Order Prevails Or Chaos Assails

C1718460Society must be willing to forgo some liberty for security
For order must prevail otherwise chaos assails.

I have always admired two great American heroes – Abraham Lincoln & Benjamin Franklin. Both had the ability to express themselves to effectively convey their messages in simple terms by what historian David McCullough would describe as “painting with words.”

In retrospect, I have heard many a good speaker in my times, whether they are political or religious. It is the simplicity of words that best convey the message, and messages are ever remembered if they are well “painted with words.” President John Kennedy is well remembered for “Ask not what the country can do for you but you for the country.”

Drawing from my own personal experience in my University days, two outstanding speakers are Lee Kuan Yew and Professor Wang Gungwu, then the Chair of History at the University of Malaya in 1960s. “Harry” Lee’s choice of words is simple as compared with the academically bombastic words of Professor Wang. Listening with ease rather than with full concentration beats the mood of communication anytime.

In a country as huge and diversified as China, it’s no easy task to run and maintain peace and harmony. It took great communication skills and personal human relationship on the part of Mao Zedong to marshal the full support of the whole nation. His little “Red Book” was likened to the Bible then.

Great leaders arise often in times of crisis. Heroes are but ordinary human beings who would undertake the extraordinary. They would have the guts and tenacity, faith and responsibility, to dare and to lead with the vision and mission to accomplish and maintain a strong nation. We are beginning to see the emergence of such heroes in the persons of President Hu Jintao and his Primier Wen Jiabao of China.

Resilient and self reliant as China is throughout the ages, even to the extent of isolation from the West, the Chinese have demonstrated time and again their survival feats against all odds without outside help or assistance. The great annual floods of the Huangho (Yellow River), famines, the Japanese War and atrocities are some such examples.

Now when it seems like smooth sailing with years of double-digit economic growth and the country in a quantum leap of development, China is being plagued with one disaster after another. First it was the devastation of the winter storm and havoc, and now another natural calamity has struck with the 7.8 magnitude earthquake in Wenchuan, Sichuan. In between, the West is stirring up more political trouble for China with the Tibetan issue and the Olympics.

Out of all these, the Chinese leaders have demonstrated their fortitude to brave the storms and perils. In times of crisis, the nationals have stood by solidly behind their leaders. Outstandingly, overseas Chinese have all shown and demonstrated their support. This is evidently a show of faith and courage.

Watching the continuous news broadcasts on CCTV, including the TV Channels of Sichuan and Shanxi, I am particularly impressed with the leadership of Premier Wen Jiabao. Who would have seen or heard or even thought of any country’s primier personally directing the rescue operation right on the scene? Wen Jiabao is right there on the spot with instruction and direction, sympathy and compassion, help and encouragement. He exhibits the sterner stuff that heroes are made of.

Sad and distressful as it is, picture in your mind of hundreds and thousands of soldiers deployed in the rescue operations, communities volunteering, leaders leading and encouraging. Added to paint a more touching aspect, you have thousands of people in lengthy queues digging into their pockets to make their financial contributions.

China always prove it’s unassailable. Whatever the Western powers preach about the merits of democracy, the Katrina catastrophe, however, paints a much different picture. Benjamin Franklin would say this: “He does not possess wealth; it possesses him.” People can be so materialistic and self-centered that community spirit becomes lacking.

They say power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Money and greed can be counted in like token. Likewise with liberty. Too much of anything leads to nowhere except chaos. Without order, chaos reigns.

Thus I say
Society must be willing to forgo some liberty for security
For order must prevail otherwise chaos assails.

Paul Chong ©
(16 May 2008  @ 5.07 AM)
A Chinese by Descent
An Australian by Consent.


7 thoughts on “Order Prevails Or Chaos Assails

  1. Paul Chong

    The Americans are known to be most progressive & enterprising in lots of ways. But the recent financial crisis proved their downfall attributing largely to the practice of capitalism to the extreme.
    There are no checks & balances, totally unregulated or wily & freely in devising unfounded new systems focusing on greed.

  2. Richard Chiang

    ‘Order prevails or chaos assails’ applies particularly well to China. Human rights must not be at the expense of an orderly society. Else, chaos sets in the society that results in hungar, sicknesses, violent crimes, wars, loss of lives and all sorts of human sufferings.

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