At the end of 1911, Zhou Enlai went to school as a model in Dongguan, Shenyang. On this day, President Wei personally gave a self-cultivation class for the students. The topic was “making a life”. At that time, it was a period of drastic changes in Chinese society. The revolution of 1911 led by Sun Yat Sen just overthrew the Qing government and ended China’s two thousand year feudal rule. Many people, especially chronologists, are confused, have no clear ideal pursuit and no goal in life. When the headmaster talks about “making life”, he is telling students how to make up their mind.
When President Wei talked about the wonderful year, he suddenly stopped and asked the students a question: “why do you read?”
The classroom was quiet and no student answered.
“If no one answers, I’ll ask one by one!”
President Wei came down from the podium, pointed to the front row and said, “Why are you reading?” The student stood up, held his chest and said, “read for the glory of the lintel!”“ Just to honor our ancestors. ” President Wei told the second student that he was studying for Ming Li. The third student asked was the son of a shoe shop manager. He replied very seriously, “I study for my father.” The children burst into laughter.
Not satisfied with these answers, he shook his head and came up to Zhou Enlai and asked, “Why are you reading?”
Zhou Enlai has a high prestige among students. Not long ago, the revolution of 1911 was just successful. He was the first among his classmates to cut off his long braids. This is not a simple thing, because the Manchu government stipulated that all Han men must keep long braids like Manchus to show their loyalty to the Qing court. If they don’t keep braids, they will be killed. Zhou Enlai was the first student to cut off his braids, so everyone admired him.
Zhou Enlai stood up. The classroom was quiet and everyone was waiting for his answer. Zhou Enlai replied very solemnly, “study for the rise of China!”
“Study for the rise of China!” What a good answer! In a word, it expresses Zhou Enlai’s great ambition to revitalize China since childhood.
President Wei did not expect that there should be such outstanding students. He was very happy. He motioned to Zhou Enlai to sit down, and then said to everyone: “ambitious young people should learn from Zhou Enlai”!