A young Chinese student shocked listeners during a public speaking contest with his passionate speech filled with biting cynicism and pessimistic views.
The elementary student reportedly told the audience that he dreams of getting rich so he can finally escape life’s repetitive loop during the school’s “I Have a Dream” speech contest.
A video clip of the unnamed student from Hangzhou, China went viral on Chinese social media over the weekend, according to Reuters. Its original publisher, Beijing News, has reportedly taken the video down after causing controversy online.
The student’s attire, which included a red scarf around his neck, signifies that he is a member of the 100 million-strong Young Pioneers of China (a local pro-communism version of the Scouts).
At his young age, the boy already felt pressured and exhausted by life and admitted that he is now worried about growing up.
“Start early, return home late, unable to guarantee a good salary… life is like being inside a prison cell,” said the boy. “After doing the same thing every day, it becomes so that life has no meaning whatsoever.”
“You work hard but only see limited returns, like you’re in an endless loop,” he was quoted as saying.
“We must throw off the mechanisms of this endless cycle of life, and only by becoming rich can one finally achieve one’s own true desires in life,” he said in his heartbreaking speech.
“I want to be rich to overcome the meaninglessness of life. With money you can do whatever you want.”
As he was delivering his speech, a man’s voice could be heard in the background saying repeatedly, “We’re finished.”
Despite the grim tone of his speech, the boy received a loud applause from his audience inside the classroom.
The negative outlook expressed by the young boy provoked discussion online, with some pointing out that it runs contrasts with President Xi Jinping’s “Chinese dream” which touts the optimism supposedly brought about by China’s economic rise in recent years.
Others, however, explained that the child was talking about something beyond just acquiring wealth but the monotony of life in general.
“The pupil has figured out life at such an early age,” a Weibo user wrote. “It took me over three decades.”
“What the boy wants is not just money, but freedom in life, to be able to get rid of the hollowness of life,” said another.
Feature Image via YouTube / 99502 y