‘Response message’ from deceased father shows warmth of Chinese society
Published: Mar 29, 2023 10:56 PM
A father and son stand on an elevated trestle converted from an old pipeline and look out over the Shougang compound in July 2020.Photo:Li Hao/Global Times

A father and son stand on an elevated trestle converted from an old pipeline and look out over the Shougang compound in July 2020.Photo:Li Hao/Global Times

A few days ago, a young man who failed in his graduate entrance exams sent a message to his deceased father. To his astonishment, he received a “reply,” which encouraged him to keep on trying. His father died three years ago, but he found out that the message was from someone who is using his father’s old phone number now. 

A lot of netizens were touched by the story, and said it showed the care and support between people in Chinese society.

In the message, the young man said to his father, “Dad, I miss you so much. Would you appear in my dream? I really want to meet you.”

To his surprise, he received a message, saying “Never mind, boy. You will grow up through setbacks. Gather yourself up and keep trying. I know my boy is the best. I miss you, too.”

“Having seen such a message from ‘my dad,’ I burst into tears,” the young man said.

Human beings all need love and care, especially in difficult times of their life. Young people in particular often feel frustrated in their pursuit of higher education or a better career. If they fail, they long for consolation from their parents and friends, so the reply this young man got from an unknown person really gave him encouragement, he said. 

“At first, I thought someone had sent a wrong message,” the new phone owner said. “But after reading it, I figured out the sender must be in trouble and need some comfort. Having given it thought, I decided to reply in his father’s name.”

It is understandable that those who have lost their parents will miss them more than usual, so the person who extended a warm hand is like the Chinese saying: “offering fuel in snowy weather.”  

Every year in the graduate entrance exam period, students go through intensive preparations, stressful exams and anxious waiting, which involves a lot of pressure. Those who fail sometimes plunge into disappointment and depression. 

Mental health problems are a growing concern in China’s society. In 2006 and 2013, the government issued documents to call for schools and teachers to intervene and monitor the mental status of examinees. 
In February 2022, a female student jumped into the river after failing in her graduate entrance exams the second time. After posting the news that she would commit suicide, she could not be contacted by her family and friends, but the police came in time after getting the news and saved her from the river. After the incident, the police and many netizens tried to offer words of encouragement.

It shows there are many people in society who would like to show their care and support for these young people. Some psychologists offered suggestions that examinees should try to open their minds and talk to people, or they could try taking up a hobby. 

In the fast-paced modern society, there are many uncertainties facing young people, such as higher education, careers, marriage and looking after the older generation. Aside from their own efforts, social support is also essential. A normal greeting, a helping hand or a word of encouragement could help them get over the setbacks. 

If more people can show care and support, society will be a better place. These qualities also conform to the core values of the Chinese socialist system: kindness, integrity and harmony. In this way, we can create a healthy, harmonious and beautiful socialist society in China.