Celebrating the International Day of Non-Violence
Achieving Justice with Conscience: Protecting Human Rights with Love
Dr. Hong, Tao-Tze
President of Federation of World Peace and Love
Vice-President of Association of World Citizens
Zhang-men-ren of Tai Ji Men
Oct. 2, 2021
Heaven, Earth, humans, and all other things are interconnected. It is by serendipity that we gather online today. I would like to thank you for joining us in celebrating the International Day of Non-Violence during the global pandemic.
In 2007, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution designating October 2, the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, as the International Day of Non-Violence, to honor Mr. Gandhi's lifelong belief that "only fair means can produce fair results" in leading India to independence and inspiring the rest of the world to fight for civil rights through non-violent movements. Mr. Gandhi's compassion is admirable, but it is his humanitarian ideas that we admire even more. Many victims were persecuted by those in power, but they stood up to the authorities to uphold justice and truth. This is also founded on their humanist beliefs. We've even seen many people who have decided to stand with those who are suffering after being persecuted by their country's dysfunctional legal and tax system. They also seek to utilize their suffering to awaken the conscience of bureaucrats, reform the present problematic system, and return the country to the right track, where policies are people-oriented, law-based, and human rights-based, and social stability is maintained.
Given that governmental authorities continue to violate freedom of belief through criminal law and taxation in countries all over the world, it is all the more important for us to follow the example of Mr. Gandhi's humanism and compassion on this day. We hope to help victims of tax disasters and religious persecution end their suffering and prevent human rights violations by public powers. We also hope that problematic systems of all nations will be truly reformed, and that only through unity and mutual support will we be able to make those in power pay attention to these issues, realize justice, and protect human rights.
In light of the world's suffering, I founded the Federation of World Peace and Love in the hopes that the power of love and peace will inspire peace-loving individuals all around the world to act with conscience, respect human rights, and practice nonviolence. Over the years, FOWPAL volunteers and I have traveled the world spreading the message of love and peace, inspiring goodwill and positive thoughts, fostering a culture of conscience and human rights education, and winning the support of scholars, human rights experts, and people from all walks of life. In the process of upholding justice, we have built precious friendships with like-minded people because we share common beliefs, have love in our hearts, pursue justice and peace, and follow the guidance of our conscience. We truly cherish and are thankful for such friendships. We sincerely hope that people can transcend the barriers of nationality, religion, language, race, and culture with selfless hearts and return to the ideal world of oneness.
"Love" is a precious asset of our souls and a driving force for humanity’s continued existence. It is also a basic element of human rights. We must promote human rights and overcome all difficulties to implement them, so that this universal value can become the highest standard for government governance and enjoyed by everyone. The International Day of Non-Violence is observed not only to call for cease-fires between countries, but in a deeper sense to encourage people of all races and nations to foster love and tolerance, respect human rights, and promote human dignity. In addition to preventing the violence of war, those in power must be reminded to protect human rights and refrain from using public power to violate people's freedom. No one is perfect, and everyone makes mistakes. It is necessary to begin reforming from the inside out. We urge officials who have broken the law, abused their power, or violated the human rights of others to come to their senses as quickly as possible, return to the right path, and bravely face and correct their mistakes.
Regardless of the trials and tribulations they endure, the wise remain fearless and never compromise their original good intentions. They will follow their conscience and do what they are required to do to make things right, maintain global peace, and benefit world citizens out of their love for humanity. The world is constantly changing. We need to listen to the call of our conscience so as to march towards the right path and solve our living crisis. We hope that global citizens will begin by improving themselves and do good deeds to accumulate virtues that will benefit them and future generations, and that governments will implement conscience-driven policies, defend human rights, and achieve sustainability.
May we all have love in our hearts and may our conscience stay active forever.
*Presented at the ICDAY’s virtual event in support of UN International Day of Non-Violence