Arts or environment
Guan zhong, the ancient Chinese politician, once said that people would know rites and courtesy only after their granaries were full. By this he meant that people would first try to improve their living conditions before they could engage in any artistic activities or improve their behaviours. The environment is closely related to people’s living conditions. If a company is going to do something for the people, I would recommend it to give the money to protect the environment.
With the rapid economic development in recent years, China is now facing very serious environmental problems. According some news reports, Yellow River, the “Mother River” of the Chinese nation that nurtured generations of Chinese people over the past thousands of years, has been polluted by industrial wastes and has much less stream of water at present than in previous times, which has imposed great problems on the life and work of the people living along the banks. What these people urgently need is not artistic works hanging on the walls for enjoyment but rather clean water for their daily use.
In some areas in China, though people are much wealthier than before, they live in a much worse environment due to their negligence of environmental protection in the process of developing the economy. Several years ago, I went to a small town in Wenzhou, Zhejiang Province, to visit some of the chemical plants there that have business connections with our company. The town was surrounded by green mountains and there was a river running across it. What surprised me was that the chemical plants there had adopted no measures to protect the environment. Due to the chemical wastes discharged without any treatment, the river turned into a blue colour and the mountains looked like men’s faces with scars on them. I wondered that even though the local people had earned enough money, would their life be happy in such a polluted environment?
China is still a developing country now. A large proportion of the population is still leading a poor life. Even in those areas where the economy has developed to a high level, the people have to face the environmental problems that sometimes are detrimental to their health. I think we can benefit more from investing money into environmental protection than imputing it in artistic activities.