[FORUM]Lose the tie and dance!

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[FORUM]Lose the tie and dance!

I saw a touching experience from a concert stage for the first time in a long while. The concert, held at the Jamsil Olympic Stadium, was Elton John’s first tour to Korea.
The torrential shower that tenaciously tried to interrupt the performance lost its power as he played the piano with all his heart and spirit and sang passionately, making us forget the passage of time. Wet from the intermittently pouring rain on the roofless seats but enthralled by his songs “Daniel” and “Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word,” no one in the audience left.
It was a stage of passion that allowed no moment of distraction. Even after Elton John disappeared behind the stage, the audience looked blankly at the empty stage for a while.
But what was more surprising was the response of the audience members who sat near the stage. The apparently middle-aged audience, whether they came with their friends, daughters or spouses, were not much different from each other. Whenever a shout or cheer from the young people in the far seats echoed across the arena, the middle-aged people in the front seats just looked back with an awkward expression or shyly smiled at each other.
Even when Elton John shouted in an excited voice, “Let’s dance!” the grave-looking middle-aged people were all the same. They just watched the performance with a solemn look in the rain between the passion-filled stage and the enthusiastic audience in the seats behind them.
They were alive, but no different from corpses.
“The Last Vacation” concert was held in the open-air theater at Yonsei University at the end of August. The middle-aged men, sparsely seated among the young people, stood up awkwardly when the young stood shaking their bodies, excited by the songs by Rain and DJ DOC. Those who interrupted the majestic scene of “waves” created by tens of thousands of spectators cheering for our national team with one voice at soccer stadiums were none other than the middle-aged people in the first-class seats.
Today, emotional quotient is talked about in addition to intelligence quotient. The age when an intelligent brain was everything is over, and now is the age when not only brains but abundant emotion is also required to be ahead of others. But these alone seem insufficient. At least to avoid the party pooper who cools down the atmosphere, one should not act differently from the way the crowd moves. This is the so-called “corpse quotient.”
The corpse quotient can be calculated by how many times one remains motionless to save face or is concerned about how others look at you in a vibrant performance center or stadium, or by whether one just sits still, stands up, claps hands, shouts cheers, heeds the surrounding atmosphere or follows others.
In the opposite of “corpse” lies “youth.” The removal of wrinkles by cosmetic surgery that tightens droopy skin, or the recovery of physical vitality through wholesome food or exercise is nothing but a half-restoration of youth.
Rejuvenation becomes complete when we can mix with others with free gestures.
Lowering the corpse quotient is not impossible. Like other quotients, it is just a matter of development. Half success is already achieved if we have a positive attitude to adjust to the atmosphere.
The key to complete the other half of the rejuvenation lies in action strategies such as changing clothes (set yourself free by putting on casual wear instead of a formal suit, because clothes control attitude), going along with others in the group (the power of a party is the best medicine to overcome shyness) and sitting among the young (mixing with young people in general seats instead of royal seats helps one adjust to the atmosphere easily). Middle-aged people, your hearts are still warm! Isn’t it too early to lead the life of a corpse?

* The writer is an editorial writer of the JoongAng Ilbo.

by Hong Eun-hee
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