Altruism in China

My friend, Colin, has been absolutely killing it recently on his blog. If you’re at all interested in anything having to do with China, check it out.

One post that especially resonated with me is entitled “Don’t Be a Stranger,” which details the dichotomy between the way Chinese treat their family, friends, and guests and the way they treat strangers.

Colin isn’t the first person to point out this contradiction. In fact, it has almost become cliché to say that China is a country full of contradictions. It’s a country where people are, for the most part, incredibly friendly and polite. Yet, it’s also a country where restaurant owners—with a smile on their faces—will serve their customers food prepared with gutter oil. Sometimes, I worry that Chinese people have lost their sense of being a single, united society—one that rises or falls together. Increasingly, it seems like more and more Chinese people are adopting the mindset of “if you’re not a member of my family or one of my close friends, then I don’t care about you.”