Confucius: an Educator, an Entrepreneur, the Father of Professionalism, and a Great Soul of Humanity
Boston Museum of Fine Arts has one of the most invaluable treasures from China, a calligraphy plaque from Wu Changshuo (1844-1927). It is priceless not only because Wu Changshuo is one of the greatest, if not THE greatest, Chinese artists who represents the crown of the traditional Chinese arts but also because it is a gift that Wu Changshuo specifically crafted and dedicated to the Museum, testifying to the long-lasting goodwill between Boston and China and to the very shared humanity between the two civilizations. In its side inscription, Wu Changshuo had summarized the gem of Chinese civilization in four Chinese characters: 仁义道德 (Ren, Yi, Dao, and De), which he believed were shared values between the two nations.
仁义道德 (Ren, Yi, Dao, and De) are the very quintessence of Confucianism. Yet, the denotations of these concepts remain poorly defined from a standard of academic rigor, just as many ideas that are ascribed to Confucius. Such a status quo renders Confucius and his thoughts extremely vulnerable to exploitation and abuse by Chinese rulers domestically and to misreading and critiques by international communities globally.
Although a scientist by training, Dr. Gang Xu grew up in Quzhou City in China, one of the two sacred places for Confucius. In his youth he was deeply instilled with traditional Chinese literature and arts. He was a published artist in Chinese seal carving or Zhuanke, a form of traditional art that explores the rhythm and composition of early Chinese characters. Dr. Gang Xu’s background bestows on him a unique combination of skills, training and perspective that allow him to critically examine early Chinese history in an evidence-based approach.
On this website, Dr. Gang Xu released his studies on Confucius and some core notions of Chinese philosophy, which were conceived more than a decade ago. In his research, he identifies Confucius as the father of professionalism. Ren 仁, probably the single most important notion or character in Chinese civilization and the founding value of Confucianism, originally denotes a practice of human sacrifice and martyrdom. Confucius transformed it to the concept of "empathy," a cornerstone of modern professionalism. Professionalism is not just about manners and attitudes. It is also a humanity. It raises up individuals with a sense of grace and purpose. It is a value that different societies or different people within the same society could share with, regardless of their ideologies or partisan affiliations. Dr. Xu projects that professionalism would serve as a common ground for China to merge with the rest of the world in the future.
Dr. Xu has registered a service mark for a nonprofit organization: Boston Society of Confucius. He hopes to develop the Society into a community-orientated organization that promotes the practice of Confucius's true teachings and humanity. Click here to read its Mission Statement.
Be Apprenticed to Antiques 与古为徒
A plaque specifically dedicated to Boston
Museum of Fine Arts by Wu Changshuo in 1912.
Is Senator Elizabeth Warren a Confucian?
In her reelection campaign, Senator Warren on 10/11/2018 twittered to mobilize her female supporters to “fight like a girl”. Her phrasing technique was exactly the same as Confucius’. In response to a question on government from a Duke, Confucius submitted that “The ruler acts like a ruler, the subject a subject, the father a father, and the son a son,” leaving the expectations or standards for “being like” undefined.
May 14, 2019
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