Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A Pair of Chopsticks

I'm reading a book a friend gave me for my birthday written by the same author of 'The Good Women of China'.

In it was an analogy that I'd never heard of before - A boy is like a roof beam; strong providers who hold up the roof of the household. A girl is like a pair of chopsticks; fragile, workday tools to be used and discarded.

It reminded me that the opportunities that I have as a woman, and a Chinese woman at that, are rare and to be treasured and to be chased and grasped with all my strength.

I wonder what the women who went before us, who did not have the same opportunities, or who fought for their independence and for respect as Chinese women would have to say if they saw us today? Would they be scornful and contemptuous of how we whine and laze? Would they berate us with exasperation for wasting our opportunities? Would they admonish us to make full use of the chances we have to be successful and self-sufficient?

Endurance. If I were to choose a word that exemplifies the Chinese people, it would be our incredible capacity to endure. Our resilience in the face of hardship. Our stoic silence in the face of suffering. It is the distinct mark of a Chinese woman.

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