Unification Sermons and Talks
by Reverend Zin Moon Kim
Education and Modern Western Liberalism
Zin Moon Kim
Education, to raise man to become a true man.
Both the East and the West systems of education, apart from education in the home, have started from religions. Up until now in the western world, many churches and schools were established together within one boundary, and the church leader was usually the school master. Likewise in the eastern world schools were usually founded on Buddhist or Confucianist bases. This is because the purpose of religion is to teach human beings the fundamental morality and ethics, centering on responsibility, for them to be restored as "original man." Therefore, education means basically to let the fallen person in the fallen world know his problems and take a righteous way of life to become an original person.
Scholars say that the human left brain can grow by the study of external, logical natural science and the right brain by morality, ethics and religion. Therefore, education must promote the balanced growth of both sides of the brain in order for human life to be happy.
Human beings are composed of mind and body. These two need and depend on each other absolutely. The mind is initiative but the body is receptive. For example, the mind says to the body: "Let's go to the office!" Then the body responds to the mind: "Yes!"
Therefore, we should pursue the balanced growth of the mind and the body. The body needs food, shelter, clothing and sex, but the mind needs truth, beauty, goodness and love. Therefore, education must provide for both, but today's education is geared almost exclusively for the sake of the body. Therefore we will create a bad society for our "cute kids." This means we are bad parents.
All things and affairs have quality and quantity (1), universal commonality (greater) and individuality (lesser) (2), verticality and horizontally (3). As an example of (1): When Thomas Edison was a young child, he asserted "1+1=1", then his teacher unhappily asked him, "Why?" Tom showed two wet lumps of clay: one lump per hand. "Look!" Tom said. He made one lump of clay with the other one into "one" bigger lump. Then he said to his teacher, "Is it two or one?" The teacher became dumb. The quantity of the clay became bigger ( by two), but quality of the clay is one. As an example of (2): Please compare you with me. Then we can understand easily that we have so many common factors, physically and mentally. But how about our individuality? Just a small amount of difference. An example of (3): The relationships of human beings to God and parent are vertical, but that of wife to husband (and vice versa) is horizontal. It means we must first accustom ourselves to the vertical tradition, on the foundation of which we need to develop the horizontal tradition.
Well, unfortunately, we fallen people usually ignore or make light of the quality, commonality and verticality in all the fields of human life. From here, all kinds of human problem are continually occurring in our family and society. We as educators, I think, must take responsibility to solve these problems through good curriculum in the educational institutions, and we must understand and practice the Divine Principle to be good educators.
Curriculum must be centered on the greater universal commonality, not on the lesser individuality.
As mentioned above, human commonality is greater than human individuality. To develop commonality we must raise human beings by ethics, morality and religion. On the foundation of commonality, we can raise their individuality by logic and the natural sciences. Therefore there must be two kinds of contents in a good curriculum: Moral and ethical education and logical and scientific education.
Both must be taught to people through all the periods of education, even though their ratio is different. Particularly, we as educators must desperately try to find the ideology through religions, because historically religions started education and because they teach the fundamentals. Without an absolute ideology, education is a waste of time/space and effort/matters.
Today's western democratic education promotes the growth of only the left brain.
Today, so many students think that they study in order to make big money, because most systems of education emphasize money-making curriculums. In other words, the educational system has been gradually changed into a system to help students make money.
Therefore, the higher education one has received, the more paralyzed right brain one has, so the more paralyzed a human nature one has. Therefore, many kinds of unusual human situations come out. For example, if a strange guy from Manhattan has killed someone, he must be given a serious punishment; but if a highly educated president started a war and killed a thousand people, he surely will be given a glittering gold medal. It means that killing one person is a crime, but killing one thousand is a great accomplishment. Even God can't take a person's life; then how can one human kill another whatever the reason be! Who caused the strange guy to kill someone? It is a serious, mandatory question, to which people should but usually do not give so much concern. Crime comes mostly from the mistakes of the family, school, religion and government. Then why do we punish only the strange guy? Why do we not punish the leaders of the family, school, religion and government?
