All conflicts, be they political, religious or racial must be resolved WITHOUT violence.
To quote some verses from the Tao Te Ching (Chapter 8), the sacred scripture of Taoists:
The sage’s way, Tao is the way of water.
There must be water for life to be, and it can flow wherever.
And water, being true to being water is true to Tao.
Those on the way of Tao, like water need to accept where they find themselves;
And that may often be where water goes to the lowest places, and that is right.
Like a lake the heart must be calm and quiet having great depth beneath it.
The sage rules with compassion, and his word need to be trusted.
The sage needs to know like water how to flow around the blocks and how to find the way through without violence.
Like water, the sage should wait for the moment to ripen and be right: water, you know, never fights, it flows around without harm.
Man, especially political and religious leaders, need to learn how to flow like water. Like water flowing around blocks, they need to learn how to find the way through challenges WITHOUT violence.
All conflicts must be resolved at the negotiating table, through negotiations and dialogue. All avenues must be exhausted to achieve a peaceful solution to conflicts.
Malaysia had often been looked up to as a model country where its citizens of diverse religions, cultures and races living peacefully and harmoniously together. One of the main reasons is that Malaysians display the highest level of TOLERANCE. But more importantly is UNDERSTANDING. Inter-religious dialogue should be held more often to promote understanding of each others’ religions. Understanding comes with respect. We must respect others if you want others to respect you.
As it is said in Chapter 1 of the Tao Te Ching:
"Follow the nothingness of the Tao; and you can be like it, not needing anything, seeing the wonder and the root of everything.”
This means we must be humble and Selfless.
In Chapter 3 it was mentioned:
“If the sage refuses to be proud, then people wont compete for his attention.
You see if there is nothing to fight for, then there is nothing that can break the flow.”
We must be humble and generous and graceful in what we do, without ever claiming any merit. Our greatness lies in taking no credit.
We must be selfless, we are nothing, we are not important and always look after the interest of others. Then we can see the goodness and the root of everything.
Man must live in peace and harmony among religions. We must be tolerant, understanding, respect and trust one another. All these are universal values of all religions that must be practiced.
We must adopt the Golden Rule that was the fruition from the last conference on Religious Harmony:
“Do unto others what you want others to do unto you“ and “Do not do unto others what you do not want others do unto you.”
This conference on Peace among Religions had indeed brought people of various religions together working in close cooperation to promote Peace among Religions, globally and regionally, But it should not stop there. It should go down to the basic unit, the man on the street, to the villages and housing estates.
Malaysia’s unique “Open House” for Hari Raya, Chinese New Year, Christmas and Deepavali should be continued as these activities provide interactions among the races.
I would suggest that residents Association or Rukun Tetangga be roped in to organize inter-religious dialogue and conferences that will promote peace among religions.
Tao zu chi bei!
Mr. Tan Hoe Chieow is the Secretary General of Federation of Taoist Association in Malaysia. He presented this article during the Peace Among Religions interfaith conference organized by InSaF URI KLCC on March 18, 2007 held at the Singhasana Hotel in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia.