CGTN: Cultural solutions to world challenges

BEIJING, Nov. 8, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The world is going through rapid changes and is grappling with challenges unseen in a century. Many people can’t help but ask: Could the world be a better place? CGTN’s Tian Wei, as a journalist and a cultural communicator, shares her unique insights in this 10-minute China Talk.

Tian says that from 800 BC to 200 BC, the world’s major civilizations produced some of the most brilliant thinkers: Confucius, Laozi, Zhuangzi, Xunzi, and Hanfeizi in China; Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle in Greece; Jewish prophets Isaiah, and Zoroaster from Persia; and there was Buddha from ancient India. They laid the philosophical bedrock for all mankind and provided some best references people can go to for the answers. 

But today, Tian makes the point that with the West-dominated narratives and perspectives, good answers are beyond reach.

In her opinion, there is an obvious deficit of information in history and cultures, with way too limited scope. For example, in 2013, Time Magazine, well known for churning out the most influential person of the year, put out a list on “100 most significant in history.” No one from Asia made it to the list. This clearly shows that some contemporary global values reflect a much-limited part of humanity’s past. How can people solve challenges facing all humanity, if they are only limited to the inspiration and wisdom from some parts of the world? 

Tian says the deficit of information and the loss of a diversity of narratives lead to even bigger problems of lack of self-awareness and self-esteem in ones’ own culture. Take Confucianism as an example. This school of thought emphasizes correctness of social relationships, justice, kindness, and sincerity. It teaches that a ruler should govern by virtue, not by force, with a complete system established to constrain imperial power. With a practical philosophy focusing on the relationship between individual and society, Confucianism found its way deep into the hearts of people.

Tian says self-discovery, self-awareness and self-esteem of one’s own cultures are not only important for these people, it is a great service to all, as people need to bring the utmost creativity and diversity to deal with the challenges facing today. (end)