Living and dealing with “Harmony as a Value”
What are we really talking about? [The rest of the articles are a spiritual discussion on VALUE.)
“Harmony as a Value” is a valuable subject to talk about.
Talking about “Harmony” as a value is relevant to a lot of people – probably close to half of the world population- and speaks to some extent also to the rest as well. 😉
Moreover, every expat – and probably natives as well – living in a “Harmony oriented” country face the same situations, without always understanding the underlying dynamics, and that’s what this article is about. Before delving deeper, I believe it’s necessary to explain – even quickly – a few concepts.
I will be using different concepts, approaches. Not just because it’s fun for me. 😉
But, precisely because misunderstandings occur easily and things become rapidly complex! So, I’ll try to make complexity simpler and keep it as much as possible practical.
Making complexity simpler: Recognize the lens which you look through!
Talking about “Harmony” as a value and its implications can easily become rather complex.
As a matter of fact, there are different perspectives to understand, to see, to envision “Harmony” as a value. It all depends about which lens you look through.
If you look through the cross-cultural lens…
In the cross-cultural field, “Harmony” as a value refers to the response to a particular societal problem that societies face.
This societal problem is:
“how people manage their relations to the natural and social world?”
“how can we regulate these relationships?”
Basically there are 2 opposite ways:
– “Mastery” value orientation: encourages active self-assertion in order to master, direct, and change the natural and social environment to attain group or personal goals. Values such as ambition, success, daring, and competence are especially important in mastery cultures.
– “Harmony” value orientation: emphasizes fitting into the world as it is, trying to understand and appreciate rather than to change, direct, or to exploit. Important values in harmony cultures include world at peace, unity with nature, and protecting the environment.
On this scale, your personal cursor is somewhere between “Mastery” and “Harmony”.
It may also evolve from a context to another, simply because people are multidimensional. 😉
Who has a “Harmony” national cultural orientation?
“Harmony” as a value is particularly true to people living or dealing with people from Asian countries – you will forgive me for not entering in the specifications of each country. (Ask me if you want to know more details.)
“Harmony” as a personal value
A person, who has “Harmony” as a personal value, tends to build harmony in whatever they are involved. I know it might sound crazy to a lot of people.
The outcomes produced by this endeavor depend a lot about knowledge, skills, outside world and self perceptions, previous experiences, personal culture, assertiveness, clarity of thinking and environment.
Peace and Harmony as the Choice for Mankind
The wave of globalization has been connecting all the countries of the world into a community to an unprecedented extent, which implies that a kinder and gentler society, in its true sense, is taking shape. In the meantime, the significance of peace and harmony is being recognized by more and more far-sighted people for the following reasons:
Peace and harmony is a basic prerequisite. Peace and harmony can bring a peaceful and stable order to society, and they are a necessary condition for the survival and development of mankind. A world deprived of peace and harmony certainly will fall apart and return to the jungle era in which the strong prey on the weak.
Peace and harmony is an essential benefit. Peace and harmony are enjoyed and possessed jointly by mankind, which is a base for the full realization of the creativity potential of individuals, the sustainable development of the economy and culture of nations, and a true security for the long lasting prosperity of mankind society.
Peace and harmony is an ideal path. Peace and harmony mean dealing with disputes and resolving conflicts fairly and properly with neutralization and Middle Way principles to further the welfare of each individual as well as the wellbeing of mankind as a whole.
Peace and harmony is long lasting value. Ever since the emergence of mankind, numerous cultures have been produced, among which most vanished as soon as they appeared and were forgotten in history for being partial to certain aspect or limited to certain period. Among those thoughts which have been handed down to the present and continuing to have important influence, peace and harmony occupy the most dominating position.
Peace and harmony is high wisdom. It is the height of wisdom that determines the breadth of vision, the depth of exploration, the extent of progress and the limit of transcendence. Most major religions and major cultural traditions of the world love peace or pursue harmony. History also shows that all the thoughts that are against peace and harmony are against the will of the people and shall perish by themselves.
Peace and harmony should be integral to the mankind society. They consist of the following six areas:
I. An international political order that embodies equality and mutual trust, maintaining security and justice jointly by political cooperation;
II. A world economy system that fully embodies balance and mutual benefit, eliminating discrepancy between rich and poor as well as regional imbalance;
III. A global cultural atmosphere that fully embodies diversity and integration, conducting dialogues and exchanges to consolidate and enhance friendship and dissolve historical prejudice;
IV. A natural and ecological ethics that fully embodies coexistence and common prosperity, actively fulfilling the responsibility of improvement and resolving environmental crisis by ecological protection;
V. Scientific and technological improvement that fully embodies human nature and humanity, prompting scientific and technological fruits to ultimately benefit the long-term welfare of mankind;
VI. Spiritual and mental state that fully embodies health and morality, helping each individual obtain physical and mental serenity, harmony and happiness through traditional wisdom.
Among the areas mentioned above, cultural peace and harmony occupy a fundamental position. All in all, culture is a value system and the collection of its correspondent codes of conduct. There is no normal activity of a human society that is not the actual manifestation of its value. A culture with peace and harmony as its mainstream value will certainly implement peace and harmony in all the areas of social life. Historical experience has shown that a society can obtain continuous and steady development only when it truly loves peace and place importance upon harmony.