Saturday, March 21, 2009

Communists turn to Confucius

Source: BBC

"Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves."

"It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop."

"Wheresoever you go, go with all your heart."

If you're Chinese, you probably knew the author of these sayings by the time you got to the word "Before". If you're not Chinese, you probably got it by the end. These proverbs are some of the sayings of China's first moral teacher, Confucius (551- 479 BC) - a man whose teachings are now back in fashion in this country.

This week, it was announced that Chow Yun-Fat is to star as Confucius in a state-backed film to mark the 60th anniversary of Communist rule in October. A recent book about Confucius' teachings has sold more than 10 million copies.

For centuries, Confucianism provided the moral foundation for the conduct of life in China. Confucius and his followers designed a system of government and society based on harmony and respect for social order.

But during the early years of Communist rule, Confucianism came under attack. Chairman Mao decreed that there was room for only one belief system in China: his own.

During the decade-long Cultural Revolution, Red Guards attacked the home of Confucius and tried to destroy all forms of religion and tradition. Many were killed for their beliefs.

That's the thing with Confucius. People tend to fall back on his teachings when things go bad. While everything is well and people are making money, greed takes over and people go for more and more without thinking about morals. But no matter how much you bash Confucius or burn down his temple, when it's time to turn back to him, he will still be there.

No comments: