The Introduction and Contribution of Cultural Exchanges in Modern Times
Honored guests, Directors and delegates of World Citizen Center, Ladies and Gentlemen, Good evening!
Tai Ji Men is an ancient menpai (similar to school) of Qigong martial arts and the philosophy of yin and yang. This philosophy has been passed down from generation to generation for over five thousand years. Tai Ji Men has inherited and preserved thousands of years of ancestral wisdom with the goal of promoting physical, mental and spiritual health, advocating messages of love and peace and striving for world peace and the betterment of all people. As the Zhang-men-ren (similar to leader) of Tai Ji Men, I have been given the responsibility of preserving and perpetuating this ancient wisdom. I also hold the positions of Honorary Vice Chairman and advisory committee member for the Association of World Citizens and am also the president of the Federation of World Peace and Love. Today I would like to share with you a speech entitled “The introduction and contribution of cultural exchanges in modern times.”
The form of international interactions has undergone many changes over the centuries. Cultural exchange forms the best bridge between different cultures. A better understanding of different cultural backgrounds allows us to understand the motivations and desires of members of those cultures which in turn promotes mutually beneficial interactions. The principles of Tai Ji Men are common to all ancient cultures. As the zhang-men-ren of Tai Ji Men, it is my duty and responsibility to preserve and perpetuate the Qigong, martial arts, culture and wisdom of Tai Ji Men. Through my responsibility to Tai Ji Men, I understand the importance and necessity of promoting cultural exchanges.
With all the tribulation in the world I have come here to promote my grand wish of spreading peace and love throughout the world by promoting cultural awareness and understanding. I have dedicated my life to this task, for the last 40 years I have worked to promote cultural awareness throughout the world. I have led the Cultural Goodwill Group of Love and Peace to dozens of countries on 5 continents. Through our cultural exchanges, we have seen first hand that conflict cannot exist without differentiation in the heart. By broadening our vision to become receptive to unconditional acceptance of others, we can touch each others souls and create the realization of a united world. We must learn to respect and appreciate the differences in cultures and through sincerity, passion and cultural dancing in cultural exchanges, we can spread the understanding that we are all of one world.
Modern cultural exchange is an indispensable international activity. Through cultural exchanges, we can learn the goodness of every culture, including its history and the way the members of the culture interact. By opening up our hearts we can develop acceptance of others and work towards creating a thriving world community. The world already has too much unhappiness, violence and hatred. We need to open up our hearts to the beauty that is in the world, by helping others and sharing this happiness with others, we can help peace, kindness and conscientiousness prevail throughout the world.
A closed heart is like a prison where no sunlight will shine, open interaction is the key to this prison. The heart is difficult to be changed or cleansed, but the easiest to be influenced. Our objective is to help people’s hearts become healthier. When our hearts become healthier, our attitude towards all living things improves. In the recent decade, our intercultural relationships have changed a lot, Tai Ji Men has won international support and acceptance and its philosophy of love and peace has been embraced by many countries. Moving forward, we need to absorb each culture’s advantages, blending them into a new world culture that emphasizes a new philosophy of life and interpersonal relationships.
Listening to a song, going to a movie, or watching an opera could be the culmination of different souls meeting. Some basic imperatives exist in cultural exchanges that every country should observe, they are: respect, acceptance, smiles, appreciation, encouragement, cultural fusion, friendliness, learning goodness from others and freeing your heart. The world will be a more positive and brighter place if we simply follow these imperatives. Friendships between countries can be enhanced if non-governmental organizations involve themselves in cultural exchange. The positive impact will be like an air current that freely travels between countries irrespective of political boundaries and bring with it positive development.
In June we participated in an European cultural exchange that was co-hosted with “the association international of voluntary service musical missionary Pope John Paul II.” The chairperson of the organization Raffaella, said that “Love of the World” is the most touching song she has ever heard and that it helped reinforce the similarities of our cultures, as she realized that the principles of a world without war, pain or misery is a universal ideal. At the same event, a soprano from Rome was so touched by the song that she sang a portion of an opera as an universal expression of how the song touched her heart. The same soprano believes that music is a gift from god, so she has sung since her early childhood to spread the voice of god.
Why is the cultural heritage of Tai Ji Men so touching? It is because the music delivers peaceful energy generated by a pure heart and touches the aspirations deep in people’s hearts. The state of world peace is described in three songs by Tai Ji Men. “Love the world”, “We are one world”, and “What a bright world”. We hope that by hearing these songs, you will be touched in a manner experienced by music conductor Raffaella. Tai Ji Men communicates with world leaders with the same purity and genuineness. That is why Mayor William of Washington DC recognized Tai Ji Men as the International Ambassador of goodwill and peace.
There is a Chinese proverb that states “the believer will be blessed, the practitioner will be rewarded”. We can all have a pure and clean heart and if we commit ourselves to the world, we can create a world of peace for all mankind. Let us pay attention to the heritage and exchange of fine cultures and share with our hearts, love and peace.