Saturday, January 26, 2008

Culture and Family

Culture (Wen) and family are very important in Confucianism. I thought about the importance of these when I read this quote in the New York Times from the author Tom Perrotta (an old article, not a recent one):

Perrotta: "Speaking as a former teenage guy, the fact that you might someday get lucky was like the only thing getting you through those years. If you take that away I don't know what's left. It was the basic narrative of male adolescence."

Perrotta was expressing surprise that some teenagers today make an effort to be chaste.

A well educated and cultured young person has many sources of inspiration. The base life described by Perrotta is the result of a lack of culture. Culture enriches our lives. Fine music, poetry, good books, stimulating philosophy, and stimulating
conversation enlarge our humanity and expand our vistas.

A strong, loving family grounds a young person emotionally so he or she is not desperately seeking love and becoming misled by sexual passion.

I try hard to be a good parent and I believe the lessons of Kongzi and his students help me be a better father.

I see many applications of Kongzi's lessons in contemporary American life.


The article was "A writer's search for the sex in abstinence"
by Motoko Rich, Sunday Oct. 14, 2007, the Arts & Leisure section.

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