An Incident by Lu Hsun This is a very short story, but you will find that it is full of meaning.

It is particularly relevant to us in Singapore at a time when we are eager to become courteous, considerate and caring people instead of being selfish and thoughtless. This story was set in China more than 50 years ago, but the message it carries is relevant for all times. An educated young man from the upper social class learns a valuable lesson in human caring from a simple rickshaw man. Six years have slipped by since I came from the country to the capital. During that time I have seen and heard quite enough of so-called affairs of state; but none of them made much impression on me. If asked to define their influence, I can only say they aggravated my ill temper and made me, frankly speaking, more and more cynical. One incident, however, struck me as significant, and aroused me from my ill temper, so that even now I cannot forget it. It happened during the winter of 1917. A bitter north wind was blowing, but, to make a living, I had to be up and out early. I met scarcely a soul on the road, and had great difficulty in hiring a ricksaw to take me to the South Gate. Presently the wind dropped a little. By now the loose dust had all been blown away, leaving the roadway clean, and the rickshaw man quickened his pace. We were just approaching the South Gate when someone crossing the road was entangled in our rickshaw and fell slowly to the ground. It was a woman, with streaks of white in her hair, wearing ragged clothes. She had left the pavement without warning to cut across in front of us, and although the rickshaw man had made way, her tattered jacket, unbuttoned and fluttering in the wind, had caught on the shaft. Luckily the rickshaw man pulled up quickly, otherwise she would certainly have had a bad fall and been seriously injured. She lay there on the ground, and the rickshaw man immediately went to her aid. I did not think the old woman was hurt, and there had been no witnesses to what had happened, so I resented this over-eagerness of the rickshaw man which might land him in trouble and hold me up. "It's alright," I said. "Go on." However, he paid no attention - perhaps he had not heard - for he set down the shafts, and gently helped the old woman to get up. Supporting her by one arm, he asked:

"Are you all right?" "I'm hurt." I had seen how slowly she fell, and was sure she could not be hurt. I thought she must be pretending, which was disgusting. The rickshaw man had asked for trouble, and now he had it. He would have to find his own way out. But the rickshaw man did not hesitate for a minute after the old woman said she was injured. Still holding her arm, he helped her slowly forward. I was surprised. When I looked ahead, I saw a police station. Because of the high wind, there was no one outside, so the rickshaw man helped the old woman towards the gate. Suddenly I had a strange feeling. His dusty, retreating figure seemed larger at that instant. Indeed, the further he walked the larger he appeared, until I had to look up to him. At the same time he seemed gradually to be exerting a pressure on me, which threatened to overpower the small self under my fur-lined gown. My strength seemed to be draining away as I sat there motionless, my mind a blank, until a policeman came out. Then I got down from the rickshaw. The policeman came up to me and said, "Get another rickshaw. He can't pull you anymore." Without thinking, I pulled a handful of coppers from my coat pocket and handed them to the policeman. "Please give him these," I said. The wind had dropped completely, but the road was still quiet. I walked along thinking, but I was almost afraid to turn my thoughts on myself. Setting aside what had happened earlier, what had I meant by that handful of coppers? Was it a reward? Who was I to judge the rickshaw man? I could not answer myself. Even now, this remains fresh in my memory. It often causes me distress, and makes me think about myself. The military and political affairs of those years I have forgotten as completely as the classics I read in my childhood. Yet this incident keeps coming back to me, often more clearly than in actual life, teaching me shame, urging me to reform, and giving me fresh courage and hope.

An Incident by Lu Hsun This is a very short story, but you will find that it is full of meaning. It is particularly relevant to us in Singapore at a time when we are eager to become courteous, considerate and caring people instead of being selfish and thoughtless. This story was set in China more than 50 years ago, but the message it carries is relevant for all times. An educated young man from the upper social class learns a valuable lesson in human caring from a simple rickshaw ma Six years have slipped by since I came from the country to the capital. During that time I have seen and heard quite enough of so-called affairs of state; but none of them made much impression on me. If asked to define their influence, I can only say they aggravated my ill temper and made me, frankly speaking, more and more misanthropic. One incident, however, struck me as significant, and aroused me from my ill temper, so that even now I cannot forget it. It happened during the winter of 1917. A bitter north wind was blowing, but, to make a living, I had to be up and out early. I met scarcely a soul on the road, and had great difficulty in hiring a rickshaw to take me to S---- Gate. Presently the wind dropped a little. By now the loose dust had all been blown away, leaving the roadway clean, and the rickshaw man quickened his pace. We were just approaching S---- Gate when someone crossing the road was entangled in our rickshaw and slowly fell. It was a woman, with streaks of white in her hair, wearing ragged clothes. She had left the pavement without warning to cut across in front of us, and although the rickshaw man had made way, her tattered jacket, unbuttoned and fluttering in the wind, had caught on the shaft. Luckily the rickshaw man pulled up quickly, otherwise she would certainly have had a bad fall and been seriously injured. She lay there on the ground, and the rickshaw man stopped. I did not think the old woman was hurt, and there had been no witnesses to what had happened, so I resented this off iciousness which might land him in trouble and hold me up. "It's all right," I said. "Go on." He paid no attention, however--perhaps he had not heard--for he set down the shafts, and gently helped the old woman to get up. Supporting her by one arm, he asked:

