Opinion: A Call for Open Discourse Through Writing

Photograph by Miranda Harple

Photo Courtesy of Miranda Harple

By Li Jianrui

Editor’s Note: This article is part of The Gettysburgian’s Multilingual Gettysburg Series.  This series was developed to promote cross-cultural engagement and celebrate the many languages spoken at Gettysburg College.  Translation of the article is provided below.

亲爱的中国同胞和可以读中文的朋友们,

文之为德也大矣,与天地并生者.
学校校报为国际学生提供了一个良好的思想交换,评论,辩论平台!

仓颉造字,惊天动地。而我们堂堂中国少年有时却缺少政治的参与、学习永远放在第一位。但生活不仅仅只是上课和写作业。而所谓政治不是高高在上,遥不可及在新闻联播里的东西,而是实实在在牵动你和我的命运马匹。如果不能熟练驾驭这辆马车,任由它狂奔,你我也终将成为袖手旁观的受害者。任人宰割的羔羊,他人的奴隶,任人鱼肉。

文章评论是一个极好的工具!是发声与行使权利的媒介。前者有唐宋八大家,后者有鲁迅等民国学者。中国有着长期的文章传统。而权利只有使用才可以有用,更需要practice the right. 况且真理越辩越明。说的通俗一点会哭的孩子有奶喝。在此Gettysburg college校报,我鼓励大家多写一些自己的想法,关于学校,关于社会最新议题的等等。

文章是媒介,是工具,是对人生,社会等的反思,在投稿之前我与诸君共勉陈寅恪先生纪念王国维先生的一段话,希望当你提起笔,构思文章时也有此等精神
“唯此独立之精神,自由之思想,历千万祀,与天壤而同久,共三光而永光。”

我也期待你的独立精神,自由思想的文章。
李健睿

“Wen (words or texts), or pattern, is a very great power indeed. It is born together with heaven and earth,” is a quote by a Liu Xie, an ancient Chinese scholar.

The school newspaper — The Grettysburgian — provides a good space for the exchange of ideas, comments, and debates not only for American students but also for international students. We should take this opportunity and use it well.

A legend in China states that when Cangjie first created written words, earth and heaven were shattered, gods and spirit were frightened.  Well, I am not asking you to write something to make earth and heaven shake.

But as a young person, an international student, a Chinese student, (I cannot speak for all my fellow friends, only my personal opinion), life is not only about study and homework. We should have greater participation in politics. The so-called politics are not something high up there. It is not in the Chinese TV news; it is everywhere in our life, in your identity (both metaphysical and practical), student visa, your organization’s budget, or the ability of your favorite friends and faculty to stay in school or USA. It affects you and me like a horse drives the car of destiny.  If you can’t master the carriage and let it run wild, you and I will eventually become the victims of standing by, like the slaughtered lamb, the slave of others, and the fish.

Writing and expressing your opinion is an excellent tool! It is the medium for voice and exercise of rights. China has a long tradition of writing including the eight [master writers] in the Tang and Song Dynasties and more recently Lu Xun and other scholars during the Republic of China time period. Now I ask you to carry this tradition! A right can only exist by using it, so it is necessary to practice one’s rights, such as freedom of speech and others.

Moreover, truth does not fear contention. The child who cries loudly usually gets more milk.  I encourage everyone to write anything about their own ideas, schools, issues in society, and so on in the Gettysburgian.

The article is a medium, a tool, a reflection on our life, society, etc. Before I end this letter, I want to share some words from Mr. Cheng Ying Gei with you. I hope that when you bring up the pen and conceive an article, you also have his spirit.

[Concerning free-thought]: “Only the spirit of independence, the idea of liberty, tens of thousands of miles, and the same long-term, shining with three lights, and eternal.”

I am looking forward to reading your independently spirited and thoughtful articles.

Li Jianrui

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Author: Gettysburgian Staff

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