Seeking self-discipline and social commitment
As one of the country's most prestigious universities, Tsinghua University sets its motto as "self-discipline and social commitment" to encourage its teachers and students to strive for the prosperity of China.
Over the past 100 years, the higher educational institution has witnessed and shared the hardships and glories of the country. Since its founding, the university has closely linked the individual spiritual world with that of the Chinese nation.
The motto of Tsinghua is a perfect reflection of Chinese people's striving for self-improvement and caring for all things, an idea that has inspired generations of people.
Having an open and broad mind toward people and things while seeking self-perfection is part of traditional Chinese culture and regarded as a social norm since ancient times.
An ancient Chinese saying from "Zhou Yi," or "The Book of Changes," written over 2,000 years ago, goes: As heaven maintains vigor through movements, a gentleman should constantly strive for self-perfection. As earth's condition is receptive devotion, a gentleman should hold the outer world with a broad mind.
Ancient Chinese believe that the earth is generous and peaceful. It sustains all things, allowing them to grow and develop in keeping with their own nature.
Constantly striving for self-perfection reflects the fact that Chinese people are always perseverant to strive for a better life for all, and having ample virtue and caring for everyone and everything underscore the spirit of inclusiveness in Chinese culture, said Zhang Dainian, one of the best-known scholars of Chinese philosophy.
Zhang added that the saying also encourages an open-minded attitude toward different opinions, and has inspired both ideological and academic development.
Traditional Chinese culture encourages the pursuit of moral cultivation and harmony among people and between people and nature.
Together with the notion of constantly exerting oneself for self-improvement, it forms the fundamental character of the Chinese nation.