Living without globalization
Take a look at the street, we can see people walking around in Nike and Adidas ，beyond the curb, long lines of vehicles shuttle like wind on the tar among which there’re Mercedes-Benz ,BMW, Toyota ,and some of the Volkswagen whose price is definitely not so “volks” at all. They’re all heading for the same direction: the New Oriental School, coz the Olympics is around and learning English is currently the hottest way blowing away your after-work time and money in town. Everything about this picture is so global that you can hardly tell if it’s Bei Jing or Belgium.
However, there’s one grey speck on this splendid picture of globalization I just can’t shift my eyes away from. It’s a migrant worker covered with dirt. Pushing a large cart of bricks 5 times his own weight with his skinny arms, the man was about my age. His eyes hollow holes, for there’s nothing but the hardship of survival in there. Was he married? Was he smart? Did he go to middle school? Or perhaps primary school? Where was he from? Is there anyone waiting for him at home?
As we look out to globalization with great expectation, there’s also crisis lying within. But the crisis was not brought onto us from anywhere out there. It lies within our system and was made by ourselves. Some call it regional bias, some call it household permit system, but not matter what name it bears. It’s the same thing we see in this country: born a countryman, always a countryman. And countryman here is not just a nickname suggesting where you live. It means that you can’t have a lot of the basic public benefits like free compulsory education and medical insurance like the city men have. It means you would have to be times as outstanding as students from the metropolitans in exams to be admitted into good schools. In means, very much likely, in that migrant worker’s case, that you can work and live in the city honestly for 10 years but people still despises you because they think they are somehow superior. It’s true that globalization is all over the air, but despite it’s the same air that we breathe ,I wonder how many of them feel it even exsit.
Does learning to compete in the global era involve migrant workers? I believe few would think so. Because usually what we care about are things like trade surplus, intercultural communication and Paris Hilton. But does it not involve migrant workers?
Let’s make an interesting assumption here. Today, I see a lot of young faces in this building, in 10 years, many of us will have our children. And I suppose that in 10 years, the migrant worker I saw on the street the other day and many like him will have their children. I can’t help wondering with this globalization gap keep lying between the two of us, can my child work together with his children for the country in the future competition of the global era? And will this country be able to win the competition without its rural people which takes up about 80% of its total population?
No! This situation must be changed! And the time is now! The long and weary journey to its final solution may take decades, or even centuries. But it starts with our little good will. If everyone in this room donate 10 yuan to the Hope project, we might be able to get the son of a migrant worker through junior school. By which we’re not only helping them but also helping ourselves.
If we want to learn to compete with others, we’ll first have to learn to take care of our own man , and if we want to learn to live with globalization,we’ll first learn it, from those who live without it.