Thou oceans apart, both are tragic, inexcusable, and similar in terms of public reaction, sympathy for the victims, and reflection on each’s values.
The turbulence in China’s larger social environment, at root, has been caused by imbalanced development in Chinese society.
On the one hand, the laobaixing in China remain the most hard-working and good-natured anywhere. Just as I described before, waiters making 800 RMB can peacefully coexist with senior white-collar workers making tens of thousands of RMB per month. I’ve carefully watched their every action, and you can tell that they truly treasure this work despite its poor pay, and you can imagine how much less they must’ve made in their home villages.
Last year, I ran into my ex-girlfriend on MSN Messenger. She was pregnant, and without much meaning I reminded her to be careful with her baby’s health. Just ordinary topics, like a reminder that she should try to breast-feed after birth. I don’t know why, but she suddenly responded sharply: “Don’t think that our life in China is worse than yours. Our classmates are all doing great; if we wanted to go overseas and play, we could. You should just stay in America; there are so many people going overseas these days, even if you came back, you wouldn’t have an advantage.” She continued, in great detail and color, to brag her happy life with her husband. I calmly told her, I never felt I had any sort of advantage over you, and China’s future has plenty of hope.