Wu Ping’s Amazing Nail House

March 26, 2007 — Leave a comment

Every nation has a handful of underdog heroes. Israel had David. The British (and 21st century American evangelicals) claim William Wilberforce. The Scots had William Wallace. Texans had Travis at the Alamo. The Chinese now have Wu Ping. Her home (in the center of the picture) stands as a monument amid rapid urban redevelopment in Chongqing.

Chinese bloggers have elevated Ms. Wu Ping to virtual national hero status in her fight for personal property rights — rights which were recently passed as law by the Chinese government. The NY Times article says that her “nail house,” as many here have called it because of her tenacity, is like a nail that cannot be pulled out. She remains the most popular current topic among bloggers in China.

Something in our hearts resonates when people stand up for what is right, even in a losing cause. Col. William B. Travis gave his life defending the Alamo and people’s right to be treated fairly by their governing leaders, but his courageous legacy also gave my son his name.

I confess my money’s ultimately on the Chinese bureaucracy in this battle for real estate. Wu Ping will most certainly lose her home, but she will have gained something far more valuable in the process. Her conviction and tenacity have given thousands of other underdogs hope to persevere.

Lesson for us ordinary mortals: There may come a time when we must lose what seems most valuable in order to gain what is most truly valuable.

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