Twenty of Lin's schoolmates died in that tragedy, leaving him only 1 of 10 to survive. When asked why he did such a brave thing he solemnly replied, "I'm the hall monitor. It's my job."
It is reported over 40,000 people died in that earthquake, and this boy has emerged as a shining example. The reports vary, meaning, in some reports he's 9 and in others he's 10. Some reports state he rescued the two schoolmates he was trapped with, another says he went back in brought others out, including a teacher. Some say 40,000 died, others say 70,000. Since I wasn't there, I can't say of a certainty how many people he rescued and how many he was unable to save. But this I know, this is a young man brave beyond his years.
The words, "I'm the hall monitor, Its my job" are powerful. Why, you may ask? They speak of strength, integrity, personal responsibility, courage and ethics. Some qualities many say are lacking in the world today. I agree, to a point. Little Lin proves they can exist in the very smallest of us.
How many people would have curled up into a fetal position, overwhelmed by the death and devastation around them. How many, after having been trapped themselves, would climb out of the rubble and then go right back into to save classmates? How many would simply say, "it's my job."?
Here's the thing, I believe it to be the job every human being on the face of the earth, to put our fellowman before ourselves. What kind of world would we live in if we too put our fellowman before our own needs? Hmmm, a world free of war? Free of hate? Free of crime? Free of greed? Free of avarice.
Lin Hao showed strength which is defined as a legal, logical or moral force. If we as Christians band together as a moral force, not only living by the precepts and teaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but also teaching those same principles to all who will listen how great a moral force would we be? Do we have the moral fiber to stand for that which will save us all, or is it simply too much to ask of us? I happen to think there are millions upon billions of us who are strong enough to do this.
There is great strength in numbers. There are 13,000,000+ plus Latter-day Saints, often referred to as Mormons, worldwide; 51,000,000+ Catholics in the United States alone; 76.6 Anglicans worldwide, with many more Christian sects across the world . . . our numbers, as Christians, are massive. If we can have the strength to overlook our differences, band together with pure hearts and strength of purpose to show a better way to the world . . . how much better off would we be?
Lin Hao showed integrity which is "firm adherence to especially moral or artistic values" (Merriam-Webster). I believe Lin Hao exhibited integrity in his understanding of the duties of a hall monitor. Any human being would have understand with compassion and love had this young boy not gone back into that horror to save his classmates and teacher. But he didn't look at it as something he couldn't do, but something he must. How many of us can look at unpleasant or scary tasks, square our shoulders, put our heads up and walk back into the fray because it is our duty. How different would our world be if we adhered to Lin Hao's code?
For me, I see many ways in which I can personally improve in my dealings with my fellowman and, more importantly, my God. And they were highlighted with the actions of a small boy in communist China.
Return to the Neighborhood.