The Chinese government has called for a 3-day mourning period to honor the passing of thousands of civilians killed in the recent Sichuan Wenchang earthquake.
As part of this call, they have issued an edict that entertainment-based websites and programming shut down over this period.
I can understand the tug between total freedom (as perceived by many of us westerners) and the authoritarian approach of the Chinese government. However, looked at in context this is a significant inflection point. Paul Denlinger explains that in terms of China’s track record of not openly recognizing calamities, calling for this 3-day mourning period is a significant step forward.
Looked at in the broader 2008 context of the upcoming Olympic Games and the growing level of angst and misunderstanding between the peoples of China and the West, I believe we should come together and embrace this mourning period globally. In the spirt of unity that the Olympics signify let us unite around Paul’s simple rule:
If you reach out and treat people like friends, they tend to act like friends…
Remember, earthquakes are a global phenomenon and can happed anywhere, anytime — how would you like to have the world react to such a disaster happening near you. As I was writing this a small earthquake was recorded in Central California measuring 2.6.
[Picture courtesy of yelingyang]