MEET AN ACTUAL COMMUNIST PARTY MEMBER. When teacher Ye Lianping hit retirement age, he felt he was still able to contribute to society, but had been left behind by the world.
So he turned part of his home into a school and re-started work as a teacher, focusing on children “left behind” by society because they lived in the rural villages of the area where he lived, Hexian County, Ma’anshan City, Anhui Province.
Now he is 95, and still teaching – having given free-of-charge education to more than 2,000 students.
Although his biggest skill is to teach English, he would be baffled at the highly negative portrayal of people who support the Chinese government in the Anglophone world. Ye became a member of the Communist Party of China in 1986.
The list of party members include teachers and nurses and literally tens of millions of ordinary working people. There’s huge variety among members, just as there is in any large cultural or ideological groups, such as social democrats or Christianity. (It’s been estimated that two million party members are Christian.)
But like most Chinese, that sort of politics is not a big focus for him. He has a practical approach to life.
A banner was placed on the wall of teacher Ye’s building saying “The Candlelight That Never Fades in the Countryside.”
But Ye Lianping told a Xinhua reporter that he couldn’t shine as brightly as a candle. “At best, I am just a small firefly,” he said.
Picture at the top by Xinhua News.