Mao Zedong’s Three Wishes
Mao Zedong has two sorts of wishes: one sort is closely connected with China’s revolution, construction and future; the other is about his individual wishes and thoughts.
At his old age, he showed a bigger interest in talking about wishes which seemed to reduce his regrets in mind. As an old man in his 70s and 80s, he knew that there was not too many days left for him.
However, he still had ambitions just like what was described in Cao Cao’s (leader of Wei in Three Kingdoms Period as well as a poet) poem which he admired very much: An old man still has ambitions in spite of his old age, just like a horse at old age still wants to travel a thousand miles.
Mao was that kind of man. From what he had talked about his wishes, we could still feel his heart of ambitions beating.
One day in August, 1961, Mao had a chat with his bodyguard Zhang Xianpeng and talked about his wishes. Mao said: I have three wishes:
The first one is that I want to go down to the grassroots level to study and research for one year in industry, one year in agriculture and half a year in commerce so that I can learn real conditions. I don’t act in bureaucratism and this may be conducive to promoting cadres nationwide to act in practice; the second one is that I want to ride a horse on both sides of the Yellow River and the Yangtze River to have a field visit. I don’t know much about geology, so I will invite a geologist, a historian and a litterateur to come with me; the third one is that I want to write a book to record my whole life, which will include my weaknesses and faults. People of the whole world can make a judgment of me whether I am a good man or a bad one. (Selected from Mao Zedong in My Eyes written by Guo Simin)
As for Mao’s first sort of wishes Mao realized that we must give priority to investigation of practical conditions and continue to increase knowledge of socialist economic construction so as to realize economic and cultural development.
Mao’s three wishes demonstrate Mao’s one desire that He wanted to get close to the masses and go into practices so as to connect himself with the practice of China’s society.