The Principal Book of Won-Buddhism

Part Two : Doctrine

Chapter Three: The Four Essentials

Section Four: Venerating the Public-Spirited

A. The Principle of Venerating the Public-Spirited

If the world devotedly venerates the public-spirited, many will come forth to serve the world. If the nation devotedly venerates the public-spirited, many will come forth to serve the nation. If society or religious orders devotedly venerate the public-spirited, many will come forth to serve society or religious orders. Hence, let us venerate in accordance with their achievements people who, from various standpoints, have served the world, the nation, the society, and religious orders just as children would serve their parents. Let each of us also, by modeling ourselves wholeheartedly on that spirit of public service, be actively engaged in public service.

B. The Gist of Faults in Public Service Activities in the Past

1. A dearth of specialized education for scholars, farmers, artisans, and merchants, which was to provide the principles of life and the foundation for public well-being.
2. A dearth of institutional facilities for scholars, farmers, artisans, and merchants.
3. The inability to make religious doctrines and institutions accessible to the masses.
4. A dearth of recognition toward the public-spirited by either government or society.
5. The inability of all types of education to gain self-power or to abandon other-power.
6. Excessive concern with personal profit even at the expense of others and being enticed by remoteness and closeness, intimacy and distance.
7. A dearth of experience and common sense.
8. A dearth of people who understood the difference between receiving veneration from the family for dedication to the family and receiving veneration from the masses for dedication to the public.

C. An Agenda for Venerating the Public-Spirited

1. We who now have come upon an opportunity to remove the above-mentioned faults of public service activities should distinguish between family and public service activities and, all things being equal, should engage in public service activities by transcending the boundary between self and others.
2. We should support those who have dedicated themselves to public service for the benefit of the people, when they become feeble with age and, after they have passed away, should act as their bereaved offspring and pay for their funerals and enshrine their portraits and life histories to commemorate them for a long time, in accordance with their achievements.