Archive for August 13th, 2007


Death In Dishonor…?

The the propensity for suicide within many Asian cultures has always been a source of wonder for me. Cases like the following are quite common:

Zhang Shuhong, who co-owned Lee Der Industrial Co. Ltd., killed himself at a warehouse over the weekend, days after China announced it had temporarily banned exports by the company, the Southern Metropolis Daily said.

Lee Der made 967,000 toys recalled earlier this month by Mattel Inc. because they were made with paint containing excessive amounts of lead. The plastic preschool toys, sold under the Fisher-Price brand in the U.S., included the popular Big Bird, Elmo, Dora and Diego characters.

 The Southern Metropolis Daily said that a supplier, Zhang’s best friend, sold Lee Der the contaminated paint.

 … Zhang hung himself on Saturday, according to the report. It is common for disgraced officials to commit suicide in China. – [Yahoo/AP]

Now I’ve never agreed with the philosophy of suicide. I believe that it is an easy way out. Living in the face of tribulation or disgrace is much harder to do, however I believe that the greater honor is having the courage to live through and atone for your mistakes.

However the one thing I have always admired these folks for, is their great sense of honor. Killing yourself because you have been disgraced is one of the ultimate testaments to your values. I think the penalty is rather extreme, but I believe that the sentiment behind it is certainly one worth upholding.

Honor is a difficult thing to find here in the USA. Pride? Yes. Innovation? By the truckload. Determination? To blindness. Patriotism? I think we have an overabundance.  Honor? …. Meh.

Sometimes it seems like we are all too willing to throw our honor out the window in return for a paycheck. Perhaps if we had as much stock in honor as these folks, our country might be in a better place than it is right now. Just a thought…

China toy boss kills himself amid recall – [Yahoo/AP]


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August 2007
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