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IV. MAJOR TEACHING ACTIVITIES AND EFFECTS
(1) To Hold a Series of Lectures to Construct a Model Town for a Harmonious Society
1. Emphasize “practice” in the training of seed teachers
To train talents who aspire “to propagate the forgotten teachings of[g1] [g16] the past saints; to establish world peace for all future generations.” Teachers, aspiring to be saints and sages, should correct their mindset and behaviors first and emulate the saints, such as Confucius and Mencius, in their daily activities. They should acknowledge their faults and reduce their wrongdoings. With sincerity and the correctness of minds, they would understand the nuance of Confucius’ statement: “How joyous to learn and to constantly review and practice what I have learned!”
2. Teach ethics to the villagers
The teachers visited the surrounding villages of Tangchi and gave lessons of ethics to the local farmers and villagers. They exemplified the family tradition of filial piety and fraternal love, the mutual respect between the couples, and the cordial relationship between daughter-in-law and mother-in-law. As a result, the children learned to be pious, the elderly were taken care of, and the neighborhoods and communities demonstrated the propriety of yielding when conflicts arise. Overall, the family relations become harmonious and the social mores of the small ancient town of Tangchi gradually changed for the better.
3. Respect the elderly, venerate the sagacious, and instill the virtuous social mores
Every year the LCCE presented gifts of dragon-head canes and money in red envelops, an old custom, to show respect to the elderly residents of Tangchi. The teachers will visit the elderly house after house, their actions of love and respect for the old aroused the filial piety of the villagers and instigated the social mores of filial piety and fraternal love.
4. Nurture the roots of a harmonious society through the town’s community school
Collaborating with the community school sponsored by the locals, as a base for traditional cultural education, the LCCE opened a series of courses on Di Zi Gui and classes for traditional arts and crafts. In addition, it also set up the Happy Seniors Club and Di Zi Gui Classes for Families with Youngsters[g2] [g17] . The goal of LCCE is to actualize the vision of the saints that “the elderly are taken care of, friends are bonded by trust, and the young are nurtured with love.”
The LCCE set up an outdoor green classroom in the wooded park area beside the river of Tangchi. In the great outdoors, lectures on Di Zi Gui (Standards for Being a Good Child and Student) were broadcast on TV. Teachers also shared stories of good people and good things happening in the surrounding area as well as lessons of spirit-lifting songs that narrated filial and fraternal love. Quite often the audience was so touched by the sentiment of the songs and stories, which were close to their heart and experience, they would cry. Because the green classroom promotes healthy recreational activities, they are most popular and welcomed by the local residents.
6. Tea parties to promote community harmony
The LCCE collaborates with the town government to organize yearly events that will coincide with festive seasons or tea parties to discuss specific topics in order to promote the interactions among townspeople, to understand local needs, and to listen to their recommendations. Attendees of such theme tea parties include representatives of taxi drivers, environmental workers, businesses, model villages, and the communications industry.
7. As a model for the traditional way of farming
To rebuild the confidence of the traditional way of farming and to promote and realize environmentalism, the LCCE cultivated a piece of farmland with traditional methods, without any use of chemical fertilizers or pesticides, and had a great harvest of fruits and vegetables. As a model organic farm, it demonstrated the harmony and abundance of traditional farming.
8. Honor virtuous conducts to set a new paradigm
The LCCE, collaborating with the town government to set up good examples for the society, organized a myriad of activities to reward and honor the virtuous, such as “the Great Assembly to Honor Good Mothers-in-law and Good Daughters-in-law,” “the Great Assembly to Honor Great Mothers, Model Workers, and Exemplary Youngsters,” “the Great Assembly to Honor Good Fathers and Good Children,” “the October Chongyang Festival: Respecting the Elderly Evening Celebration,” etc.
9. Pick up rubbish to keep our hometown clean
The teachers from the LCCE practice the motto “social harmony begins with me,” and will pick up rubbish on the streets weekly. They clean the environment as well as purify the minds of the town folks. Less and less town folks will litter the streets and the concept of environmentalism is also strengthened in them.
