&#91EDITORIALS&#93The best holiday presents

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[EDITORIALS]The best holiday presents

Chuseok, the nation’s most celebrated holiday, has been a symbol of prosperity and joy, but this year there is more anxiety than joviality and merrymaking.
The merchant who had expected a brief surge in sales that would help him forget the stagnant economy can only sigh. And the farmer who had hoped for an abundant harvest is full of disappointment. Even the housewife who buys materials for the Chuseok ritual is downbeat.
Since Chuseok, which is determined by the lunar calendar, comes 10 days earlier than it has in most other years, the purchasing of autumn clothes, a Chuseok tradition, will not be practiced this year.
To make things worse, the frequent heavy showers and abnormally low temperatures have stunted harvests, boosting the price of food consumed during the holiday 50 percent.
Moreover, the recent cloudy weather may block the full moon, eliminating the highlight of the festivities.
Everything seems anti-holiday.
The nation’s largest holiday, however, can not be spent in melancholy. At a time such as this, we should try to encourage each other. It is necessary for us to share compassion with our neighbors and relatives.
Among those who lost their houses to typhoon Rusa in August last year, some people have to spend their holidays in a steel shipping container that the government provided as shelter. There are children who have no parents or other kin for the holidays. Lonely foreign laborers are left behind in empty cities as their friends go to their hometowns in the countryside.
We should show that the spirit of holiday benevolence is alive. A warm greeting, a word of interest, a small present or a plate of food is enough to deliver the message.
Let us throw away our reserve and relate to each other without being self-conscious. Men voluntarily helping out in the house, including washing dishes, is a good example. Joy doubles as it is shared and pain and sorrow lessen as they are shared.
By being compassionate we can vanquish depression this Chuseok holiday.
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