This I Believe

Robert - Plano, Texas
Entered on March 13, 2007
Age Group: 50 - 65
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

I believe that Confucianism is the key to America’s future because it unleashes the power of our humanity. I used to believe in the power of mathematics, science, and technology. I dedicated my life to technical excellence. Then I discovered that technology can amplify what people do, but it lacks the power to give you a good life. Your heart determines the outcome of your life.

After years of dedication and overtime at high-tech companies, I was downsized. I found myself teaching fourth grade mathematics, which changed my life in ways I could never have foreseen.

Fourth grade is a special time. Their hormones are active. Their bodies are changing. They are becoming more complex people, yet they are still child-like and wear their hearts on their sleeves.

I found some of the children to be very sweet. They were kind and upright. Their hearts were like balloons that will carry them over life’s problems and uplift everyone around them. I found some of the children to be very angry, some to be very sad. Their hearts were heavy.

I wanted to explain to those children with sad hearts how to have a happy life, but I could not use the Bible in a public school, so searched until I found Confucianism. I found many useful lessons for life. There were lessons about charity, empathy, love, hard work, moral leadership, and the love of learning. I learned to love and cherish my community. I learned about self-cultivation and the importance of developing a sincere heart. I started out wanting to help the children, and my own life was transformed.

Confucianism is a philosophy, not a religion. Confucius might be an ancient Chinese, but many of his ideas are very American and very contemporary. They are universal. Confucianism is alive and vibrant and already adapting to meet America’s needs at all levels.

At the highest levels of society, the lessons Confucianism has for moral leadership and careful thinking will strengthen our leadership. At the lowest levels of society, the Confucianism love of learning and commitment to self-improvement will break the cycle of poverty through education and work ethic.

Confucianism will revitalize America. This I believe.