Pre­cau­tion against cult

China Daily (Canada) - - COMMENT -

Six mem­bers of a cult or­ga­ni­za­tion, “Church of Almighty God”, beat a woman to death in Zhaoyuan, Shan­dong prov­ince, onMay 28 be­cause she re­fused to join their or­der, send­ing shock­waves through­out the coun­try. The tragedy has re­vealed the bar­bar­ity of cult groups, which seem to have grown in the coun­try over the past fewyears.

Cults have al­ways been a lin­ger­ing shadow over so­ci­ety be­cause apart from thriv­ing on the ig­no­rance of their fol­low­ers, they seem to ful­fill cer­tain spir­i­tual needs of some people.

We live in a com­pli­cated and im­per­fect world, quite dif­fer­ent from what we want it to be. So it is nat­u­ral for us to feel des­per­ate and de­spaired in times of ut­ter dis­tress. In such times, we can only hope that the sit­u­a­tion will change for the bet­ter. The prob­lem is that, if that doesn’t hap­pen, some people— out of des­per­a­tion— may take an­ti­so­cial mea­sures to ful­fill their needs, both ma­te­rial and emo­tional. And a fe­wof them could even join cult or­ga­ni­za­tions and in­flict dam­age on so­ci­ety while think­ing they are ful­fill­ing their mis­sion in life.

But what seems like brav­ery to cult mem­bers is ac­tu­ally a re­flec­tion of their cowardice. Such people refuse to ac­cept re­al­ity and wan­der into the world of make-be­lieve to sat­isfy their ma­te­rial and emo­tional needs.

A ba­sic so­cial rule, though un­writ­ten, is to make ef­forts to im­prove the im­per­fec­tions of so­ci­ety. But while do­ing so people should ad­here to the virtue of self-re­straint and the prin­ci­ple of re­spect­ing oth­ers’ be­liefs and ways of life.

Be­cause of the rapid de­vel­op­ment and dras­tic so­cial tran­si­tion in China, many people have for­got­ten the most ba­sic rule of so­ci­ety: what it takes to be a good hu­man be­ing as op­posed to a suc­cess­ful or sat­is­fied in­di­vid­ual. The ne­glect of this ba­sic rule drives people to­ward ex­treme ex­pres­sions and be­hav­iors, which cults thrive on.

A good hu­man be­ing is one who learns how to ef­fec­tively com­mu­ni­cate with oth­ers and avoid ex­trem­i­ties. And a good so­ci­ety is one that pro­tects its people from be­ing con­trolled by cults and other ex­treme or­ga­ni­za­tions. Achiev­ing this goal may be a long and ar­du­ous so­cial project, but it is achiev­able even if the process is grad­ual.

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