Saturday, February 23, 2008


By Francis C W Fung, PH.D.

The count down to the 2008 Olympic Games is continuing. Soon 13,000 athletes and coaches from around the world will descend on Beijing together with a large contingent of journalists and estimated 300,000 foreign visitors. There are predictions that 2008 will be the best and biggest Olympics, ever hosted by the most populous developing nation in the world. With these large numbers of foreign convoys shuttling between competition venues and wandering through the streets of Beijing among a population of over 15 million, imagine what great cultural exchange opportunity it presents.

The sheer number of goodwill contacts possible within the confines of one city and in the short span of weeks is staggering and unprecedented in history. Cultural exchanges and good will visits infused with Olympic Spirit can be the greatest way to promote world understanding. Understanding can lead to mutual acceptance and trust that is the prerequisite for world harmony.

Yet there are some shortsighted among us who fail to see the Beijing Olympic as a unique and unsurpassed way to cultivate a spirit that can enhance friendship and brotherhood in our global village. Traditionally this is also called the Olympic Spirit. For those who spend time fanning bigotry and laboring for prejudiced excuses to boycott the Olympic Games, we must ask where is our Olympic Spirit and our belief in harmony? For those among us who still live in the last century and cannot see the way out of the old Cold War mentality we may ask, “Can’t we all just get along?”

In reality the root cause of this bigotry is our ignorance of modern China. There is a Chinese saying that we can all learn. “It is far better to see for yourself once than hear about it one hundred times.” So instead of holding on to our prejudices, let us content with our own pride, open our hearts and enjoy ourselves at the 2008 Olympic Games. For our future world is a world of unity in diversity. Beijing has gone out of her way to train large number of English speaking youth guides to welcome us!

The world of the dominating empires is gone forever for all nations. China desires integration as a responsible nation in a harmonious world. We call for a unified world to stop politicizing Olympics for ideological gains. The 21st Century will herald the beginning of a multilateral world bent on win-win mutual development. Our earthly resources and fossil energy are finite. To maintain a level field for global sustainable development we must learn to share our common resources in a harmonious way. To avoid the self destructive calamity of human wonton pollution of our ecosystem and climate change, we must cooperate to harmonize with nature as well. This is human’s last chance to move with the tide of harmony renaissance thus releasing our innovative energy from distrust and suspicion to achieve our next level of collective accomplishment beyond European Renaissance. Our collective creative energy if released through tolerance, acceptance, mutual respect, patience, humility and forgiveness, all universal common values of harmony philosophy, is boundless. The world has never seen such vast and unlimited collective energy dedicated to work for world harmony. “Harmony Renaissance will be here in 21st Century.”

The 2008 Olympic Games will go down in history as a bright land mark of cultural exchange and communication between nations of our Global Village. The Beijing Olympic Torch Relay itinerary took its inspiration from the ancient land and sea Silk Routes. The Silk Routes are a singularly one of the most important cultural exchange routes of human history. It connected the commerce and exchange of the greater Eurasia landmass that propagated to the West. It also connects the ancient sea trade routes of the world. Through it the cultures and scientific discoveries of the East made its way to the West in ancient times. Without the important import of East, South East and Middle East ancient culture and scientific discoveries, it may be said that European Renaissance as we know today may not have taken place.

The revival of this ancient sea, land Silk Routes and other ancient cultural and commerce exchange routes are very important in reestablishing the harmonious commerce and exchange of this greater Eurasia and the world once again. America is looking for a change in world outlook. This can be the critical and opportunity moment for us to advocate harmony renaissance. The world is waiting for us to show that we care. The common value of tolerance, acceptance, mutual respect, equity, humility and forgiveness can be brought to the forefront through the Olympic Spirit. Olympic Spirit and World Harmony can thus go hand in hand!

Francis C. W. Fung, PH. D.
Director General
World Harmony Organization

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