The crime committed by the strange guy is our crime; that is, we are the criminals. The strange guy is just an agent of ourselves. Unless we think and act like this, there will always be this type of "strange guy." Therefore, we, all of us, must absolutely try to understand and practice the God-centered ideology (Divine Principle) in our daily life.
On the other hand, most of the untoward incidents in our society are caused by the democratic system of education which practices a very liberal, irresponsible and let-alone style. If the money-making government minister (body, money) has a higher position than the educational one (mind, ideology) in the country, social chaos and insecurity are always there. I think sometimes that when a man graduates from college, goes back to his home and looks up his parents, his father's face will look like a one hundred dollar bill, and his mother's a fifty dollar bill! Because, generally speaking, school is teaching how to make money, directly or indirectly, then people are cheating each other, fighting each other and killing each other for money. The possession of money is necessary but this is not sufficient for human happiness
Education, to raise man to accomplish his responsibility
All kinds of Holy Scriptures emphasize, unanimously and especially, for human beings to fulfill their responsibility through the expressions of "you must do" and "you must not do." Human beings' first responsibility as expressed in the Bible (the first half of Gen. 2:17) was "Don't eat the fruit." By the way, what about today's education? It is too much more "open and free" than responsible, because of individualism based on democracy.
Then why were all the Holy Scriptures written centering on "responsibility?" Religion teaches "the fundamentals"; that is, how to accomplish human responsibility according to God's will in order for human beings to become perfect. This teaching includes the tenet that after having fulfilled responsibility freedom will automatically come. This is because the happiness of human beings is connected absolutely with freedom.
And the same biblical passage (the second half of Gen. 2:17) says: "if you eat it, on that day you shall die." This means responsibility is more important than life. Freedom not based on responsibility is licentiousness. Today's democracy declines into individualism and results in the mass production of "licentious human beings," which results in all kinds of social crime.
Education must center on responsibility, not on freedom. Freedom must be based on responsibility, then freedom can have an active life.
Education, to develop patience in human beings.
To accomplish responsibility, we need patience. Therefore, education must teach students to be patient. Because today's democracy encourages individualism, people become not too seriously concerned with the public purpose or goal, and in turn they become impatient. The result is that the educational system in this society results in the mass production of those who are too weak to resist the temptation of drugs, alcohol, tobacco, illicit sex, etc., those who laugh easily or become angry easily, and those who are not prudent and sincere. Therefore, they wear strange clothes exposing much of their skin to sunshine and wind, which is very harmful for the health of the skin; and they sing songs and dance with twisted, strange, wild action, which also is not so good for the health. Individualism makes people like this. It also make people into those who are apt to ignore others because of selfishness, thus causing people to fight easily with each other. Individualism is a specialized part of universalism. Therefore, it can only work based and centered on universalism.
All of these unexpected problems are caused by the weakness of a system of education which can't teach people to be patient.
Education, to raise human beings' ability to reason.
From the Biblical viewpoint (Gen 1:28), education must, first of all, perfect the human personality for their happiness. (It mentions secondly the perfection of the family (organization), and thirdly the perfection of dominion. These two can be accomplished by the first one.)
For the perfection of their personality, through education human beings must perfect their ability to reason so that they may be able to accomplish their responsibility. Simply speaking, what is the difference between man and animal? Man has the ability to reason, which animals do not have. Reason is the harmonious union of freedom and laws.
The earlier we start to promote through education the growth of a child's ability to reason, the better. The ability to reason can grow through accomplishing responsibility.
Generally speaking, the oriental system of education emphasizes responsibility more than the occidental one, in which freedom is emphasized more than responsibility. If human reason grows slowly, the human spiritual age grows slowly. Therefore, the "free and let-alone" system of education blocks human spiritual growth and encourages human external growth, so that there can be a very big gap between physical and spiritual growth. This imbalance then results in so many kinds of social problems. It also influences even the economic area of human life in terms of a low quality of production.
Generally, westerners are able to analyze very well but are not so good at synthesis. For example, if a leader gives a member many missions at one time, the western member is more upset or confused than the oriental member. As a result of democratic freedom-centered education, peoples' reason grows slowly.
