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"Great Men", 'Small Men"

An extract from Chapter 10, As Citizen in "THE IDEAL MAN According to Confucius and Christ" by John Peace:

"CONFUCIUS TAUGHT men who wanted to enter government service... Men who would aspire to government service must follow a logical - and, to some degree, chronological - order of preparation: Self-cultivation; fulfillment of domestic obligations; finally, faithful discharge of the duties of their office.

"...The gentleman must be careful in his speech (see the chapter on Self Control: Speech). He must also be careful and cautious in his actions, for actions have consequences (2.18) In all that he does, he will "be conversant with righteousness," unlike the "small man," who is only "conversant with profit" (4.16) He combines integrity with a concern for others: "A distinguished man is one who is upright in substance and loves righteousness, who examines people's words and observes their facial expressions, and who is anxious to remain humble to others." (12.20)

"A gentleman considers righteousness his major principle." (15.18) Confucius knew what this commitment to justice might cost, and commended the man who was willing to pay the price for integrity: A perfect man: "One who, on seeing profit, thinks of righteousness; on seeing danger, is ready to give his life." (14.12) Subsequent Chinese history is filled with stories of thousands of honest Confucian scholars chose to follow this path rather than submit to compromise.

"...Lofty-minded shi (gentlemen) and humane men do not seek to preserve their lives at the expense of humanity; rather, they give their lives to attain humanity." (15.9)

"A scoffer who is rebuked will only hate you; the wise, when rebuked, will love you." -- Proverbs 9:8

IT'S ALMOST two weeks since i had this amazing encounter with a well-known Distinguished Professor from the USA. Over the same period, i had also been posting my feedback on the discussion forum of a government consultation portal regarding a proposal to build an integrated resort with a casino in Sentosa. i just could not help noting and thinking of the differences between "great men" and "small men".

There i was, two Saturdays ago, in the third lap of a three-day workshop. Only mid-way through a Master's program, yet challenging this eminent professor in front of a class of over 30 as well as many teaching staff from the institution. What audacity! We sparred with words, logic, analogies, arguments, counter-arguments... It took some time. After a short tea break, the professor came to speak to me alone.

"You have quite a passion," he commented.

"Yes, it helps to have conviction in whatever we think and do," i answered.

"Have you thought of doing a doctoral program?"

"Yes. Maybe. Not sure."

"Have you thought of coming to the USA to do that?"

"Yes, i wanted to. But i cannot afford it."

"If you come and work with me, the funding can be arranged." The professor continued to explain several types of schemes -- fee waiver, assistantship, and so on. "You can perhaps teach part-time...."

My mind just went ... i knew not what to think. Could only say, "That's fantastic."

A pity this cannot be soon -- Masters not done yet. But how my mind raced forward to the neighbouring state, where JMT is!

by tree#138680 on Fri Dec 10 04 12:02 am | profile


Congrats!! Glad to hear that you're doing so well.

Don't worry about the Masters' at all -- you really don't need one to enter a PhD programme.


Posted by: Estella on Fri Dec 10 04 5:42 pm

Thanks, Estella.

For some reason, the professor did not mention this when i spoke of finishing my Masters first. So, it's unlikely that i'll start a PhD programme without a Masters.

There are also other factors to consider. Among them, to spend some time praying and discerning whether this is what God wants me to do at this point in time. It's a fantastic opportunity, but would other things somehow be more important for me from God's PoV?

Posted by: tree#138680 on Sun Dec 12 04 6:39 am

New Development

"A group of citizens calling itself Families Against The Casino Threat In Singapore (Facts) has gone online, asking people to support a petition that a casino should not be built here. In its request, which is addressed to President S R Nathan, the members have asked him to 'advise the Government to reject any plan to allow a casino in Singapore'."

So far, more than 600 have signed it since its launch last Saturday. :-)

And so far, some proponents for the casino have been behaving with amazing 'maturity'. :-p

Some posted insults on the government feedback portal, accusing those against the idea of being 'narrow-minded', 'close-minded', etc. and of 'hypocrisy of the highest order', 'moralist... b...sh.t'. One (or more) has been entering fictitious names in the online petition at the http://facts.com.sg website, adding nonsense such as "LEE BO LIAO!!!", "Osama bin Ladan", "President Saddam Hussein" and "Gimme a Casino!".

Posted by: tree#138680 on Wed Dec 15 04 2:19 am

Spamming Gamblers

Found out this morning through IP address tracing that approximately five people from the USA and one from Canada had been spamming my website with numerous comments (estimated about 100) that link to dozens of online gambling sites.

Spent some time deleting their comments and banning their IP addresses. How low can some people stoop? ... Don't tell me. i don't want to know the answer.

Posted by: tree#138680 on Sat Dec 18 04 2:50 pm

What else would "small men" do?

Someone attacked the server that hosted my websites about one or two weeks ago, making them disappear into thin air. "DDOS attack," my server guys informed me after resolving the problem partially.

And what else would a "little woman" like me do? Brag every now and then about being recognized by a "great man". :-p

Lord, save me from silly pride!

Posted by: tree#138680 on Tue Jan 25 05 9:40 am

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