It seems such an coincidence that after my mentioning of social media’s negative influence on social conduct, there suddenly a deafening blast of Face Book and its leadership. Isn’t the general public has a share of burden in actively participating in the enormous expansion of this technology/business into so many ways of social life? I feel we should preserve a safe space and standard of conduct in respectful social etiquette in the public debates to avoid name calling. This will contribute to a non-violence communication conductive of coherence of society . It will also help to foster a good standard of a more civilized society, setting good example to the future generations. Due to a limited energy span, I have not get much time to use Face Book to have much a saying about the entanglement. But an article in 2018 Davos Economic Forum points out a valid point: the crisis we are facing now (since the 2008 financial melt down) is a social crisis, a culture crisis. And the solution is upon all of us, the collective, to transform our culture, little by little towards a better environment.
To that aim, I want to continue my thread on the issues behind school shooting; my general feeling is a lack of ethical /spiritual/religious education in the public institution, in our society and obviously in the leaders of our society. To borrow my background in Chinese upbringing, the philosophy of Confucianism gave good guidance to the importance of ethic education. The fact that these teaching has contribute to the stability and civilization of society for over two thousand years, speaks of its effectiveness. The golden rule of Confucianism is “Not do to others what you don’t want to do to yourself.” Confucianism advocates that (天下兴亡 匹夫有责) everybody is responsible for the rise an fall of the civilization. (Isn’t that democratic?) But to be able to have positive impact to the society, members of the society need higher moral education of ethics.
In the classical text of Confucianism, the Great Learning《大学》, it is stated that the purpose of higher education is to carry forward the moral integrity, to abandon obsoleted ideas/convention and renovate new practicality in synch with the time; is to help people achieve highest possible level of maturity and to rest in the highest excellence (明明德、亲民、止于至善). And so in evaluate talents, the ground rules weight on good characters and integrity over the competence or technical merits. For someone who are capable nonetheless, unethical, can be more damaging to the civilization and good society.
Things have their root and their branches. Affairs have their end and their beginning. To know what is first and what is last will lead near to the understanding of nature law and its core principle, and thus lead to effectiveness in managing affairs of the society. So to arrive at the above-mentioned three aims, The Great Learning outline a eight-steps process to get there: investigation into depth of things, arrive to understanding of truth, sincerity in learning, open mind to new things, cultivation of social responsibility, supporting for the tribe, help managing the country and organizing a civilized society (格物、致知、诚意、正心、修身、齐家、治国、平天下). When people have clarity of the standard, the object of pursuit is then determined; in turn a clam unperturbed mental state may be attained. To that calmness there will succeed a tranquil repose. In that repose there may be careful deliberation, for the attainment of the desired end.
The eight steps goes this way: Firstly the investigation of things leads to understanding and upgrade of people’s knowledge(格物, 致知); in this process of cross examination, people should keep an open mind as well as a good discernment for new postulation, hold a sincere intention and welcoming heart to rectify good arguments and new viewpoints for the development of new understanding.（诚意，正心). When people are well educated with, they are well supported to cultivate good characters and unbiased objectivity and thus attaining a high level of integrity(修身). Having cultivated with balanced temperance and good standard of conduct, then people will be able to establish good household guideline and make nurturing family connections. When families and household are well managed(齐家), then the country and society can be well organized （治国,平天下).
Cultivating ethical standard takes very hard work. Many times people use the end to justify for their means, pushing aside the moral teaching as preaching dogma. We could see our leaders does not set good role model for the people. A good case in point is our President Donald Trump’s tax return. Another case has been seen on Russia President Putin, shrugs off world-wide protests to police his country and treatment of the spy . The government leaders of our time are not conductive in building good moral standards of the society – which speaks of the root cause of all these violence. The public should not look up to these government head as the model of their behavior standard.
The scientific discovery of the last century in Quantum Physicals has revealed to us that the whole universe is made up of substance in the unit of quirk (up to this point to scientific research) and even smaller indefinable units. What may seem illusory separate entity, such as each person, are actually connected parts of the whole universe. Others are just part of ourselves. We can be misguided by our twisted perception and doing harm to ourselves mistakenly regarded as others. Love to others is love to ourselves.