During a live televised speech competition aired in China, Peking University student Liu Yuanyuan made a passionate speech that shocked all of China. The topic hit home for quite a number of people. A translation of it follows.
“Honest people who abide by the rules of life often end up with a lifetime of obscurity; people who lie and cheat often obtain wealth and fame. The elderly say that young people just don’t realize this.
I ask the young people, what can you do for the world?
“There will be a time when directors of banks, entrepreneurs, and even our political leaders will be people who were born after 1990. What do you want this society to be like?
“Reality has forced young people to give up their dreams just to stay alive. They have no interests in politics, the environment, the fate of the country, let alone the wish to do something for society.
“But there is one thing that we can do for society: We must not deteriorate morally. Do not become like today’s most detested adults. If you have to be a peddler, choose not to sell poisonous snacks; if you own a factory, choose not to cut corners resulting in inferior quality products.
“That every ordinary person is a good person is a very, very serious business because every one of us is born to change the world. Even if you had one hundred thousand reasons to do evil, you must maintain your integrity and the moral baseline for one reason: You are not an animal, you are a human being.
“I hope every one of you born after 1990 will always detest evil, never follow the crowd, never give up your principles, and never disappoint humanity.
“If someone tells you: ‘Young people do not frown on things, they just try to fit into this world.’ Respond by looking them in the eyes and exclaim that you are different, you did not come to fit into the world; you have come to change the world.”