I was sitting at lunch today with my mom, aunt, and their miserable and depressing Jehovah’s Witness friend, who now, unfortunately, is living and paying rent for a bedroom upstairs with my aunt. Every time I see her, I get a little miserable myself, wondering how someone can be this outwardly morose every single time I see her. What exactly causes this to happen to someone?
I think I realized that I was definitely ready to head back to New York (tonight is my last night in San Francisco) when my aunt, who is originally from Toisan in Guangdong, China, who also lived in Hong Kong for 8-9 years, started complaining about the protesting happening in Hong Kong now. She has Hong Kong residency since she lived there for a good chunk of time, and because of that, she usually likes to go back a few times a year. Given the protests, she is not planning to go back until things calm down.
“All this protesting is so terrible,” my aunt said. “These people are ruining the country and causing so much destruction! It’s so selfish!”
My aunt is a sweet, kind, well-meaning person. At the same time, she’s uneducated, delusional, brainwashed, naive, and not particularly deep. Her mentor, a Jehovah’s Witness, was imprisoned in mainland China for over 20 years because she tried to spread the word of Jehovah, which is illegal in communist China. She looked up to this person, respected her and even wanted to emulate her (and actually does now by keeping her house as a hotel for all visiting JWs who pass through San Francisco from around the world). Yet, she is saying that these protestors are being selfish and their efforts are pointless? How can she possibly not see the connection here? The values she has are the same values that these protestors have; they want a free and separate Hong Kong.
Since President Dipshit got elected, it’s hard for me to listen to people who complain about protesters without feeling my blood pressure soar. The people who protest around the world, particularly in places like Hong Kong, are willing to sacrifice their lives so that future people and generations can have a better life; that is the complete opposite of selfish. I have nothing but respect and admiration for these individuals who are truly fighting for what they believe in.