Change One Thing, Change Everything
A small change can result in large differences in a later state; people call it the Butterfly Effect. The Chinese government has made such a change. China is a country with many unique policies, such as the Family Planning Policy, which is regarded as inhuman behavior by many western countries. The Chinese government released this policy in 1980 because of the rapidly increasing population. The Family Planning Policy regulates that each family should just have one child. However, this policy, which was perceived as a small change at that time, has made an immense impact on most Chinese people for many years. With the advent of the Family Planning Policy, my grandparents, my mother and I were all affected.
In the 1960s, the Chinese government put forward the idea of the Family Planning Policy, and it changed my grandparents’ lives. They decided to have more children before the release of this policy, and this decision made their life fall into bad conditions. According to their effort, they finally had six children, but that was not their initial expectation. Because of this, my mother, the sixth child of my grandparents, always tells me how my grandmother tried to drown her in a potty when she was naughty, and how my grandfather saved her from a potty many times. My grandfather had to work hard to raise their children; as a result, he became sick, and then he died when my mother was still a little girl. After my grandfather died, my grandmother lived in even worse conditions. For her whole life, she was an outstanding representative of thrift. Although her life condition had improved many years later, she never tried any expensive food or clothes. I promised my grandmother that I would make a lot of money and buy anything she wanted for her; however, she left us just before the beginning of Beijing Olympic Games. Like my grandfather, she was killed by cancer.
Because of the Family Planning Policy, my mother became a typical Chinese mother. She indulges me because I am her only child. As a child and even now, when I wanted to buy something, my mother always tried to satisfy my wishes. When I wanted to help her to wash dishes after dinner, she always stopped me, as if the dishes would become a bomb as soon as I touched them. My mother became my personal steward. Sometimes I even thought if I left my mother, whether I could live for twenty-four hours by myself. Moreover, my mother’s lifelong ambition is to keep me with her for her whole life. She can't leave me. Each week, she always reminds me that I need to go back to China after I finish my studies because there is a woman who misses her own son day and night. If I don't contact her for two days, I may find my name on the front page of the Chicago newspaper on the third day. The Family Planning Policy profoundly affected my mother’s character, and this is a universal phenomenon across China.
“Thanks to” the Family Planning Policy, I have been dubbed China One (means the only child in a family), which carries heavy sarcasm at present. As a standard China One, one can find all the China One’s characteristics on me, and most of them are negative. I was too self-centered, and I rarely cared about other people when I was young. There was always a voice that spoke to me and said, “I am the one who should be cared for by everyone!” This voice accompanied me in most of my adolescence. As my parents couldn't give me a brother or sister because of the Family Planning Policy, my computer acted as my partner most of the time. I had become a person who is good at talking by hand, rather than by mouth. Fortunately, most of my bad characteristics of China One inside my brain have disappeared since I came to America because I had to learn how to be independent so that I wouldn’t die in a foreign land. However, there are still remnants related to China One, which still remain inside my body because it is not easy to get rid of all of them.
Last year, the Family Planning Policy started to loosen. The Chinese government now allows married couples to have two children if one spouse is a China One. However, this policy has had a profound influence on my grandparents, as well as my mother and me. I have no ability to change my country policy; however, I can change one thing by myself, which is to immigrate to the United States, and that will affect my children, and my children’s children in a positive way. That will be my butterfly effect.