"Are you all right?" "I'm hurt." I had seen how slowly she fell, and was sure she could not be hurt. She must be pretending, which was disgusting. The rickshaw man had asked for trouble, and now he had it. He would have to find his own way out. But the rickshaw man did not hesitate for a minute after the old woman said she was injured. Still holding her arm, he helped her slowly forward. I was surprised. When I looked ahead, I saw a police station. Because of the high wind, there was no one outside, so the rickshaw man helped the old woman towards the gate. Suddenly I had a strange feeling. His dusty, retreating figure seemed larger at that instant. Indeed, the further he walked the larger he loomed, until I had to look up to him. Ar the same time he seemed gradually to be exerting a pressure on me, which threatened to overpower the small self under my fur-lined gown. My vitality seemed sapped as I sat there motionless, my mind a blank, until a policeman came out. Then I got down from the rickshaw. The policeman came up to me, and said, "Get another rickshaw. He can't pull you any more." Without thinking, I pulled a handful of coppers from my coat pocket and handed them to the policeman. "Please give him these," I said. The wind had dropped completely, but the road was still quiet. I walked along thinking, but I was almost afraid to turn my thoughts on myself. Setting aside what had happened earlier, what had I meant by that handful of coppers? Was it a reward? Who was I to judge the rickshaw man? I could not answer myself. Even now, this remains fresh in my memory. It often causes me distress, and makes me try to think about myself. The military and political affairs of those years I have forgotten as completely as the classics I read in my childhood. Yet this incident keeps coming back to me, often more vivid than in actual life, teaching me shame, urging me to reform, and giving me fresh courage and hope.

Lu Xun (Lu Hsun) (1881-1936) Lu Xun (Lu Hsun) was the pen name of Zhou Shuren. Lu is widely regarded as one of modern China¶s most prominent and influential writers. His work promoted radical change through criticism of antiquated cultural values and repressive social customs. Zhou was born into a poor family. His father was unable to provide for the family and he died during Zhou¶s teenage years. Zhou¶s mother was well-educated and she encouraged in his studies. Zhou demonstrated a keen intellect early in life. He studied at the Jiangnan Naval Academy, the School of Railways and Mines in Nanjing and the Medical College at Sendai in Japan. During the course of his studies, he became acquainted with social movements aimed at reforming and reshaping Chinese society. During the course of Zhou¶s political and intellectual development, he concluded that a ³literary movement´ was needed to build awareness and incite action amongst the oppressed. As early as 1906, he decided to publish a literary magazine, but his early attempts at organizing such an endeavor were unsuccessful. In 1908, he joined the anti-Qing revolutionary party, Guang Fu Hui, and he remained involved with this group up to the Revolution of 1911 which resulted in the removal of the Qing Dynasty. Zhou was ultimately disenchanted with the results of the Revolution, for although the Qing Dynasty was unseated, the people of China languished amidst imperialist intervention and oppressive semi-colonial conditions. Zhou Shuren struggled with uncertainty as to how he could best utilize his political awareness while he immersed himself in the study of Chinese culture. He adopted the

pen name of ³Lu Xun,´ partially in tribute to his mother, whose surname was Lu. With some encouragement from peers, Lu ultimately wrote and published his first story, ³A Madman¶s Diary,´ in 1918. The story was published in the May Fourth movement¶s magazine ³New Youth´ Lu¶s work was well received and he followed up with a number of other short stories, including his celebrated tale of the Revolution of 1911, ³The True Story of Ah-Q.´ In 1923, Lu published ³A Call to Arms,´ which was an anthology of his most acclaimed works. Lu Xun quickly gained notoriety as a stirring, insightful, and prolific writer. In addition to writing, Lu worked as an editor, professor and dean of studies. He began studying Marxism-Leninism in 1928 and shortly thereafter, he undertook the translation of works concerning Marxist literary theory. Although Lu never joined the Chinese Communist Party, he was widely regarded as a Marxist in the later years of his life and he worked closely with communists in many anti-imperialist and anti-fascist campaigns. Lu advocated a united front by the CCP and the Kuomintang against the forces of Japanese imperialism. While afflicted with tuberculosis, Lu continued to write passionately about the struggle against Japanese aggression until his death in 1936.

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