When I heard of the news that a seventh grader committed suicide after she spent a US$9 class fund she had been assigned to safeguard, the first thing I thought of was self-awareness.
Thirteen-year-old Nguyen Thi To Uyen in southern Dong Nai Province died early last month after drinking herbicides to kill herself. She was scared of how her family and classmates would react after learning she had spent all the money on her own needs.
It seems to me that this girl had self-awareness, a trait that many people nowadays seem to have lost.
The media often expose corruption cases in which officials ask for bribes and incompetent executives at state-run companies receive high salaries despite huge losses at their companies. But no such official has ever committed suicide for spending money that was not theirs.
I feel sorrowful and regretful that this death could have been avoided if the family, the school, her classmates and teachers had paid more attention to the girl and noticed any tell-tale signs of suicide.
I also wish the girl could have been braver and just confessed what she had done.
Her death should make adults and educators think seriously about the living skills that the school, her family and community had failed to teach her. A child's well-being can't rest solely on academic knowledge.
Children need to be nurtured with necessary living skills so that people can take responsibility for their mistakes.