Commentary: To All the Parents in the World

Zhou Zheng

PureInsight | July 11, 2005

[] June 1 is the Children's Day in many countries. It is not only a children's holiday but also a holiday that parents enjoy and celebrate. Parents always want to give the best to their children.

What exactly will be the best for our children?

It is the parents' responsibility to provide their children food, clothing and a loving home. More importantly, parents must also help their children learn to make a living independently in society because their parents will not always be around.

My mother once told me a story when I was little: Once upon a time there was a bandit in China who committed numerous robberies. Eventually he was brought to justice and sentenced to death. Before the execution, he had one final wish to be nursed by his mother one last time. The judge granted his wish. When his mother opened her robe and was about to nurse him, the bandit bit hard on her nipple. His mother was shocked and asked her son why he wanted to hurt his own mother before his death. The bandit answered with tears, "When I took advantage of a man for the first time when I was little, you did not reprimand me. Instead, you praised me and told me I was smart. When I stole for the first time and brought the stolen item home, you did not reprimand me either. Instead, you praised me and called it an act of filial piety. You are the reason why I have become a lawless bandit who is about to be executed. Why are you not praising me now? If you had not spoiled me and if you had disciplined me whenever you caught me doing a bad deed, I would not face the guillotine today!"

A parent may not be truly good to his children if he only satisfies their material needs. A true good parent gives his child a moral education. The ancient Chinese people said, "It is a father's fault if he raises a child but does not teach him to tell good from wrong. A teacher is lazy if he fails to strongly discipline his students." A child is like a clean sheet of paper subject to good and bad influences. A parent's speech and actions are forma of education for his child. It is a parent's duty to give his child a good education. If a parent fails in his duty, it will be too late to regret once the child grows up.

There is a Chinese idiom, "It takes ten years to grow a tree. It takes one hundred years to educate a man." Each person matures at a different pace, but a person's education prior to his adulthood generally has the most effect on his character. During the Great Cultural Revolution in Mainland China, young people who were "Red Guards" were taught that lynching people who were "enemies" of the revolution of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) was a right thing to do. The effect of the CCP's twisted education has created severe, irreversible problems in China. These severe socials problems have become a clear and present danger to China.

No one believes that parents would want to expose their children to violence, lies and all sorts of other bad notions. But what must a parent do to create a positive environment for his child in today's chaotic society?

Mr. Li Hongzhi said, "[…] if a person accepts the kind, traditional thoughts of mankind that have prevailed for thousands of years, believes in proper human behavior and standards, and is filled with all good things, what will this person's conduct be like? Whether or not this person shows it, he is genuinely a good person." (From "Melt into the Fa" in Essentials for Further Advancement. )

It is becoming increasingly difficult to find kindness and sincerity in today's children. If a child is able to tell right from wrong, tell kindness from evil, and tell the truth from lies, he will be able to make good and wise choices. If those "Red Guards" in the Great Cultural Revolution had been taught traditional moral values, they would not have lost themselves or committed so many crimes at such a tender age. If today's Chinese children are taught to be sincere, kind and forgiving, we wouldn't need to worry about the possibility of their making bad choices and going astray in their life. This is because the children will be impervious to peer pressure to do bad things once they learn to tell right from wrong.

In order to teach our children to tell right from wrong, parents need to know how to tell right from wrong first. Otherwise, the parents will be like the bandit's mother, who encouraged her son to commit crimes and thought she was giving him a good education.

It is easier said than done. For example, many Chinese people don't know much about Falun Gong, but they tell their children that Falun Gong is bad after they receive such information from China's TV and newspaper's hate propaganda against Falun Gong. Some schools in China have even organized the whole school of children to criticize and condemn Falun Gong. Children are taught to believe their parents and schoolteachers, so they oblige heartily. As parents, we really should ask ourselves: "Have we done the right thing? Aren't we supposed to find out about Falun Gong from different sources so as to prevent our children from making the same horrible mistake as those Red Guards in the Great Cultural Revolution?

Since Falun Gong was introduced to the public in China in 1992, it quickly became famous for its miraculous power in improving its students' physical and mental health within seven years. It received many proclamations from China's local and central governments. However, when Jiang Zemin and the CCP announced its decision to ban and persecute Falun Gong in 1999, the entire nation suddenly reversed their good opinion of Falun Gong and hurried to lynch Falun Gong. Doesn't anyone find this peculiar?

The whole thing appears to start with the unlawful arrest of Falun Gong practitioners in Tianjin in 1999. When other practitioners in Tianjin went to the Tianjin police to clarify the truth about Falun Gong and ask for the release of these practitioners, they were told to settle the issue with Beijing's State Appeals Office. However, when Falun Gong practitioners followed Tianjin police's advice to present the case to Beijing's State Appeals Office, the CCP said they were mounting a siege of Zhongnanhai, the location of the Chinese Central government, and used it as an excuse to justify the government's subsequent persecution of Falun Gong practitioners. The CCP took the opportunity to vilify Falun Gong with all its might. It has even gone to the lengths of staging a self-immolation act at Tiananmen Square and planting a major homicide on Falun Gong. If we should blindly believe the CCP's hate propaganda and help the CCP condemn Falun Gong, what will we tell our children when the truth turns out to be the opposite to what the CCP had claimed?

I really believe that Falun Gong's principles of Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance happen to represent China's traditional values and culture. When the CCP attacks Falun Gong's principles, it is also attacking the mankind's most fundamental morality. If we allow the CCP to continue with its attack, what will become of our society and what type of environment will our children be living in? What moral values will be left for our children to guide their life?

We might not be able to stop those who have ulterior motive to invert the truth out of jealousy or for their political agenda, but we parents must be responsible for our children.

When our children grow up and look back at this period of time, I believe that they will thank us for preventing them from blindly following the CCP and for giving them a good, moral education. It is the greatest satisfaction of a parent not to have any regrets from raising his child.

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