I have been visiting China for a number of years now and amongst the people I know there are certainly changes taking place. There is more caring, more giving and more success and happiness. It is a source of delight for me to hear of continuing signs that I am not just beating my head against a brick wall.
However China is always capable of surprises and today’s surprise was certainly notable. There are often articles in the Western press about the excellence of Chinese education and the major achievements of Chinese students which are held up as a model for our children. However in China there are particular areas which are not mentioned and sex education is one of them. Mostly sex is a taboo subject here and when I asked one of my married students who is a mother where she got her sex education she told me she had learnt most of it from me!! A shock considering the standards of my sexual jokes!!
Anyway a mother in Wuhan decided to give her 11-year-old son a sex education lesson for his birthday. Being a nurse, she researched material online and put together a power point presentation about the journey of sperm. The boy’s classmates were so impressed by his new found knowledge that his mother was invited to the school to deliver one of the first sex education classes in China to 300 fifth and sixth graders. It was a hit and cleared up many misunderstandings; some children had been told that they were born in the same manner as the Monkey King who had come from a rock. Another favourite was that the children were freebies given away by telephone operators.
In my years of visiting China I have had many chances to forgive my projections of hubris and acts of stunning hedonism that constantly keep me on my feet and I recognise that many of my friends have become increasingly open, compassionate and kind. But driving in China is another constant reminder that there is more to go. Returning early this evening from the seminar to my hotel the traffic was joined by an ambulance with blaring sirens and flashing lights. No one moved. Not one driver made any attempt to allow the emergency vehicle to pass and we all inched forward together. I’m glad it was not my loved one in that vehicle!
As I said, more to go for all of us.
With love, Jeff