Therefore, we must emphasize responsibility in the education of children at home from the time a baby is able to walk alone.
Education has an absolute relation with the educator's way of life.
Until the world wars, educators have had the "taste" of a wise or holy man. But today, it is very difficult to feel this. Natural scientific development alone cannot bring about an ideal world for human beings. Due to the wrong education today, only our left brains have developed. Therefore, we have become cripples, and are living in the confusion of a money-centered society.
In the family, the school and the society today, the wrong idea and system of education are being practiced. Parents, leaders and teachers all have both the wrong ideas and wrong behavior as educators. If the educator leads a life centered on money, that is, materialism, what will students learn from them? The answer is very clear. If parents at home lead money-centered lives, if many kinds of social organizations including governmental ones act for money- oriented goals, if teachers are motivated based on their salaries, and if school curriculums is vocation-centered, how can we raise good people who will lead this world into the ideal world? What is worse, there is a rumor that there are two very arrogant groups of people--university professors and church ministers--from which how can we expect good people and good society to come? An educator must, by all means, lead an honorable, poor life, humble life and sacrificial life of service.
The basic education of children must begin from a young age in the home.
"Spare the rod, spoil the child" -- Western proverb
"If you love your child use the rod, but if you dislike your child give food -- Korean proverb
"Lightning, earthquake, fire-accident and father are fearful" -- Japanese proverb
"Habit acquired by age 3 lasts until 80 years of age" -- Korean proverb
Because of these kinds of proverbs, these countries produced many good people in past times. But today's democratic education usually denies these golden words; instead, it may think that they are primitive and barbarous ideas.
A child's education very much influences the child's future. Especially the child's education at home before elementary school is really important. The greater part of a child's education comes from its "mother," because it is to her that the young child (baby) is most attached. Today most mothers don't educate young children to be responsible, but just give freedom to them, so that so many kinds of problems of juvenile delinquency are occurring here and there.
A young child from the time of starting to walk alone must learn one by one what he should do and what he should not do (teach first what is easier for him to learn). Usually it will be taught by his mother. For example, to neatly arrange shoes in front of the door, to put away toys which he has played with before going to bed, and to greet elders, etc. If a mother's soft advice for him to be a good boy is denied by the child, she must scold him. If this also doesn't work, she must spank him. The earlier you start to educate your child, the softer the method which will work. The later you start, the stricter the method you will need. A child of two or three will follow mother with the maximum of a scolding; but if he is already over five years old and has not yet learned responsibility, as a mother you have almost failed in the education of your child.
What is worse, most mothers give freedom to their children before elementary school and then, beginning from elementary school, usually try to restrain their freedom. This is a completely upside-down idea, through which we have created so many unhappy and problem children.
There is another problem regarding the strict education of children. In America, many states have strange law which strictly rule that the strong scolding and spanking of children is illegal and is child abuse. We can positively understand this law for problem parents -- drug addicts, drunkards, in some cases step-parents, etc. But there are no such conditions stated in these laws so that it is applied to good parents' education as well. If you are convicted of child abuse, the government will take your kids. To recover them, The legal process you will have to go through will surely be a suffering course.
In such a society, we cannot educate children as responsible and patient human beings and cannot raise children with the ability to reason. Children will just become people of instinct. like animals. From here, all kinds of family, social, national and world problems occur. Therefore, if a mother gives good advice but her child doesn't like to accept it, and then she just let him do as he likes, the child becomes an animal, which the mother absolutely doesn't want. Therefore, please educate your children strictly. If you spare spanking, you will spoil your cute child; if you love your child, you must spank him or her. Otherwise the child's habit which he had at three years of age will last until he is eighty years old.
So, to summarize, we must raise responsible and patient children centering on Divine Principle, and become the true parents, true teachers and true masters to bring happiness to God and others and to establish the Heavenly Kingdom, in which everyone can lead a happy life.
For this goal, we must lead an exemplary life as parents, and as teachers.
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