One of the amazing things about China is that with its massive population of 1.3 billion, strange events tend to happen with more frequency than other countries. And they’re usually the kind of strange events imagined during late night drinking sessions. For example, someone falls into a pit of human feces. Who in your neighborhood would be the first person to jump in to save them?  Happened in China.  Your boyfriend stole your money so he could buy you presents.  What would you do? Happened in China.

Now your wife and your mother are both drowning. Who do you save? This also happened in China a few weeks ago, and not everyone agrees with the man’s decision.

What is probably one of the most famous hypothetical questions played itself out in reality in Anhui, China on 22 July.  Wang Fei Guo (28) and his wife of 4 years Xiaoqing took a trip to his family’s home.

The home was located near a lake that was a well known fishing spot and Xiaoqing asked her husband to take her out on the lake. Guo hadn’t been fishing in a long time and agreed.  Guo’s mother tagged along to help work the net for them.

Out on the boat, the inexperienced Xiaoqing stood up too quickly to look into the water, causing his wife to fall into the lake. The mother, seeing this, went to help but also lost her balance, causing the boat to turn over and sending the remaining two people into the lake.

For Guo, this was no problem as he could swim.  However his wife and mother could not and started drowning.  Guo immediately went to his wife, who was the nearest to him.  He grabbed her and took her to hold onto the capsized boat.  Then he went straight for his mother.

After all three got out of the lake the mother was sent to the hospital.  It was reported that if they had been just a little bit slower the mother might not have survived.  Guo’s father was enraged over his son’s decision to save his wife first.

When the story broke out, debate began to swirl on the internet about Guo’s handling of this oft discussed “hypothetical” situation.  Some were critical of the man saying that“you only have one mother in your life, but you can always get another wife,” while others defended him, citing the pragmatic “mother doesn’t have as many years left” argument.

The mother later reportedly said that she absolutely doesn’t blame her son for his decision.  The father also, after cooling down, sympathized: “How do you choose between family and family?”

As is always the case in these dilemmas, there is no perfect answer.  We can’t really fault Guo seeing as everyone made it out alive.  Would you have done the same thing in his situation?

Source: News 163 (Chinese)
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