Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Fooled by Confucius

Never have I thought the roots of confucianism was so deeply embeded in my way of life and thinking. Maybe I was wrong, maybe I did not realise this soon enough, maybe it was just a way of life that I got so used to growing up.

One cannot deny that humaneness(仁) is a central theme of confucianism, using "a" as what the central theme actually is is still open to interpretation of many. Being humane means to be able to consider ones actions as to not cause harm to others. This reminds me of an anecdote I heard when I was young.
If somebody slaps you in the left cheek, what would you do? Jesus would ask you to turn the other cheek around so your right cheek will get the same equal treatment. In current standards, that would probably wage a war, let alone allowing the opposition to give you another slap.

What if?

What if you are the one slapping instead of being slapped, lets say by accident (just because you believe in confucianism) ?

Do you wait for retaliation (in which you are inviting the opposition to break his believe in confucianism)?

Do you slap him in the right cheek (in which you break your believe)?

Do you apologize profusely or just walk away quietly? (which I believe should be the best solution but again is up for interpretation)

Putting this in a political context, a ruler who acts inhumanely will lose their mandate to rule. If confucius is right, then those who attack oppositions or those inviting oppositions to retaliate should already lose this mandate.

Then again, only time will tell if confucius is right, or was I fooled by confucius?