The youth of my generations was squandered during the unprecedented, tumultuous cultural revolution, when infighting overshadowed trust, cheating preceded honest, jealousy came ahead of decency, and high academic scorer equaled to “white expert”. Although I always had good marks for all subjects during my secondary/high school years, I was somehow disliked by some of my classmates, who happened to be my class monitor or youth league secretary, but with lower academic scores. I had to admit that I was not good at making stories to please one’s superiors, and that some of my classmates were absolutely genius in this regard. For one reason or another, I was often labeled as “capitalist roader”, while they were considered as revolutionary pioneers. However, one thing I found hard to understand was that even in Politics exams, a capitalist roader always got higher marks than revolutionary pioneers.
One consequence of this twisted reality was that there was no one you could truly rely upon. I remember one fellow student, who I had considered as a good friend of mine. One day I mentioned to him what I felt about a couple of youth league members in our class. To my disgust, this guy told everything I said for his benefit and/or favor the very next day, and I was questioned by these people straight afterwards. What a way to treat one’s friend?! I could still recall that many of my class mates with lesser academic ability were able to join the youth league, but I was constantly denied. To add salt to injury, even my neighbor's son who had quite poor scores every time became a youth league member! I could imagine what/how they had felt when they learned a few years later that I got into university, and then obtained a scholarship to study overseas without their "help", and that they had to labor in a fertilizer factory, which they could not even keep due to factory closure in recent years. Alas, my fate has gone utterly out of their grasps.
In principle, I do concur that human nature is generally kind, cooperative and helpful. But the times my generation had been through when young were extraordinary ones, and human behaviors could go beyond what one would normally expect under the circumstances. In those years, if you could find someone who spoke unkind words about leaders, and then report it to your superiors, you would be rewarded with high positions and other glorious/material things. Similarly, if you could identify or pinpoint someone as capitalist roader among your peers, your revolutionary conscience was clearly above all others. Indeed, there was so much temptation out there, you would be inhuman at all if you did not do it.
For sure, this kind of "strange behaviors" was hard to fathom, but it did not mean that it was non-existent. On the contrary, I am a very optimistic person with positive thinking, which has helped me getting this far. And now I am taking the opportunity to put it down episode by episode, so that it will become the source materials for my more elaborative documentation in future.Under the guidance of my capable Chinese language teacher, I developed an intense interest in Chinese classics. I particularly admired the innovative ways some Chinese classics employed to make those seemingly ordinary words into extraordinary and memorable paragraphs and scenes.