10. Cable TV as a classroom
To fully utilize the function of television as a media for social education, the Tangchi Cablevision dedicated a channel to broadcast 24 hours a day “the Happy Life Seminars” and cultural programs, such as movies or operas, related to loyalty, filial piety and justice[g4] [g19] . The townspeople can receive and immerse in the wisdom of the saints and sages without stepping outside their homes or shops.
11. The wonder of the Happy Life Seminar
Generally, the LCCE holds a monthly seminar on “How to Lead a Happy Life” to people from all over the world. The seminar gives out a series of lectures on the application of traditional culture in daily lives and different enterprises. (Because of the visible benefits,) the courses’ feasible, real life implementation of virtuous conducts are widely accepted and supported by the participants.
(2) The Effects of Traditional Teachings outside Tangchi
The philosophy or the spirit of the Chinese civilization starts with a person’s self-cultivation, to harmony in the family, the well governance of the nation, and ends with world peace. Such spirit can be applied to the daily activities of a myriad of enterprises, and can bring personal happiness, family harmony, national security, and world peace.
1. Traditional culture applied to penitentiary system (reforms prisoners)
The Judiciary Department and Chief of Prisons Division of Hainan Province introduced the traditional culture to its penitentiary system. Civil policemen were sent in groups to attend the Happy Life Seminar to learn traditional culture. After they went back, they taught by example, and with sincerity, effectively invoked the inmates’ consciousness to reform. Currently, the traditional education of ethics is comprehensively implemented in the penitentiary system of the Hainan Province.
The Venerable Professor Chin Kung has said that a person’s conduct may be wicked, but there is no wicked person because everyone can be reformed through education. People can be taught to become good.
2. Traditional culture applied to businesses
More and more entrepreneurs start to apply the principles of traditional culture to create their company cultures. The top management of a company in Nanjing, after attending the seminar, realized that[g5] [g20] “superiors should treat their subordinates with etiquette and subordinates should treat their superiors with loyalty.” To set example for their workers, the Director and the General Manager will stand at the company’s front door and bow to every worker who reports to duty in the morning. Thereafter, all of them will bow to the picture of Confucius first, and then recite Di Zi Gui together. They will share stories of the good deeds of their employees, or their learning experiences of Di Zi Gui before they start to work.
V. A HARMONIOUS SOCIETY IS NOT DISTANT
The lessons learned from the Tangchi Experiment reaffirmed our sincere belief that we can “reconcile conflicts, promote social stability, and achieve world peace.” We have deep faith that “people can be taught to become good” and “primordially, human nature is kind.” Every person was innately a good person. As long as the teachings are positive and correct, every one will be happy to accept such education, and social harmony is not far away.
We wish to join hands with all the peace-loving people of the world; collaboratively, to demonstrate and develop the education of virtues, ethical relations, the law of cause and effect, wisdom, and science; and wholeheartedly, to contribute our efforts to the actualization of social harmony and world harmony for the entire human race.
Pic.1: Venerable Professor Chin Kung receiving the honorary degree of doctorate from Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia.
Picture 2: With total concentration learning Di Zi Gui.
Picture 3: No better than music to transform social mores
Picture 4: A harmonious gathering with happy spirits.
Picture 5: Clean the environment, purify the heart.
Picture 6: The return of the prodigal son cannot be replaced with gold. At the “Assembly of Gangs of Filial Love (to reform inmates through the power of parental love and the help of the wardens)” the tears from the repenting inmates deeply touched the hearts of all the relatives present at the event.
Picture 7: “Teachers should accept the teaching first,” civil police practice what they teach, and start from themselves, sincerely care about the inmates. In the whole Hainan province, more than a thousand civil police participated in the education of traditional culture and had successfully trained a group of excellent teachers of traditional culture.
Picture 8: The past quarrelsome and combatant inmates, after immersing in the traditional culture for over a year, were transformed and are now polite and courteous.
Picture 9: “Grandma, I was wrong!” cried the inmate who now understood filial piety and reenacted his personal experience on stage.
Picture 10: Entrepreneurs lead by examples
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