DDM Forum on Public Welfare

In line with Venerable Master Sheng Yen's vision and compassion on Taiwan's future, Dharma Drum Mountain has organized a program of public forums in the aim of discussing ways to further promote the values of the spiritual environment and public welfare.

This program was initiated by a forum with the subject "University and Philanthropy in the Civil Society", held at the International Conference Room of the National Taiwan University Hospital on the morning of 21 March 2008.

Honored guests were present at the forum to share their experiences and valued opinion. These guests included Professor Kin-Man Chan of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Professor Ying-Chen Chang of the National Chi Nan University, Dr. An-Chi Liu, President of Dharma Drum University and former President of Feng Chia University and Dr. Min-Hsiu Chiang, the Dean of the College of Hakka Studies at the National Central University.

Dr. Liu elaborated the vision of Dharma Drum University in the discussions. He confirmed that Dharma Drum University in the future will be dedicated to the nurturing of high-quality intellectuals in Taiwan's modern civil society, who are instilled with the treasures of the 'spiritual environment' in the mind and of humanistic compassion to work to conserve the environment and further the goal of peace on earth. From this vision and context, students will use their integrated capabilities in humanities, arts, global affairs and language in the aim of promoting DDM's ideas in society.

Professor Chan agreed that the university is a stronghold of innovation and teaching to express the ideals of beauty and morality in society. It was an invaluable function of the university to reflect and lead thought on how these ideals can be fulfilled by uplifting the principles of civil society, The professor went on to point out that unfortunately, present universities have shown a heart-breaking tendency towards the derision of long-term humanistic cultivation for short-term interests, a trend that would inevitably hurt the growth of civil society in the end.

Professor Chang added that the relations between university and local community must be strengthened to allow students to practice what they have been taught. This relationship with the community would give students opportunity to be exposed to practical experiences to upgrade their character by learning from and serving people. Professor Chiang added that the university could serve as a vital platform to promote a mature civil society by pooling resources and helping local non-profit organizations care for disadvantaged people.

(translated by Jin Yang/edited by DDM Australia Editing Team)

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