Friday, February 15, 2008

Judges, Parents, and Little Anna Mae

Here goes an ancient Chinese legend: Two women fight over a child, both claiming to be the real mother. They bring the battle to court. The judge draws a circle on the ground and places the child in it. He then tells the two women each to pull an arm of the child simultaneously. "Whoever drags the child out of the circle is the winner," the judge says. At first both women pull very hard. The child is writhing in pain and begins to cry. At the child's tears, one woman reluctantly lets go of his hand. The judge decides she is the real mother and awards her the child. The audience cheers the judge's wise decision – a happy ending.

The judgment in the ancient story is based on the belief that the blood-bond love transcends all others. The judge's logic is idealistically simple: the real mother would rather give up her own rights than hurt the child.

That ancient judge, however, would face a real challenge in today's international society. Read more here>>


Kay Sexton said...

A fascinating and ultimately sad story - cultural differences run so deep and are rarely articulated when legal decisions are made.

Xujun Eberlein said...

Right on, Kay.