On Volunteer Spirit and Thought of “Universal Love” by Mo-tse

Qi Zhou

Abstract


Voluntary service refers to the social public welfare in which human kinds take part in social activities, facilitate social progress and push forward human development of their own free will for no material or any spiritual rewards. Yet, volunteer spirit refers to a sort of altruistic and voluntary attitude or concept for public welfare but not for any reward. This sort of concept has something different in approach but equally satisfactory in results with the thought of “universal love” by Mo-tse. The thought of “universal love” by Mo-tse is a kind of thought that is altruistic, mutual love and mutual benefit, which comes down in one continuous line with the thought of “universal love” by Mo-tse. Of course, connotation of the volunteer spirit we are going to mention can no longer be contained by the thought of “universal love”. To a certain extent, these two have something in common.
Based on love for the entire human kind, Mo-tse advocated that the universal love could transfer people’s self-interest, that human kind expanded their love of themselves to love of others, extended their care of the land of the living to each class and hierarchy under obedience to the “will of the heaven”, and gradually re-established the social order that had gradually lost its order. He expected to change the atmosphere at that time in which people struggled with and invaded each other through promotion of the thought of “universal love”. Mo-tse invented the theory of “universal love”, and resorted to the target of “mutual love and mutual benefit” to convince the king at ancient times to play their role of “where the wind passes, the grass bends”, so as to direct people in making contributions and showing fraternal love and mutual benefit and reciprocity. Therefore, his concentrated attention and efforts were clearly known. Through our analysis of the thought of “universal love” and explanation of the volunteer spirit, we can find out the similarities and differences lying between the two, which helps us to better understand the connotation volunteer spirit and explore, therefrom, the ideological succession relationship of traditional Chinese moral culture implied.

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Asian Social Science   ISSN 1911-2017 (Print)   ISSN 1911-2025 (Online)

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