[FOUNTAIN]Living with hatredThere is a saying in the Buddhist teachings of the “Dhammapada,” or “the path of truth,” that says rust that forms on iron will gradually eat away the iron. Beopjeong, a Korean Buddhist priest, explained the remark further by saying, “When you hate another person, your hatred doesn’t hurt anyone but you. Living with bad thoughts in your mind only ruins yourself.”
When one leads an everyday life filled with bad thoughts, life itself will be ruined. Because living means relationships and relationships are generally accompanied by love and hate, many people live lives that are tainted with hatred. A president is no exception. The 37th president of United States, Richard M. Nixon, is so-meone who failed to manage the hatred that grew within himself. That hatred caused him to lose his balance and it finally brought ruin upon himself and his presidency. This sorrowful chain of events resulted in his resignation from office, and in imprisonment for others.
When Mr. Nixon was inaugurated in 1969, the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate were both ruled by the opposition party -- for the first time in the 20th century. Mr. Nixon recognized this adverse political situation from his first day in office, and his hate grew. As such, Washington’s liberal media did not dignify Mr. Nixon as a normal president, but instead treated him as a conservative bumpkin from California.
Mr. Nixon made an effort to talk to people in the establishment, but he was subjected to humiliation at every turn. One critic reflected, “Nixon’s problems were manageable, but he aggravated the situation because he was obsessed with the idea that his enemies were everywhere.”
In the fourth year of his presidency the rust started to eat away at the iron. Mr. Nixon ordered the break-in of the the offices of the Democratic National Committee headquarters because he feared and hated competition from the opposing party. As a result of the Watergate scandal, he resigned in 1974. His hatred for and obsession with adversaries culminated in the bungled Watergate burglary and its subsequent cover-up.
It is unavoidable to feel uneasy when in power, even for a legitimately elected president. Cruel remarks from critics can sometimes greatly affect a public official.
Hatred should be eliminated before it starts to grow. We hope that President Roh Moo-hyun tends to any rust that may gather within and that he keeps his focus on what truly matters.
by Chun Young-gi
The writer is a deputy political news editor of the JoongAng Ilbo.