All the Problems in the World

Each and every human being is urged to engage in a process of moral refinement, as each and every human being has the capability to exercise a beneficial moral force over others. The Great Learning, one of the Confucian classics, puts it straightforwardly: ‘From the Son of Heaven on down to commoners, all without exception should regard self-cultivation as the root.’ Confucian teachings, then, oblige all followers, irrespective of social, political, and economic status, to take self-cultivation as the starting point in their pursuit of the true Way.

Confucianism: A Very Short Introduction, Gardner

Every person of goodwill wants to make the world a better place. But where to start? Ruism answers this question clearly and succinctly: start with yourself.

By improving yourself, you positively influence your family. By improving your family, your family positively influences your community. By improving your community, your community positively influences your society. By improving your society, your society positively influences the world.

Faced with daily reminders of how profoundly disordered and violent the world is, it’s easy to become overwhelmed and lose hope. In these times–in all times–Rusim politely, but firmly, directs your attention back to self-cultivation. You don’t have the power to change the world, but you do have the power to control yourself. And, in doing so, you may reasonably hope to exercise some positive influence on the world.

About the Author

Ben Butina, Ph.D.
Ben is the President and co-founder of the Ruist Association of America, Inc. and Friends from Afar, an English-speaking Ruist discussion group on Facebook. He's also the creator of Stone Chimes, a modern English adaptation of the Analects of Confucius.