An Era of Conscience

Social-Political Leaders and Educators from All Levels Contribute Notions in Building a Better Future through Conscientious Education

(Reporter Susan Wang, Los Angeles)

The 20th anniversary of UNESCO's World Teachers' Day was celebrated on October 5th around the world. In response to World Teachers' Day,18 organizations from 7 countries including Tai Ji Men Qigong Academy, the Association of World Citizens (AWC), NGO in consultative status with ECOSOC and associated with the UN DPI, and the Federation of World Peace and Love (FOWPAL) co-organize the "International Forum on the Awakening of Conscience IV" at Pacific Palm Resort in Los Angeles, California.Congressman Ed Royce, Chairman of Foreign Affairs Committee, California State Senator Bob Huff, Mrs. Huff, Mayor John Wuo of the City of Arcadia, and Council Member Mary Su of the City of Walnut, and distinguished educators attended the event, joining forces to continue the positive energies generated in the movement of An Era of Conscience.  

As UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon declared, "Teachers are the custodians of learning; they impart knowledge, values and skills; at their best, they tap into the hopes and talents of young people and help them to grow into productive citizens." However, with the global economic crisis that our world is currently facing, the roles of teachers are not getting the recognition and support they deserve. According to Secretary General Ban, "the world needs about 2 million more teachers to achieve the Millennium Development Goal of universal primary education by 2015." Moreover, he suggested that teachers should receive trainings in order to be well prepared and feel well supported. Thus, "one of the priorities of my new global initiative, Education First, is to recruit and train more teacher," says Secretary-General Ban. As teachers themselves carry large responsibility in creating a safe and conductive learning environments for their students, they also hold the power to influence and shape the future of the leaders of the next generations. "Without qualified teachers, there is no quality education."

Dr. Hong Tao-Tze, the initiator of the movement of An Era of Conscience, the Vice-President of AWC stated in his opening remarks, "The key to any good education lies in the conscience of each individual involved.  When conscience is the core of education, we capture the true essence of education, which is to inspire people to better themselves." Dr. Hong also indicated in the presentation of his thesis: "The awakening of conscience is the soul of education, like a compass pointing to the right path of life.  It guides people to tell right from wrong and to know the difference between pride and humility. It prevents one from being greedy and enables one to conduct oneself properly and become truly enlightened, balanced, happy, and selfless.  Following conscience is the way people can become peaceful and bring peace to the world.  Education that includes conscience at the core, combines the essence of traditional and modern education, strikes a balance between technology and spirituality,and creates opportunity for the sustainable development of the Earth and humanity."

Congressman Ed Royce shared his view during the panelists' discussion: "A teacher profoundly impacts not just the student's willingness to know right from wrong and to respect those values and respect to others and help to create accord and peace, but also the ways in which a teacher awakens in that child."  

Congressman Royce made the following remarks at the Forum: "I think every child is born with a conscience. But part of the role of teacher and part of the role in leadership is to awaken and expand that conscience and show that little human being how much he or she can do to help make this a better planet. One of the things that we are reflecting on today is all the ways in which a teacher profoundly impacts not just the student's willingness to know right from wrong and to respect those values and respect to others and help to create accord and peace, but also the ways in which a teacher awakens in that child. Teaching values and teaching justice is most important of all. I enjoyed talking with Dr. Hong, and especially enjoyed his presentation. And I think it's profoundly important and significant that we're reaching, especially through the new modes of being able to do this over the internet, so many young people whose conscience can be inspired and who can commit themselves to the important role that they need to play in helping this world become a more peaceful place, a place in which there is justice but also solutions. His words resonated with me today."

California Senator Bob Huff provided his viewpoints of raising education quality starting at home and local community and schools and for the state.  

California State Senator Bob Huff stated,  "I can't speak at the global issue as Dr. Hong and Congressman Royce talked to. My world view starts here at home and our local community and our schools and for the state. And I think when we educate our students well, we'll hopefully train them to be world citizens and that encompasses all the things we talked about today." "Education is such a fundamental important part of our growing up. We have an obligation to make sure that our children aren't with poor performing teachers. I don't think any teacher … to be that way but we need to give them tools to make sure that they are high capacity. Our children deserve no less. So I appreciate this focus today, I will continue to focus on education in Sacramento for my remaining two years."

