11-11-2007 13:10

Special Report:   2007 CCTV Cup ESC

Unity and Diversity -- A Lesson We Learned from Our Past

From the beginning of mankind till this very day, wars have never ended. Many of the wars were fought, presumably, in search of unity and peace; yet, blood and loss of life of men seem to be the only thing we got out of them. If unity is not obtainable through bloodshed and warfare, is it possible to peruse unity otherwise? Is it possible to create a unified world that consists of all civilizations and keep them in peace forever?

History always holds the key to such fundamental questions. Ever since ancient times, unity has remained man’s most sacred ideal. Three different religions – Christianity, Judaism, and Islam originally shared the same roots – the ancient Hebrew Scriptures. Yet disagreement soon arose out of this diversity of faiths and they turned their spears against each other and the war that ensued lasted for nearly one thousand years, well known as the Crusades. The Christians termed the other two as Pagans and conquered the city of Jerusalem, leaving it butchered and no soul alive.

The world is diversified; that’s the reality that no one can turn their back on. History repeats itself and tells us over and over again that the pursuit of innocent, straight uniformity on most occasions leads to nothing but invasion and domination. When conflict is caused merely by misunderstandings or disagreements between the diversities of the world, what should we do? How could we stop conflicts and wars from happening?

The key is again found in our own past: When the Syrian emperor Saladin took back the city of Jerusalem from the Christians, he did not kill them for revenge. Instead, he killed none and forgave the whole Crusades. The UNESCO principles on tolerance cast light on Saladin’s divine forgiveness: people are free to adhere to their own convictions and accept that others adhere to theirs. It means accepting the fact that human beings, naturally diverse in their appearance, situation, speech, behavior and values, have the right to live in peace and to be as they are.

So Saladin gave us the answer. Till this day, Jerusalem remains the very centre of the world where people ask for forgiveness. If we can’t end our differences, at least we could try to keep the world safe for its diversity. Tolerance and forgiveness is the key – the key to keeping the balance of unity and diversity for all civilizations on earth.


Editor:Yang Jie