Tutu Sheds a New Light on Taiwan

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					Tutu Sheds a New Light on Taiwan
(The China Post, April 21, 2007) By Li Chen-ching It is heartening to read the invaluable interview of Trista Di Genova with former Anglican Archbishop of South Africa, and Nobel Peace laureate, Desmond Tutu (China Post, April 20, Page 1). Amid the current debate of “transitional justice” that President Chen Shui-bian highlighted in several formal occasions recently, Mr. Tutu has shed new light on us for reconsidering in the rightful perspective of social and political reform. It is strikingly revealing that Mr. Tutu remarked in the interview, “I was impressed that people in this country seems to want to take account of their past. That’s very impressive, because people don’t usually want to do that.” Indeed, the unusual Taiwan phenomenon that Mr. Tutu wondered over will only appear during the heated political election campaign season. Beyond that, our leader will constantly call for “ethnic harmony” for all. The case of commemorating the “228 Incident” is a good example. One remarkable legacy of Archbishop Desmond Tutu that we in Taiwan can learn has been state very clearly on his article, entitled ““The lesson South Africa can teach those haunted by the past.” Reading between the lines, one can readily appreciate the core values of compassion and forgiveness. Mr. Tutu stated in strong terms that the success of South Africa’s transition was due to a miracle – the moral colossus that is Nelson Mandela, whose calm and sagacity, and his status as an icon of forgiveness, compassion, magnanimity and reconciliation, make South Africa the envy of every nation on earth. The core contents of the thought-provoking article that Mr. Tutu proposed should be shared by our politicians, if they are really concerned about the best interest of Taiwan in the 21st century. Taiwan used to be a nation that many countries envied for her “Taiwan Miracle” in a book written by Prof. Thomas Gold of UC Berkeley in 1982. Likewise, Taiwan was once praised as one of the “Four Little Dragons of Asia.” Why is it that the international icon of Taiwan’s society and state has been gradually rescinded at the turn of the century?

Mr. Tutu has given us part of the answer through which we can rejuvenate this country. In the meantime, Mr. Tutu has pinpointed out our own traditional values of forgiveness, compassion, and magnanimity, which have been ripped off from our current society by some shallow and badly educated politicians. As the 2008 presidential election nears, all practices in contrast with the appealing of Mr. Tutu have been on he surface. While politicians are engaged in mud slings amid the election campaign, Mr. Tutu’s precious teaching should be learned to ensure a harmonious society of forgiveness, compassion and reconciliation, through which we Taiwanese can look positively forward, instead of being haunted by the past politically. The sincere advice of Archbishop Desmond Tutu to us is identical with our Taiwanese cultural and ethic values that we have gradually lost. It is suggested that the Ministry of Education adopt the teaching of Mr. Tutu and put it into the instruction of Civic Education in the elementary and secondary schools. For the General Education programs in the colleges and universities, the legacy that Archbishop Desmond Tutu has demonstrated is what we urgently need for helping shape good characters. As a matter of fact, Archbishop Desmond Tutu has reminded us of what we have long ignored, which has been the core of our genuine Taiwanese values. Li Chen-ching Taipei

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