of discipline. A teacher named Yang Lei was quoted as saying that even excellent students might suffer from foibles like carelessness or bashfulness as teenagers. But Wu was free from even these. "He was consistently perfect," she recalled.

He was enrolled as a top student by the best senior high school in Fuzhou, Fujian Province, and was then enrolled in Beida, where he had been recipient of many rewards.

Commenting on crimes committed by similarly "excellent" students, psychologist Long Zhou said that "Some parents only want to quicken the development of their children as social beings, but fail to help them in reaching self-actualization [as individuals]."

In other words, their children succeed in being viewed as "successful," yet sooner or later they are confronted with the tough job of working out the meaning of their life on their own terms.

Their view of life only in terms of "success" or "failure" distorts their personality and leads to moral degeneracy.

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