Friday, August 20, 2010

Stepping-stones to a New Society

The recent editorial in the Peace Weekly wants us to use the problems in our society as stepping-stones to a better future. Differences of opinion are to be expected when people live together, and, as we learn from history, can be the beginning of future progress.

Today, disagreements among members of our society are deep and acute: North and South, rich and poor, young and  old, city and country, and, recently, the  policies of the government.

The Cardinal of Seoul, in his message for the Assumption and Liberation Day, said this discord presents us with an opportunity to reflect on finding ways to help solve our disagreements. The key is to be willing to dialogue and not have personal or group opinions prejudice the way we approach the problems. He mentioned the importance of keeping in mind that it is justice and love that will help get us out of the quagmire we are in.

The Bishop of Taejon. in his message, referred to the words of Gandhi, found inscribed near his grave site:

Wealth without Work
Pleasure without Conscience
Science without Humanity
Knowledge without Character
Politics without Principle
Commerce without Morality
Worship without Sacrifice 

Are the downfall of society.   

Reading these words again, the bishop confessed that they made him somewhat depressed, knowing that they are still part of our reality: no less true today than they were 50 years ago when they were written. Reflecting on these words and making them a part of  our philosophy of life-- like the stepping-stones referred to in the editorial--could very well help avoid Gandhi's "downfall of society" and bring about a better future society for all.

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