[FOUNTAIN]Society must open up to truth

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[FOUNTAIN]Society must open up to truth

More and more people claim the world does not understand their true hearts. They say they are telling the truth, but others assume their words are inconsistent and do not trust them. As prosecutors declared an extensive crackdown on under-the-table dealings, from illegal campaign financing and slush funds to accounting frauds, society as a whole is suffering from a complete breakdown in communications.
In the eyes of the public, it seems obvious who is telling the truth and who is telling lies, who is guilty and who is innocent. But the accused claim they have been falsely charged and unfairly targeted. They all insist that their intentions were misunderstood.
If “communication” is defined as the exchange and understanding of thoughts, messages or information among different groups or people, the communication process in our society today is certainly problematic.
Why do we suffer from such an undesirable phenomenon? Perhaps those who claim they will bare themselves and confess everything actually hope to hold on to their secrets while they search for faults in others. They would be wrong to think that the public would never discover their wrongdoing. Maybe the public unconsciously takes into account the limits of the investigations.
The Johari Window, whose name comes from the first names of creators Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham, divides personal interaction and awareness into four panes. The “public” pane represents things that both you and others know about yourself, and the “private” pane refers to things you know about yourself but hide from others. The “blind” pane deals with what you are not aware of but others see. The “unknown” pane represents things neither you nor others know about you.
Koreans live in a culture that traditionally emphasizes the “private” pane. People are highly interested in rumors and like to talk about others’ behavior, but they also try to keep inside information to themselves or within a particular group. So exchanging pardons for confessions is an approach that is not familiar to many Koreans with traditional values.
In order to cure the people who think they are wrongfully accused, and to unravel the communication chaos, we need to widen the “public” pane of the Johari Window. We have a long way to the resolution unless our culture stops being so secretive.


by Kim Seok-hwan

The writer is an editorial writer of the JoongAng Ilbo
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