Arcadia High School English teacher Christopher Villalobos expressed, "We teach that to our kids when they see that (conscience) in us, that’s what's gonna make a difference."  

Arcadia High School English teacher Christopher Villalobos expressed, "Any kind of movement, any kind of forum like this, it needs a place to start. Quite honestly, the minds that come together to make a better world, a lot of people might dismiss that at the beginning might say "Oh, it's too simple and what not.", but it really takes someone to start it. As soon as people start to get into their own mind sets that, "You know, we can do these things, and it is important to people; it is important to political structures; it is important at high school level.  It's important at home what we are actually teaching to our kids ‘cause we can say we want to be good people, but unless we actually are good people, it doesn't mean anything.  So, what we teach through literature, through our examples in public office, through people in our communities, the business people, people that make up the world that we live in.  Unless we do that, and we do it for the real conscience, like I mentioned when people are not looking, what kind of people are we when nobody is looking? That's the true measure of a person, and we teach that to our kids when they see that in us, that's what's gonna make a difference; that's what they carry on to their lives and helps them to make the world the place we want it to be."

Panelists from right to left: Muriel Tsai, principal of Walnut City Chinese Center; Christopher Villalobos, an English teacher at Arcadia High School; Michael Selfridge, FOWPAL director of communication; Cici Han, a Harvard graduate practicing architect, shared their insightful reflections and suggestions for education as part of the panel discussion.   

In addition to panelists' discussions, an energetic group of ANEOC international youth volunteers presented a high octane "Power of Love" dance, spreading positive energy to encourage all the participants to take part in being a conscientious world citizen.


The Tai Ji Men Cultural Performances Take Pasadena by Storm

Tai Ji Men Qigong Academy showcased spectacular cultural performances at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium on October 15, 2023 to mark the grand opening of its Pasadena academy.

Tai Ji Men’s ‘Back to the Origin' Earns Praise from Heads of State

Modern people are burdened by the weight of existence and yearn for happiness. The play explores the question: “Where did we come from, and where will we go from here?”

Grand Opening of Tai Ji Men Qigong Academy in Pasadena

Tai Ji Men Qigong Academy celebrated the grand opening of its academy in Pasadena on October 14, 2023, with former heads of state, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, scholars, community leaders, and local residents in attendance.

2023 World Leader Summit of Love and Peace in Pasadena/Arcadia

The 2023 World Leader Summit of Love and Peace was held at the Le Méridien Pasadena Arcadia on October 13, 2023, by the Federation of World Peace and Love (FOWPAL), an international organization dedicated to advocating love and peace.

The Parliament of the World’s Religions Opens

The 2023 Parliament of the World's Religions takes place on August 14-18 at the McCormick Place Lakeside Center in Chicago, with dignitaries, religious and spiritual leaders as well as members of various organizations from around the world in attendance.

Tai Ji Men Participates in the Parade of Faiths

The inaugural Parade of Faiths, a prelude to the 2023 Parliament of the World’s Religions, took place in Chicago on August 13, heralding the return of the Parliament to its birthplace.

Dr. Hong, Tao-Tze Honored with Global Human Rights Award

Bobby Hunter, retired Harlem Globetrotter and chairman of United Churches, recognized human rights advocates and highlighted the importance of solidarity

Tai Ji Men Nei-Hu Academy 19th Anniversary Leaders from Different Fields Making Good Wishes for a Better Future

Tai Ji Men Nei-Hu Academy celebrated its 19th anniversary on Sep.18, 2022, with the theme "The Years Are Good, Our Happiness Remains." They invited many guests from all walks of life to gather on the day of the celebration.

The world gathers energy and prays for peace, with 200 countries joining the six major declarations

The world is in turmoil in 2022, with frequent natural and man-made disasters and epidemics such as COVID-19 and monkeypox threatening human health.

Words of Conscience: Prayers for the World & One-minute of Silence

Inviting you to film and upload a one-minute prayer of conscience and a one-minute of silence video.