Chinese teen, Xiao Zheng, sold his right kidney in order to buy a iPad 2 according to Peter Foster at the Telegraph. Zheng, 17, says he couldn’t afford to buy the tablet style computer so he answered an online ad offering cash for kidneys.
The advertisement offered cash for a healthy kidney and since Zheng was desperate to have an electronic device considered a status symbol for the wealthy in China, he answered to the ad and underwent a risky surgery on April 28 in Chenzhou a city in the Hunan Province where three days later, he was paid 20,000 yuan or 3,081 US dollars.
After his surgery, he bought an iPad2 and iPhone. Upon returning home, he found his mother suspicious of such luxurious purchases. After hearing his confession of the incident, she took her son to the police station to investigate the crime, but when they went to the hospital the staff denied any such occurrence. Since selling his kidney, the boy says he’s experienced health complications.
The reports have since gone public. A commenter on Hong Kong’s Phoenix TV website said, ‘This teenager’s stupid behavior is a manifestation of his radically materialistic values.’
This type of materialism making its way to developing nations is alarming. How can Americans judge when there’s annual footage of Americans lining up days before Thanksgiving and stomping others to death all in the name to be first to get a new product or good deal? It’s easy for anyone in a foreign country to cruise American and western website and see the addiction to material goods and the act of acquisition that presumably make our lives happier, whole, and stylish.
My cousins in the Philippines that have never been to the U.S. presume that we’re very wealthy and can afford to do and have anything. The images they see on television and commercials feed the idea that having stuff makes us happy. I won’t deny that a certain level of comfort is necessary for a basic standard of living, but to sell one’s kidney? To give up good health for a product that will last just a few years is alarming. That goes the same for giving up peace of mind, sleep, and joy to have material things which eventually ends up enslaving our thoughts and owning our actions.
I look around me and I realize many of us are consumed with buying stuff, having stuff, or making enough to acquire stuff. It’s the reason why I’m careful about product reviews because I want to give the impression that things can be used as tools to help us gain insight, health, and peace of mind, but they can’t replace these types spiritual gifts that money can’t buy, which only self reflection and discipline can nurture. What do you think?