When the Chinese in the United States meet old people in difficulties, they are puzzled about whether they should help them out proactively or not.
A week ago, two Chinese girls who were visiting students at UH were walking upstairs, while at the same time, an old and tired worker with heavy baggage was going downstairs. Suddenly the old man fell down. Then the two Chinese girls saw the old man and run to help him out without any hesitation, however, the old American man refused their help directly. The two Chinese girls felt shocked and confused because helping old men is common in China. Old people are considered vulnerable, so the girls felt a little dejected.
As far as we are concerned, there is one universal situation and one universal quality here. The situation is people are in trouble sometimes, and they may need help; the quality is people all over the world tend to show their kindness to others. However, American people want to help others, but they also need to balance their desire to be kind and the desire to maintain other's dignity. If they think they can do it on their own, they will deny other's help. In China, it is a virtue to express kindness and be helpful to others especially the older people, children and disabled people, only by that people will have a convenient and dignified life. In Chinese culture, if they can help someone when they are in trouble or know the older people reach his destination safely, they will feel happy and content. While in American culture, people give enough space to others to make sure they feel comfortable, that is how they show kindness.
To draw a conclusion, kindness is universal, however, the ways people express their concern to others are different. This collision of cultures was our culture bump.
By the Kung Fu Panda Team
CNPC Training 2019