Overly Suspicious Minds in China...

Overly Suspicious minds in China…

 

Don’t always think people are trying to cheat you!

 

Yes yes I know that somewhere or someone has cheated you in some way, but please don’t let it make you become overly suspicious of the future services you decide to use for your child or family. I’m not saying don’t have your wits about you the next time your child goes to learn somewhere, but to assume that everybody is out to get you or your child is plain silly. 

 

The reason I say this, is that the longer I spend in China the more I see and hear people not trusting one another, especially when it comes to the children’s services. People often forget that a service/business is made up of like minded people, just like yourself, in many cases also parents too! Most places want to offer your child the best possible service, because they obviously want you to return again! If they have professionalism, they really will make sure your child is safe, happy and learning to his or her full potential.  Most people working with children will treat the children there as their own - as in, like being a responsible caring parent. 

 

There is a reason I have chosen this topic today. In our Summer Camp we provide a healthy brunch each day to the children. It is made and delivered fresh from the Vanke Canteen next door to us. Most people in the town choose to eat there (including myself) so it does have a good reputation. My vouching for it certainly isn’t to be taken lightly, as I’m a pretty picky eater (even more so now I’m vegetarian…)

 

However, one girl took her soy milkshake home, and when her mother came back from home in the early evening, she messaged us expressing her concern that that milkshake was ‘sour’ and she jumped to the conclusion that maybe the food we provided was bad. However, most of you will know that if you leave a milkshake out of a cool environment all day, it WILL go sour! Is this not common sense? The manager spent time reassuring her that food was good quality and milk does go off shortly afterwards if not kept cool…she did eventually came to her senses though. So, what’s going on here? Why do more and more people automatically assume somebody is to blame or at fault before taking a few moments to think rationally…?

 

In one word wechat. Wechat, if you don’t know it, is used by everybody in China and for just about every purpose, such as chatting, shopping, social media, business, navigation, news etc. If you’re just like the regular Chinese person, then wechat/tencent/government/others know more about you than you probably know about yourself! Remember it isn’t encrypted… Anyway, let’s not go off on a tangent here.

 

The part I want to talk about though is the ‘stories’ section on the app (i.e. news). As more and more people who use wechat tend to stay on the app for long periods of time, they inevitably get their news from there. Unfortunately a good chunk of what’s on there is fake news/gossip/propaganda and other things that you certainly don’t want your ‘news’ to be…

 

So how does this connect to ‘people becoming more suspicious’? Well, when people see certain disturbing stories about things going on in their country, they can easily blow it out of proportion, especially if it is emotively charged content…

 

Let me give you an example. One story that spread like wild fire around China recently concentrated on the wechat platform was a piece of video footage taken from a kindergarten CCTV. It showed a worker physically assaulting a child (throwing her to the ground). The situation is obviously deplorable, and the person responsible was arrested as soon as it was made known. However after the footage was spread online many people jumped to the conclusion that this sort of abuse must be going on everywhere, and therefore you can’t trust any services offered for children!

 

The general theme in the stories section on that platform seems to generally orientate around ‘look, I caught you out’. As in, it encourages people to spy and report people then make them lose face. So long as it isn’t political of course… 

 

Anyway regarding that specific example I mentioned before, people who think this need to put things in perspective. Look at it this way: there are hundreds of thousands of kindergartens, daycares, and other related services for children in China. Millions of children use the services they offer every year. The vast majority of these places will have CCTV. The majority of people who work in services related to children generally do so because they like and want to help/teach children life skills. Not forgetting it is their job, which they rely on to survive.  So the number of these incidences in proportion to the size of industry is tiny.

 

I really don’t believe that there is any kind of systemic abuse going on here. But unfortunately there is always going to be some deplorable people in every part of society…

 

So, next time you take your child somewhere to learn or have fun, perhaps greet the employees  with a sincere ‘how you doing’ and tune down the suspicions! Although I’m not saying don’t be suspicious at all at things around you, perhaps even be suspicious of certain images you see on a regular basis all around you…

 

 

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