[FOUNTAIN]Refreshed, it’s time to resume workIndustries halted for the holiday. The physical labor and mental stress, even the competition between people stopped. The tension was relieved, and we were finally able to enjoy sweet sleep. The old folks showed more wrinkles, but their hands were warm and welcoming. Families gathered to talk about childhood memories. It is wondrous to see how the nephews and nieces grow. As we get old, we are more sentimental about hearing the voices of old friends from the home town.
This is how we all spend Chuseok. The bright full moon and the ring around it, the cool autumn breeze and the chirping crickets eased resting minds. Nature is unconditionally generous to all that appreciate it. Weary souls become rejuvenated under the moonlight. Exhausted bodies are purified in the clean breeze.
Profits, goals and efficiency, the principles that rule the world of business were no longer applied in the peaceful world of Chuseok. The holiday was a world of sharing, made up of families, neighbors and home. We wasted our time away, making the half-moon rice cakes, playing cards, eating and drinking as much as we wanted, watching movies and taking a long walk. Time was not the only thing wasted during the holidays. We did not spare our hearts, love, devotion and generosity. We warmly embraced nature and each other. It was a time of squandering love.
We revisited the virtues we had been stingy in applying in the world of business. As the entire nation took a long-anticipated rest, people discovered lost virtues. Misunderstandings were resolved and hatreds disappeared. That’s why our ancestors invented the saying, “Let everyday be like Chuseok; no more, no less.”
The trip back from the home town was like crossing the bridge from rest to work. We are back in the world of labor. Soon enough, bodies will develop pains and stress will be routine.
When I had a drink with friends during the holiday, one came up with a cleaver interpretation of utopia that can help the state of our minds at our work sites. Utopia comes from the Greek words ou or “no,” and topos, “place.” Utopia could be “nowhere,” but just by shifting the letter, “w,” it could become “now here. He proposed that we could change the world into a place worth living just by slightly changing our perspective.
by Chun Young-gi
The writer is a deputy political news editor of the JoongAng Ilbo.