Confucius Vs. Lao Tse Essay, Research Paper
Central Daily Newspaper– May 1, 2000
Unfortunately, problems have arose at Central High, right here in Centralville, Nebraska. In the last
5 years, the situation at Central High has been on a steady decline from the low end of average to downright
terrible. Not only are students being affected by this turn-around, but administrators, teachers, and parents
are angry and in need of change for the better. The fact is, it is May and this year only 50 percent of seniors
have met requirements to graduate. The number of seniors who are actually going to 4 year colleges lies in
the 20 percent range. After the horrible attempt at the musical Annie and the ?yet to win a game? winter
sports season, an emergency school board meeting has been called for this Tuesday, May 3, 2000, at 7 PM
in the high school conference room.
by James Cannon
Central Nightly News– May 5, 2000
Hello, Centralville, and welcome to the Thursday Evening News. Our first and foremost story arises
from Tuesday?s school board meeting. As luck has it, the decision to reform Central High has finally made
itself a reality. Thanks to the laptop computer of one of the 9 attendees of the meeting, the website for
?Confucius, Inc.? was found. The site claims the following:
?Now, over 2,500 years after the death of Confucius, I, his 19 times Great-grandson am here to
demonstrate the teachings of the all-mighty Confucius. I, Mr. Kung, use Confucius?s philosophies on
various aspects of society to guide others towards succeeding at any problem that arises.?
As you can clearly see, this seems like a group that will be the right answer for Centralville. On Saturday, Mr.
Kung is to arrive at Omaha International Airport, and he will be staying at Centralville?s prized Holiday Inn for
the next few months, until all is well in our town.
Reporting live, this is Patricia Fields, for Central Nightly News.
Memo to Mr. Brown, Principal of Central High– May 9, 2000
Mr. Brown: Ever so sorry that you missed this weekend?s preliminary meetings with Mr. Kung! I certainly wish
that you had a marvelous time at the meeting for principals of dysfunctional high schools out in Ohio. I must
tell you all about Mr. Kung?s teachings! He handed out various worksheets explaining the original
Confucius?s message to his public. The most important thing, that he kept on repeating was that ?people
can be molded and elevated by education and by the virtuous example of superiors.?1 By this, I think he
wants us ?superior members of the Central High? community to set the right example for all those under us.
The negative attitude that we usually show just isn?t the right idea if we want to get back on the right foot.
He thinks that if the students here are ?civilized?, they will ?want to do what is morally right, rather than
merely expedient, and hence will preserve the ?harmony? of society.?2 Although we have been unsure most
of the time, it?s fair game to assume the kids are civilized humans.
I must go right now- please call me this evening!
Vice Principal Melissa Jacob?s Journal Entry– May 9, 2000
Today we had endless meeting with Mr. Kung. What influenced me the most was his comment that ?force
and threats are ineffective controls… behavior should also be modeled on that of higher-status people?3.
This made me think that instead of acting like a low level animal while screaming at the kids in the halls, I
should just pretend I?m really rich, and act calmly when approaching them, with grace and poise, if I have any
left in me. Also, I now reconsider threatening detention on them, because first of all, I know they?ll never
come anyway, and it isn?t the right kind of conduct if I want to be effective. I should make a mental note to
remind the Main Office secretary to make the schedule more organized, because Mr. Kung also said that to
be successful, there must be ?stress on order.? Thanks for listening to my thoughts for today!
Lauren Cone?s Journal Entry– May 10, 2000
Today, the following appeared throughout our school on flyers. It is a list of Sayings of Confucius.
It is meant to make the students and teachers think hard about themselves.
?Learning without thought is useless…?
?Do not do unto others what you yourself would not like.?
?If one leads them with virtue, they will come up to expectations.?
After I read this, I thought really hard about how I treat people, and what I should do to be a nicer person to
everyone, not just my friends. This handout was all over my school today, and I think that everyone might be
just a little bit different tomorrow. I?m not sure what this Mr. Kung is trying to do, but he?s definitely
brainwashing me with his view on things. I hope this works!
Until tomorrow- Lauren
Speech in Faculty Meeting by Mr. Kung– May 12, 2000
?Good afternoon fellow faculty members. I am here to discuss how my teachings should affect you.
By now, I?m sure everyone has seen the flyers displayed throughout school, with various quotes from the
lovely Confucius. After talking to several of you, I am under the impression that they were very well received.
Confucius also ?taught respect for scholars and philosophers.?4 This is for you. You must understand that in
the next few weeks, I will have the students fully respecting you, different from anything you have seen
before in your life. Please set the correct example for these students. Although I am only instructing you on
the small scale of Centralville, Confucius believed ?that right conduct would bring happiness in this world?5. I
need all of the teachers to follow this teaching if you want everyone in our community to be happy, inside
Central Daily Newspaper Editorials– May 16, 2000
Mr. Lao of the Taoist group, based in China, has heard about the hiring of Confucius, Inc., and
demands that we hear his story. After an exclusive $10 a minute phone call with Mr. Lao in China, I have the
following facts, and my opinion:
The Taoist philosophy is a religion based on the test of the Tao te Ching, meaning the Classic of the
Way. This book is described as ?a cryptic collection of mystical remarks whose meaning even in Chinese is
unclear?6. Although I?m not quite sure why this is something that pertains to us, I was willing to listen to this
man?s plead. After discussing many aspects of our society with Mr. Lao, the most clear statement that I
received from him was that ??Those who understand don?t talk; those who talk don?t understand.??7 My
reflection on this statement is that I now don?t know who to believe- Mr. Kung or his prime competitor, Mr.
Lao. Both philosophies seem to be somewhat different than the norm around here, but the fact that a
change still must be made is apparent.
Mr. Lao argued with me that his Taoist people always ?relax, go with the flow, stop trying to
?improve? things… Whatever is, is natural and hence good.?8 This is the 100% opposite of Mr. Kung?s
opinion on our situation. The other thing that Mr. Lao told me on the phone is that ?Where Confucians
sought to shape the world through education, Taoists urged acceptance of things as they are.?9
Mr. Lao?s opinion on things seems like it is totally off the wall from what we want. What Centralville
needs is a new education system to help prepare our youth for the future, not some man who thinks we
should accept ways as they are. We obviously know that accepting things as they are now hasn?t helped us
any in the last five years, so how is it going to do us any good today?
Mr. Kung has only been here in Centralville for a little over a week. Even so, minute positive
changes have taken place- the first positive changes in fact, for half a decade! While not everyone in the
community agrees with Mr. Kung, they all consider his teachings to be reasonable. Other than some of our
lazy students, no one agrees with Mr. Lao?s easy-going idea of simply ?going with the flow?. ?Going with the
flow? will just make the amount of Central children going to college diminish even more. Is this what we need
right now? I THINK NOT.
-Signed, a concerned parent of 2 children at Central High