DEAR CONFUCIUS (Q & A)



"Confucianism is a code of conduct that constitutes the most important single force in traditional Chinese life. It is a guide to morality and good government and to sincerity in personal life and public conduct. Confucius' teachings and journeys were collected in a book called the Analects of Confucius. The sage's two most important concepts were Li and Jen. Li can be translated as rites, ceremony, or etiquette. Jen means benevolence or kindness. It stresses the virtues of self-discipline and generosity. Be strict with yourself, but be benevolent towards others. Confucius believed that if mankind practiced Li and Jen, then all social discord would be replaced with order."

So much for preaching, the resources of our community may be available to answer your questions regarding any relevant topic. As a general disclaimer, your reliance on any information provided in this forum is at your own risk.

* * * * *

Questions may be e-mailed on the internet to robinlow@juno.com or through the San Diego Magazine OnLine address. Questions will be answered as time permits.

DEAR CONFUCIUS:

A lot of people believe that Confucius was sexist, but I think it was just because of the period he was in and that he was in China. I don't think that Confucius was that sexist, but how do I prove that to other people?

Sincerely, Erica Rowland

HONORABLE ERICA:

We are a product of our time. One would truly be a god to speak with wisdom for all eternity.

China in the time of Confucius, around 500 B.C., was not that different from other class structured civilizations. However, in many ways it was far superior in science, social order, government, arts, and culture. Confucius' teaching of respect for education, family, and elders was the foundation for countless generations of the Chinese people.

In our legal system, those who make an accusation have the burden to prove it. Ask those who speak ill of Confucius to prove their case. They can not, because there are no writings of Confucius in existence. What you have read or heard were the hearsay writings by others. Since, you probably don't read the ancient Chinese writing styles, you were at the mercy of someone's translation of what they thought the words meant.

Ask yourself, how will someone two thousand five hundred years in the future, translate some of the terms that you use in school today. I bet your parents could not translate the meaning of some of those words. Therefore, this alleged evidence against Confucius lacks credibility for accuracy.

Do you really know what Jesus, the Christ, said or done? No. The Bible was not written by Jesus. In fact, it was written by men, exclusively, and many generations after his death. And, there are many versions of the Bible. One could ask the same question, was Jesus sexist?

The whole civil rights movement for women started probably within the time of your grandparents' youth. But even today, as a female you have not yet arrived as a true equal to a male in our enlightened United States of America.

"Go seek knowledge, for it is within the journey that you may learn wisdom."

AT YOUR SERVICE, CONFUCIUS

* * * * *

DEAR CONFUCIUS:

Who is considered the father of Chinatown in San Diego? Does he have any descendants still living in San Diego?

Cyndie Soo (Quin)

HONORABLE CYNDIE:

CONFUCIUS thinks that you must be a descendant of Mr. Hom Ah Quin. He was probably the best known and most respected Chinese person in San Diego over 100 years ago. Many of his descendants are still in San Diego.

Mr. Quin or is it really Mr. Hom, (Chinese surnames come first) was born in China. He came to San Diego by way of Alaska, San Francisco, and Santa Barbara. He was a friend of George Marston, a wealthy businessman and community leader in San Diego in the mid to late 1800's. Mr. Quin was a self made man. He worked hard and saved every penny.

Since he could speak English as well as Chinese (Cantonese), he was recruited to bring Chinese laborers to San Diego to work on the local railroads and in the fishing industry. He and his family operated a grocery store for many years. If you are ever in San Diego, the orginal Chinatown area is located between Third and Fifth Street, south of Market Street, Downtown San Diego. (Check the other pages on this Chinese Community site for recent developments.)

Mr. Quin kept diaries of his time. The Chinese Historical Society of San Diego may be able to arrange for you to view the diaries when you visit San Diego.

AT YOUR SERVICE, CONFUCIUS

* * * * *


|| Calendar of Events || Chinese Holidays || Events Pictorial || Community News || Personalities ||
|| Sites and Scenes || Ancestral Home || Culinary Delights || Arts and Culture || Ancient Melodies ||
|| Chinese Historical Museum || Chinese History in the U.S. || Chinese Resource Listing ||
|| Political Forum || Dear Confucius (Q & A) || Other Web Sites ||

  Chinese Community Homepage                 Editor : Robin Low

The Noblest Motive is the Public Good !

San Diego Magazine Homepage