[FOUNTAIN]To avoid being a ‘wicked, lazy servant’

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[FOUNTAIN]To avoid being a ‘wicked, lazy servant’

A steward was the servant whom the master most trusted. He was in charge of the master’s fortune, and his fate depended on the master. But as long as a steward had the confidence of his master, he would have the authority to manage the household. The virtue of a steward was loyalty to the master and management competence. A steward would be the equivalent of a good manager today.
In the New Testament, a master entrusted one, two and five talents of money to three servants upon leaving for a long journey. When the master returned, he found that the servants who were given two and five talents had put the money to work and gained as much as they were given. He was very pleased. But the servant who received one talent had dug a hole in the ground and hidden the money.
The servant said to the master, “I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have scattered seed. So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.” The master called him a “wicked, lazy servant,” and threw him out. To the master, being wicked meant a lack of loyalty and being lazy meant a lack of competence.
Prime Minister Goh Kun has been given the task of a good manager as an acting president under the constitution. When the legitimate proprietor comes along in the future, he needs to present him with a statement of loss and gain. In general, not many people doubt his loyalty and competence.
But the question is how he displays his loyalty and competence. That would depend on whom he considers to be his master. The ultimate master would be the public, but the spirit of the group has already been divided. So he would presume that his master would be Roh Moo-hyun or some unknown figure in case the Constitutional Court finds the impeachment legitimate. If Mr. Goh were loyal to the unknown president and Mr. Roh returns, he would become the disloyal servant. The reverse is true as well. If he keep his hands down just like the servant given a talent, he would be branded a “wicked, lazy servant.”
From the perspective of the power game, the situation Mr. Goh finds himself in is not a dilemma but a trilemma. The position of the acting president is never an easy job.


by Chun Young-gi

The writer is deputy political news editor of the JoongAng Ilbo.
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