Our recent talk about the amazing vote in a classroom in China dealt with the inevitable fact that as a national economy improves, so does the free will of the people who realize their cooperative industry is helping this happen.
Our British documentary team that I am watching did that usual approach, when we want to document the day in the life of a lion, or stranger, is just hang around so much, often with your sly side camera catching the action while your main camera and your face stare off into nowhere. And so we catch the mid leap of a primal carnivore catching a not quick enough prey in the natural flow of life.
But this experience in this classroom involved change, and the children were all aware that the camera people were there, and they asked questions all the while two lads debated on who would be a more civilized Hall Monitor, the pushy incumbent or his complaining junior. It was a situation that apparently authorities wanted to allow to be seen, but it was a genie of a scene, and we suspect this democratic genie is now out of the bottle.
As the younger boy felt overwhelmed by the quick argument and counter points of the taller Hall Monitor, who was being asked to stop pulling shirts and just ask. The Hall Monitor felt that was the only way to get order quickly, and he saw no need to change that. People could always straighten their shirts. At being out witted in quick replies, the smaller boy shouted the larger was a bully and a dictator, and demanded a vote.
And the following period of time had the open, smiling faces of girls, mostly, who were asking, what is vote?
And as the interpreter explained to her, she and each in the class could decide this debate between the boys, on who would be Hall Monitor. And her face slowly lit up, and a sparkle came into her eyes, a widening smile and she simply glowed when she asked, to be sure, whether that meant that her vote and those of her friends would decide who would be their Hall Monitor, she beamed as if the best Christmas Gift in the world had just been given her. And when you think of it, it had.
And some in the future, some lower official up to the ghost of Chairman Mao will try to pull her shirt. He will have her turning to her friends and recall they can vote. They can out vote the bully or the dictator. And what do I think of that tall boy in the class? He will soon have a rifle with a bayonet and volunteer for duty in Tibet. And get back to pulling shirts again, and more. But all you aging Chairmans, your days have lost their sparkle.
That is now in the eyes of little girls and boys who sense they have a voice. They may all visit Athens one day. And who knows, if democracy seems so sweet and more fun, they may drag it back home, saying it followed me home, mom. We have to keep it now. And you know moms. They will talk their men into keeping it over the weekend and see how it goes. Old used car salesman trick. They never bring the puppy back, if you give it to them for the weekend. Enjoy. Our eyes sparkle also for you, over here, to over there.