As I See It

About The China Olympics – Should We Be There?

One night in China changed my thinking forever about the freedoms, opportunities, and conveniences I enjoy by being a citizen of The United States Of America. Because of my experiences… limited as they were…I have serious reservations about the Olympics being hosted in China. I keep asking myself… “How did this happen?”

The opening ceremonies at the China Bird’s Nest, was the finest display of showmanship ever presented to the world at the beginning of an Olympics. As spectacular as they were… I kept asking myself, “How many people have been forced to leave their meager homes, their jobs disrupted and their lives “accidentally” taken for the benefit of a suppressive government who is trying to convince the world…”We’re not so bad.”

For over 20 years, my business was designing products for the craft and gift markets. Going to China on business was an opportunity of a life time. The purpose of the trip was so we… as designers… could understand the production process of the products we were designing. Having that knowledge would help us simplify our instructions to the China factories so the finished products would meet our intentions and expectations.

Most of the China factories are not in the metro areas but out in the country side… in small rural villages where the labor conditions reminded me of the old photos I’ve seen from the beginning of the industrial revolution here in the United States. These small country factories are the backbone of China’s growing economy. Throughout the trip… my mind couldn’t help but ponder facts about China that I witnessed.

1. Most of the people lived at poverty level…especially in the rural areas. Over 1.25 billion people live in China. (Note: there are just over 300 million people in the United States.)

2. After almost 60 years of Communist power, the people are still at the effect of a powerful suppressive government that keeps them under control by violating many human rights.

I came home with so many questions. Just how did this happen to a country with smart, ingenious people? I immediately went to the bookstore and found 7 books on China which I read in a matter of weeks.

Several of the books were about the rise and take over of the Communist Government. The book, Wild Swans, is a excellent general over-view from a citizen’s point of view on the subject. A fast moving, comprehensive read. My two sisters, Sheila and Nicole, recently read the book and said they could hardly put the it down. They too, are wondering… “Why are the Olympics in China?”

The book China Wakes takes you into the everyday lives of people who disagree with the government… written by reporters who risk their lives by writing about what they knew and saw. Even though it was penned in the late nineties, conditions remain the same today… although China would like you to believe other wise. A real eye opener!

I will probably watch some of the Olympics this week… the glitz and glamour… but my heart will be with the people who have sacrificed much to welcome the world to their country.

Till Later

Kathy Griffiths

Insightful Nana

P.S. For the next two weeks… I’ll be sharing some of my China experiences…. my point of view and some photos that I’m sure you will not be seeing on T.V.

P.P.S. If you have any comments about the Olympics in China.. leave a comment. Love to hear your point of view!