Timeless Way Institute
"The responsibility for all this should be shared by...government
officials and all of you, old and young.
Alas! Nothing can be done to change what has already gone by, but
something can still be done in the future. Therefore a community
compact is now specially prepared to unite and harmonize all of you.
From now on, all of you who enter into this compact should be filial to
your parents and respectful to your elders, teach your children, live in
harmony with your fellow villagers, help one another when there is
death in the family and assist one another in times of difficulty,
encourage one another to do good and warn one another not to do evil,
stop litigations and rivalry, cultivate faithfulness and promote
harmony, and be sure to be good citizens so that together you may
establish the custom of humanity and kindness....
All of you, both old and young, do not remember the former evil deeds
of the new citizens and ignore their good deeds. As long as they have a
single thought to do good, they are already good people. Do not be
proud that you are good citizens and neglect to cultivate your personal
life. As long as you have a single thought to do evil, you are already
evil people. Whether people are good or evil depends on a single
instant of thought. You should think over my words carefully. Don't
Wang Yangming, 1472-1529
Wang was the leading figure in the Neo-Confucian School of Mind
Wang Yangming wrote a community compact to strengthen a community. I
have quoted the preamble to the compact, which is timeless.
There are weak communities in America and a community compact along
with a set of principles, like the Six Maxims, can help strengthen weak
Community Compact for Education
A community compact is a powerful idea. Inspired by Wang Yangming's
community compact, we wrote a Community Compact for Education as an
example. We believe parents will be more successful in educating their
children when they work together.
Wang Yangming's Community Compact
Copyright © 2008 Robert Canright