Wed, Nov 09, 2005 - Page 8 News List

Letter: Confucius says ...

By David Tzou

This letter is in reference to your editorials "DPP dropping the ball on graft" on Nov. 4 and "Exposing corruption is good for all" on Nov. 8.

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) seems to be in a Murphy's Law period of its governance, when everything that can go wrong will go wrong.

Honesty is the best policy. For damage control, the DPP's leader should tell the truth and tell it all. The absolute unbreakable rule when you're in a bunker is to answer all the big questions as quickly as possible, because if you don't you're never going to kill the story in order to move on.

And it is advisable to take a leaf from Confucius' teaching. Asked by his disciple what he would undertake first when he started ruling the tiny state of Lu more than 2,500 years ago, Confucius replied: "The one thing needed is the rectification of names."

The Great Master explained that if names were incorrect, words would be misused, and when words were misused, nothing could be on a sound footing. Decorum and music, he went on, would languish, law and punishment would not be just, and people would not know where to place hand and foot.

"That is why one cannot be too careful about words and names," he intoned.

Inasmuch as Confucius is concerned, the state of Lu could be called any other way. The name of the state he was going to serve was not important. He said that morality, the value he esteemed most, was the key to social order and precise thinking could help uphold moral correctness.

Leaders from both political camps who love Taiwan are invited to ponder seriously the wise sayings of the Great Master.

David Tzou

Taipei

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