[EDITORIALS]Winners in More Than One Sense

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[EDITORIALS]Winners in More Than One Sense

There is an old saying: "When you're poor, even brothers can become estranged." Something happened recently that proved this is not universally true. The love and caring for others shown by two brothers who won the jackpot in a lottery made us stop and think how busy we have been looking after only ourselves.

The brothers come from a farming family and the older of the two has been waiting tables since his business failed four years ago amid the financial crisis. He may have been poor, but he was always rich with caring for family and neighbors whenever he got the chance. The three winning lottery tickets had been given by him to his brother and a neighbor as a gift for the Chuseok holidays. The two tickets held by his younger brother, also serving tables at a small eatery, won 1.4 billion won ($1.07 million). But he vowed to take just 100 million won of the prize to repay his debt and gave the remainder back to his brother - and lest he changed his mind, he immediately opened a bank account and deposited the winnings in his brother's name. The older brother, in turn, vowed to share the money equally with his three siblings.

The brothers' acts show being poor is not ignoble, just an inconvenience that some of us experience. Their acts showed how wrong the general perception was that the poor will be more tempted than others in the face of wealth. Trust to a degree that nobody can take lightly was at the heart of their actions surrounding the sudden and unexpected fortune.

Siblings provide the basic building block of all human relationships. The trust and love between siblings often go beyond the boundary of family to bind society. But let's look at the reality in our society. Brothers are often the first competitors we meet in life and a source of conflict. What we are taught at home and how we teach our children have a lot to do with this. Korean families often fail to instill the value of helping and respecting others.

But it is not too late and there is hope. The brother who thought of presenting family and friends with hope (lottery tickets) and the younger brother, who in the face of wealth thought first of others, represent the vision that our society can still place trust and faith in others.
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