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How much will we continue to pay for "face saving?" (Ⅰ)

(People's Daily Online)

11:01, September 06, 2012

In April 2011, a 17-year-old youth surnamed Wang, as a living kidney provider, received an operation of removing his right kidney in a hospital of Chenzhou, Hunan Province. The operation failed and Wang was severely injured, but Wang got only a little more than 20,000 yuan in compensation. Surprisingly, Wang's incentive of selling his kidney was to buy an iPhone. Although this sensational incident was just an individual case, it is not rarely-seen that somebody steals or robs others to buy products of name brands.

Currently, some youths of China, in order to pursue the "fashion," have gone so far that they do not consider products of non-name brands. Somebody calls this kind of consumption "face-saving consumption." In opinions of "face-saving consumers," only if they wear clothes of name brands will they have "face" and not be looked down upon.

In China, the "face-saving consumers" are not just young people but cover people of various ages and social classes. "Face-saving consumption" is very common both in urban and rural areas. It is not an exaggeration to say that the "face" is the largest vain glory of Chinese people. What accompany the vain glory of "saving face" are the mentalities of showing off, comparing and going with the stream. Therefore, although people know "it costs money to save face," they still, in order to show off or make them look good, repeatedly do the thing to pretend to be wealthy.

In the current China with abundant material products, Chinese people's sense of diligence and thrift is weakening, and the money worship, idea of advocating enjoying life and comparing phenomenon are overwhelming. In addition to keeping "upgrading" levels of food, clothing, housing and means of travelling to show off their statuses and wealth, some people also spend money thriftlessly while holding a wedding, funeral, birthday party or other celebrating parties so that they feel good in front of their friends and relatives. Some salary-earning families and farming families often use up all their savings or even borrow money to hold an activity of such kind.

Today when showing off wealth and the comparing consumption have turned into "mainstream," many people have distorted their souls and formed an abnormal "outlook on face," leading to a situation that pursuing the luxury has reached an extreme level both in the official circle and among common people. The subsequent waste is also astonishing. According to a survey by the China Agricultural University, the waste of food only in the food and drink industry of China is already enough for providing for 200 million people! The extravagance and waste not only bring heaven economic burdens to individuals and families of China but also are further exhausting the limited water, electricity, mine, land and forestry resources of China and putting on a heavier pressure on our living environment.

For only a "face" but not meeting the requirements of living and developing, we have paid too high and too heavy price. In China where natural resources are not abundant, treasuring resource, advocating conservation and properly consuming must turn into fundamental ideas and voluntary actions of Chinese people.

Read the Chinese version: 为面子我们还要付多大代价

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