No Discrimination in Education

Text Box: Confucius Humanitarianism

Why Do We Need to Know Confucianism?

     In order to understand the culture of the people of East Asia, who now constitute almost one-fourth of the world population, Confucian study is a 'must'. Confucianism is an Oriental heritage, a cultural gene whose mechanism is to control the behavior of those people who are born and raised under Confucian cultural influence emphasizing the family life and personality development. This Confucian culture is the unique nucleus of the behavior in East Asia, just as Christianity is essential for people's behavior in the West. Today, we cannot ignore Asian-Americans. According to the Washington Post, "Although Asian-Americans make up only 2.4 percent of the nation's population, they constitute 17.1 percent of the undergraduates at Harvard, 18 percent at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and 27.3 percent of the University of California at Berkeley. At the University of California at Irvine, a staggering 35.1 percent of the undergraduates are Asian-Americans, but the proportion in the freshman class is even higher: #41 percent. The Asians' hard work springs from their common heritage of Confucianism, the philosophy of the 5th-century B.C. Chinese sage who taught the man can be perfected only through education and practice. Confucius is not just some character out of the past, he is an everyday reality to these people." Confucius said:" man is born equal, and there should be no discrimination in education," but without effort nobody can reach their goal. R. MacFarquhar is too sensitive about the Asians when he says that for 200 years since the onset of the industrial revolution, the West has dominated the world, but now that dominance is threatened, in particular by the East Asian heirs to Confucianism who so far have provided the only real economic, political, and military challenge. However, this is not the way that Confucianism will come to the West. Confucianism will be born again as a new synthesis with timeless values, to become young, and to serve a new age -- an age of an amalgamation of the Eastern and Western heritages as a new heritage of all mankind for a millennium. This is the time to take a new look at Confucianism, and to encourage Confucian studies in the West as well as in the East. Through these studies, the East and the West, both in search of a common ground for a dialogue about tomorrow's world can learn from and help each other work together for a better world, not through confrontation, but through mutual cooperation to achieve peace and happiness for a millennium.