A 2 year old Chinese toddler, Wang Yue, died today following injuries sustained in a hit-and-run accident. Traffic video surveillance cameras show the tiny girl was struck, not once, but twice by two consecutive vehicles. The cameras also show that more than a dozen people ignored the injured child as she lay bloodied and battered on the street of a busy marketplace in Guangdong Province—they simply walked on by.
Wang Yue was eventually tended to by a 58 year old female pedestrian identified as Granny Chen. She was admitted to a local hospital in critical condition, but, as reported, she did not survive.
The multiple hit-and-runs, and the ensuing lack of compassion on the part of the passersby, has led to international outcry against what is perceived as the negative societal byproducts of China’s rapidly changing society. The incident even resulted in the launching of a “Stop Apathy” campaign on Sina Weibo (China’s version of Twitter).
We can be quick to blame this poor child’s death on China’s “rapidly changing society,” but compassion apathy is hardly new. Long before Sina Weibo launched its “Stop Apathy” campaign, another voice of reason challenged the apathy of its day saying:
“A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.
But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’ Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” … An expert in the law replied, ‘The one who had mercy on him.’ … Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise" (Luke 10:30-37).