A lesson in charityHanwha Group Chairman Kim Seung-youn began his 200 hours of required charity work at a village in Eumseong County, North Chungcheong, as part of the punishment he received for using violence against bar workers who’d fought with his son.
Kim helped seniors suffering from dementia with eating and using the bathroom. “There are many people we need to help. I will do it earnestly,” he said.
The work must feel quite strange to Kim, who has spent a good part of life as a chairman, but it is probably a meaningful experience.
Kim has had a difficult year. Unable to control his anger, he took matters into his own hands and lied to try to cover it up. He spent four months in jail.
After he was released on probation in September, Kim is said to have gone to Japan. It might have been a very difficult and painful time for him, but also a valuable period of self-reflection.
Looking at him serving seniors who have dementia is thus refreshing. Although he was ordered by the court to do the service, showing his humane side will help ease misconceptions about the chairmen of conglomerates.
Businessmen are worried that an anti-business sentiment will hurt their activities. The chairmen of the conglomerates are public figures and should be exemplary models to society. They need to respect law and order and embrace the downtrodden.
The United States has a well-developed capitalist society, with many respectable businessmen. The Rockefellers and Carnegies are good examples of the past, as Bill Gates and Warren Buffett are now. Buffett lives in the small city of Omaha, Nebraska and drives a humble-looking car. Americans believe he has helped improve the world.
It is time for Korea to have respectable businessmen, too. The public wants businessmen who serve society with sincerity and do not have a sense of superiority. We hope Kim learns from his charity work and helps make the world warmer and happier.