A Society With Collapsing FoundationsA young man has killed, mutilated and abandoned the corpses of his parents. It is difficult to understand why a fully-grown university student in his 20s would point a deadly weapon at his parents in their sleep. We are at a loss as to why and how our society has reached this terrible stage.
Korean society is reverberating with the continued collapse of its moral and ethical foundations. The ‘Month of The Family’ has been put to shame with every single day marred by a murder that ignores the sanctity of life. A man was arrested for the robbery and murder of nine people, his sole motivation being money. Another individual, a laborer in his 50s, became so enraged by a card game that he murdered four people with whom he had different grudges from various trivial incidents. Moreover, a middle school boy murdered a middle school girl, whom he had never met before, in an elevator after he was scolded by his father. We cannot help but sigh whenever such brutal incidents occur.
The problem facing Korean society is not an overnight occurence. A collapse in family values and the lack of respect for human life are things that have slowly and gradually developed. People have long been aware that Korean society believes that money is the answer to any problem and that overnight success without complications is feasible. There can be no doubt that the terrible reality that we are now facing is a result of the extremely twisted ego of the individual and the severe competitive structures built into Korean society. The family is the smallest unit of society. School is an intermediate unit.
As families collapse schools are screaming out for help. Parents are absent from their families and teachers cannot be found at school. Respected members of society are decreasing in number. Family and school, the fundamental units of our society, are ill and politicians who should be leading our society only lie and deceive the people. These incidents symbolize the pathological nature of Korean society, where the fundamental structures of family, school and society are collapsing.
The problems that face Korean society cannot simply be ignored because they are becoming more extreme and increasing in frequency. Korean society must begin to take steps to deal with these problems and restore the nation to a healthy state as soon as possible. The government, school and family must prioritize the importance of ethics and basic human values. A nationwide movement by the people is needed to emphasize the fact that human values are more important than knowledge and success.
by Yang Yung-yu