身體力行 志在聖賢—聯合國教科文組織大使團參訪弘明實驗學校 （共一集） 2019/12/3 弘明實驗學校 檔名：32-351-0001
Set Example by True Practice, Aspire to Become Saints and Sages— UNESCO Delegates' Visit to Hong Ming Experimental School Episode 1 3 December 2019 Hong Ming Experimental School No：32-351-0001
Respected Principal Zhang, Ambassadors, Distinguished Guests, Teachers, and Students,
Warm greetings to you all. Today is a day of celebration. You have travelled thousands of miles to gather here with a common goal – reviving the culture of saints and sages, and achieving world peace and stability. As Confucius said, ‘How delightful it is to have friends visiting from afar!’
I am ninety-three now. I have experienced wars and hardship during my life and have long contemplated the solution to achieving lasting peace for human beings. I deeply feel that ‘to establish a country and guide its people, education must be the priority’. Only by reviving sages’ education, which promotes mutual respect and love, can the world embrace a bright future. If this education is discontinued, if we promote that of competition and conflict instead, the world will have to endure endless sufferings. Therefore, the most important task now is to nurture inheritors of sages’ education. But how? By following the traditional method and establishing special integrated schools.
The Chinese have used this method for almost 3,000 years in a unique form of private schools. To restore traditional Chinese culture, we can learn from this and establish schools from kindergarten through tertiary education. What is Sinology? It comprises study in primary school, high school and university level, starting with primary school to focus on learning the fundamentals that teach how to be a good person. At secondary school level, the Four Books and Five Classics are learned and life skills are taught. During tertiary or university education, one learns the principles of governing a country and bringing peace to the world. One can look for a most admired role model from history, focus on study in one discipline for five years and be fully grounded. Even when entering society, one maintains one’s learning. Learning the classical texts help with ‘believing and understanding’, and realizing them through action is ‘practising and testifying’ these teachings. When at work, we practise what we have learned and dedicate it to the society and country. Traditional Chinese education is systematic, with long-term vision. This is the strength of such education. My teacher, Mr Bingnan Li, used this method of teaching. He taught step by step and what he taught was the essence of truth that benefits learners throughout their lives.
It is invaluable that the principal and teachers of Hong Ming School have inherited Mr Li's ideals and compassion. They were determined to realize this experimental-education school eighteen years ago. Establishing a special integrated school and having persevered have resulted in tremendous achievement. The ethos of Hong Ming School is centered on respecting and loving one's parents and teachers, which is fundamental to Chinese culture. The entire Chinese culture originates from this core essence. Education in ancient China was cooperation between parents and teachers. Parents set good examples and taught children how to respect teachers. Teachers set good examples and taught students how to respect and love parents. Actions speak louder than words. Therefore, parents and teachers inwardly should follow Sakyamuni Buddha, eliminating greed, anger, ignorance, arrogance and doubt. Outwardly, they should follow Confucius, being gentle, kind, respectful, thrifty and giving precedence to others. Only by practising what they teach can they succeed in educating children and students. This is the special essence emphasized by Chinese education.
Great Master Yinguang, a famous Pure Land Buddhist patriarch, said, 'One per cent of sincerity and respect reaps one per cent of benefit. A hundred per cent sincerity reaps a hundred per cent benefit.' Without sincerity and respect, we will benefit nothing. Today, there is no respect for teachers. Even if there are good teachers, students gain little. Why? Without respect for their teacher, students cannot absorb what the teacher teaches through examples and words. This is complete destruction of traditional Chinese culture. Why is the world in such chaos? It is because modern education advocates science and technology and has neglected ethics and morality. Therefore, we have to restore traditional culture. Without it, social turmoil will become inevitable. What Hong Ming School has been doing is to restore the respect and love for parents and teachers. Teachers here set good examples for their students, each of whom will become capable individuals who truly love their home and country. Sinology teaches young people how to cultivate themselves, bring order to family, govern a country and bring peace to the world in the practical context of daily and family life. This kind of Sinology works. It works if we learn it.
It is most comforting to see students here with moral integrity and good academic performance. The teachers' hard work and efforts are well worth it. What they have done is to testify to the ancients' educational ideas and to nurture successors of traditional culture. It is truly invaluable. If young people in every country can receive this type of education honouring each respective culture, hope is on the horizon for our world and its future.
Lastly, may Hong Ming School enjoy a prosperous future and persevere in their aspirations. May ambassadors and distinguished guests enjoy a smooth and fruitful visit. May the sages' education spread widely and benefit the whole world.