'Most beautiful people' in Zhejiang
Updated: 2013-09-05 07:27
By Yan Yiqi (China Daily)
Selfless and even heroic actions by province locals
Before July 23, 48-year-old Ninghai resident Wang Zhen was a common bus driver in the small city in East China's Zhejiang province.
But events that transpired that day led to him being named the "most beautiful bus driver" by people in the province.
On that date a truck hit the bus Wang was driving, full with passengers, at high speed. The force was so powerful that he was thrown from his seat, but the bus was still moving. Passengers were screaming as another truck lumbered toward the bus.
Although badly hurt, Wang climbed back into his seat, pulled the brake and parked the bus safely.
Security cameras showed it took Wang only eight seconds to get up and stop the bus. After that, he called for ambulances and waited until all passengers were sent to the hospital to check for injuries.
They were not severely injured, but Wang suffered three fractures and a minor cranial hemorrhage. He needed to stay on bed for a month.
In Zhejiang, those who put the safety of others before their own are called "the most beautiful people".
There is the most beautiful mother Wu Juping, who saved a 3-year-old girl's life by catching her with her bare hands when the child fell from the 14th floor of a building.
Another bus driver, Wu Bin, is also one of the beautiful people. He pulled the brake at the last second of his life after he was hit by a steel object on a highway with a bus full of passengers.
Then there is the most beautiful girl Mao Chenbing who traveled more than 30 hours to a remote village in Guizhou province just to donate her blood to a patient with rare blood type.
People from different walks of life are making contributions and sacrifices in their daily lives to benefit others. After Wu Juping's story was popularized, the effort to look for the most beautiful people began to spread in Zhejiang.
Liu Yunshan, a member of the Party's top leadership body, said the touching stories have added more beauty to the scenery of the province.
"These ordinary people are the positive energy of our society. They are acting out the traditional Chinese virtues. They have led us a correct way to moral development - a moral society cannot be established within a day. Everybody should start by simply offering a hand to those who need help. By accumulating the small but good deeds, the seed of moral and positive spirit will take root and blossom in everyone's heart," he said.
He said the whole country should take hold of such a social wave to look for the most beautiful-minded people and everybody should try to become one.
Small but good deeds are becoming more commonplace among Zhejiang people.
This summer was the hottest in the province in the past 52 years. The highest temperature in many cities exceeded 41C. Under the hot sun, concern grew for outdoor workers.
The Voice of Zhejiang radio station urged shops, supermarkets, shopping malls, banks, post offices and other businesses to offer free drinking water to tens of thousands of workers who continued to work under the blazing sun. On July 9, more than 3,000 residents answered the call.
Without government promotion, they provided free drinking water, air-conditioned resting areas and heatstroke prevention medicines to those working outdoors.
Yu Bojun, vice-president of the Hangzhou West Lake branch of Agricultural Bank of China, said offering a glass of water to outdoor workers is a very small thing that almost every bank can afford.
Yang Yu, a commentator at China Central Television, said the value of the program lies in its core spirit to benefit the most unnoticed group of people, helping with the smallest things.
"The best way to encourage everyone to participate in such activities is to convince them that this is a thing they can afford. A glass of water looks small, but when everyone takes part, the influence can be very big," he said.
Yang said he believes the glass of water story will continue in this province in the years ahead.
With the rapidly developing economy, how to maintain a virtuous society is a question not only in China but also other countries around the world.
As one of the top three most-developed provinces in the world's second largest economy, Zhejiang might provide some useful solutions.
People in Zhejiang are proving that economic and spiritual development are both possible.
(China Daily USA 09/05/2013 page15)