Tuesday, May 6, 2008

于丹 - 论语心得

This is a smiley picture of 于丹 which I found online.

I chanced upon her show on Channel U one day while "Channel Surfing". I was attracted by her body language. I noticed while she was speaking, she gestured with both of her hands simutaneously and it was rare to see someone like that. As if she had talked and used both sides of her brain. Her eyes emitted high intelligence. I was thinking to myself that she was a good speaker while she stared confidently at audience. Five minutes later, I was hooked. She was explaining how Analects of Confusius (论语)are relevant to our modern world. She is 于丹, Associate Professor of Beijing Normal University (北京师范大学).

By chance, she was invited to speak about Analects of Confusius on China's National TV Station. The show was telecasted during the Lunar New Year holidays. For 7 days, she had explained in layman terms what the Confusius' Analects (written in ancient text) was about and how the idealogy could be relevant to the modern world and that it could be the answers on how we can achieve to be a gracious society (if I have not translated correctly, pardon me). The show was widely received and she became famous overnight.

A pity that I didn't manage to catch all of her shows on channel U. Then I was at Popular one day and surprisingly saw her DVD. I regretted that I didn't buy it then and weeks later when I decided to do so, it was sold out ! I panicked. How can it sold out so soon and I hate myself for not buying then. So, she was also famous in Singapore... After searching for it in a few shops, I found it in TS and bought the last copy of 于丹- 论语心得 (:P) and the latest arrival of 于丹-庄子心得.

I know you are yawning now and just couldn't understand what is the hype about her and 论语. How many of us, especially city dwellers are tired of the complicated interpersonal relationships be it with friends, colleagues, parents or even couples etc and how to be a good person? She said, and I find quite true, that a lot of us are physically rich, but spiritually poor. I think because we worked and work took up a lot of our time, we no longer know matters to us and what we really want in life anymore. Worse for me as I am "poor" in both areas.

Just managed to finish some of the DVDs. I find her take on the Analects inspiring, enriching and comforting. The content is simple enough to understand and the analect was break down into smaller parts and further illustrated with many more short stories on how it was relevant and applicable to the modern world. It very much reminds me of my secondary school Chinese lessons which I like a lot. Unlike majority of you, I prefer my Chinese lessons more.

For example, I remembered this story which she read online about porcupines and she believed can explained on how Confusius viewed human relationships.

It was winter and a group of porcupines gathered together for warmth. They faced a dilema. You see they have spikes all over their bodies. When they got too close to each other, they poked each other in all directions which is painful. However, if they got too far away, they felt cold. After a few tries, they learnt that no matter how close they want to be with each other, there should still be some distance between them. This is so that they will not hurt each other.

Professor Yu Dan said the moral of the story applies to all human relationships. No matter how close you are with the others, one should still kept a distance ( she say even husband and wife). When you got too close without any reservation, the more likely you will get hurt by close ones...

There are still many more from idealogy from the video including how to be a better person etc. I will pick out the more interesting ones to share it here. In the meantime, if you feel empty about your life, go look for the DVD, you might be able to fill up your empty soul with it.

*Checking my moral bank account...

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