陈凯论坛 Kai Chen Forum 不自由，毋宁死! Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death! 陈凯博客 Kai Chen Blog: www.blogspot.com 陈凯电邮 Kai Chen Email: email@example.com 陈凯电话 Kai Chen Telephone: 661-367-7556
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真理，正义，自由，尊严 Truth, Justice, Liberty, Dignity
Living vs. Merely Breathing
"To live is not merely to breathe, it is to act; it is to make use of our organs, senses, faculties, or all those parts of ourselves which give us the feeling of existence. The man who has lived longest is not the man who has counted most years, but he who has enjoyed life most. Such a one was buried a hundred years old, but he was dead from him birth. He would have gained by dying young; at least he would have lived till that time. " --- Jean Jacques Rousseau
“活着并不意味着只是呼吸； 活着意味着用使我们感觉存在的感官与思维能力去行动。 真正长寿的人并不是那些老龄的人，而是那些活得最有意义与滋味的人。 那些只是存活的人其实从他生下来时就已经死了。 他还不如早点死但在他活着的时候活得很有意义与滋味。” --- Jean Jacques Rousseau 卢梭
When I was in China, every time I walked on the streets, sensing people around me just as flesh and blood with no essence, I couldn't help but think I would never live like a walking dead. We eat to live, but we never live to eat. But as far as I could sense, most Chinese were just living to eat and to satisfy their physical needs. I had never heard anyone who proclaimed that his life has any meaning, for everyone's meaning is only forced upon him and determined by the omnipresent and omnipotent Party-State.
Zhang Yimo's movie "活着“ should not have been translated into "To Live", for none in the movie truly lived. It should have been translated into "To Survive". To confuse "Living" with "Surviving" is like to confuse "Man" and "Rainworm". We cannot live without surviving; but we can indeed survive without living. Like in the "活着”，if a man's meaning of life is only sitting on their little "kang" sipping some porridge, as the end of the movie shows, I'd rather die young struggling to do something of meaning.
Too often the Chinese value their physical existence more than their mental and spiritual well being, misconstruing that everyone in the world is doing the same, much like slaves often project their state of imprisonment onto all others, thinking that others are not free either, and even making sure that the others are not free. This is why I claim that one has no freedom of anti-freedom, for the moment one makes himself a slave, the first thing he will logically do is to project his enslavement onto others. That is the only way he can truly feel his own existence.
To live and to truly exist, we have to ask ourselves constantly that eternal question: "What is the meaning of my life?!"
Best. Kai Chen 陈凯
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