A Statement from Yang Ru-Men Written During his Hunger Strike in Prison
The loss of population in rural areas, the shrinking of available farm land, the graying of farming population, and the inability or unwillingness on the part of younger generation to take over and continue farming work due to shifts in social values and personal considerations—all these demonstrate the problem of ongoing deterioration in current agricultural situations. As our farmers continue to age with no helping replacement from the young, in what conditions do our agriculture, farmers, and rural villages end? WTO negotiation sessions are taking place in Hong Kong. I hope all the delegates work together for the “future” of our farmers.
Hunger strike is a manifestation of one’s resolution. It expresses my worries and anxieties regarding agriculture’s dire condition. The six days of this strike unfolded as a to and fro strife between my bodily needs and my mind’s longings. How much will power and resoluteness does it need for one to persevere to the end of the day, all the while keeping one’ body and mind intact and external distractions at bay?
One’s strength has its limits. When one wishes to express one’s true feelings, one needs to remind oneself that one’s ideas are legitimate and tolerate no wavering. This is a long and arduous process, but it does not and will not change simply because one is imprisoned. My passions and the fortitude welling up from the depth of my heart as well, when tested by time, only strengthen my belief.
When God closes a door, He leaves another window open. This open window is what I am looking for.
Yang Ru Men 11. 21, 2005 Taipei Jail
Translated by Briankle G. Chang
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