Dear IHT Op-ed editor,
Following is a timely article for your consideration.
ON SYMPATHY WITH VIRGINIA TECH TRAGEDY
By the natural process of billion years of evolution human have acquired two all important surviving power. One is the propagation power through love, which is shown by all living things in various degree. The other unique to the most intelligent beings on earth, which is our hierarchy of aspirations to do good. This higher yawning may be part of our soul in a spiritual sense. The concept of soul is independent of religion and deeply grounded in ancient philosophies. Our souls need nourishment from noble thoughts, praying, meditation, accomplishments, invoking higher ideals and so on. Among the multitude of trial and tested methods, two common practices are praying and intoning high ideals such as May God Bless America and May Harmony Prevail in the World.
Human life is universally accepted as a miracle. It is not surprising when life is taken away without cause, invokes profound feelings of sympathy, anger, revenge and despair depending on individuals frame of mind. At such times the thoughts of God or higher aspirations inevitably surface for resolution or healing. There is nothing wrong by invoking God Bless America. When it is intoned frivolously one will sure be reminded the Christian teaching "Thou shalt not invoke thy God's name in vain." For Presidents and statesmen routinely invoke God Bless America is sure to create a self important image, especially in worldwide televised events. If God has any priorities at all at this time of history he will sure bless Iraq and other needy African countries first before he turns his helping hand to America, the most powerful and endowed nation in the world.
China in its by gone feudal times used to consider the Emperor as son of heaven. As long as the Emperor serves the people well China will be blessed by heaven. Notice the use of heaven and not God by the Chinese. This is due simply to the lack of institutionalized fixation on the image of God in ancient China. With the overthrow of the last Chinese Emperor, this loose image of son of heaven is long forgotten. By the way, according to Chinese tradition also, if the Emperor did not serve the people well he would invariably lost his mandate and be overthrown. This is well known in Chinese history. For an emperor to rule by mandate is a quasi-religion tradition that is long gone.
Today Chinese leader must rule by leadership and merit. To legitimize their government Chinese leaders must rediscover ancient roots. Harmony is the root of Chinese culture just as religion and democracy are the twin cultural pillars of most of the world. But harmony is the other pillar of human culture that is more unifying than religion and democracy. I speak with conviction that the tide of harmony renaissance is inevitable and America will be the young dynamic country that will lead the advocacy for world harmony renaissance. For America to regain its lost international image by audacity of hope or invoking God Bless America is not enough.
It is time for America leaders to intone May Harmony Prevail in the World instead of God Bless America. Its more universally acceptable and less self serving. IT IS VERY HEALING TO INTONE "MAY HARMONY PREVAIL IN THE WORLD". It is the call for unity in diversity. It is also the timely noble call with humility for the world's most powerful nation.
Be proud we are citizens of the world and not citizens of one powerful nation. Website http://www.worldharmonyorg.net/ blog site http://www.worldharmonyforum.blogspot.com/
Francis C. W. Fung, PH.D.
World Harmony Organization
San Francisco, CA April 19, 2007