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Education is the Most Fundamental National Defense


The Venerable Master's Philosophy on Education

■   恆是     文     By Heng Shr






I remember that in my childhood, people’s lives were centered around farming. Getting fed and clad was the goal of life people sought after. Although the level of education was pervasively low, everywhere people were seen living in peace, content with what they were doing. Later, with the swift growth of knowledge and the rapid development of science and technology, the children writing on the ground were no longer seen. Instead the talking computer dictionary has taken over. In a world filled with restless children, violent youths, broken and complex families, crime-ridden societies, and countries in which common rights have been suspended, even with the utmost affluence and civilization it is impossible to escape the whirlpool of nightmares. With the bankruptcy of education and the decadence of intellectual culture, fathers do not act like fathers and sons do not act like sons; people shamelessly resort to extreme means to satisfy their own purposes. Even nuclear weapons have lost their power. Social welfare is bogged down in the mire and cannot extricate itself. As the confused multitudes indulge in their desires, their greed is like a wild flood that crashes the life-saving dam. If we fail to deeply understand the grave illness caused by moral decadence and the corruption of virtue, then the end of the world is close at hand. That is what the Master righteously pointed out to people from all over the world at the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in Paris on his European Dharma-propagation tour in 1990:

The mistake we have committed in education is more severe than cancer, more serious than the disasters caused by the atomic bomb! Unwholesome education has invisibly killed our next generation. It has destroyed them, causing them to lose their basic human nature, forget their own souls, and no longer cherish their own lives.

A couple from a background of strict moral discipline feel reassured in sending their five daughters to Instilling Goodness Elementary School and Developing Virtue High School, because they know that the problem of dating among students is nonexistent here. For the past twenty years, the Master has sought to put an end to this bad practice which prevails in the modern world by advocating that male and female students be segregated and that they be taught to respect themselves. He also advised the students that:

Girls should wait until they are twenty before they have boyfriends; and boys should wait until they are twenty-five before they start dating. That way, children will not be harmed. If you start dating too early, you will not be good students or good people. You should all be good people and good students, so that you will be able to do good deeds in the future. If you cut down young grain shoots before they are fully grown, they will just be useless stalks. In the future, if people develop emotional desire at an early age, each generation will be worse than the one before.
Children in this country watch too much television. As a result, they already know about dating by the time they are seven or eight years old. This is extremely harmful! We will not have any capable people in the future, because people will all be muddled.

To prevent children from developing emotional desire too early, boys and girls study separately in the schools founded by the Venerable Master. That way, students can concentrate on their studies and become truly capable people in the future. Here, we must ask: while there are many educators with noble aims, profound principles, and great kindness and patience, how many of them can really shoulder the task of perpetuating the moral virtue of humanity, struggling alone despite the ridicule of people in the world? How many of us have the courage to undertake the Master’s old-fashioned idea? For the Master, that is just the way it should be. He has been crying out despite his fatigue and people’s ridicule, hoping that people will soon wake up from their deluded dreams. From this we can see the Master’s real character, which lies deep under the surface: he is true and sincere in everything he does and only thinks of benefitting all people while totally forgetting about himself!


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