[Student Voices]A call for building trust
The streets of Seoul have been brightened for many nights by thousands of candlelights recently. Korean citizens young and old, male and female, from the homeless to prosperous businessmen, have joined with one voice to protest against the government.
Although on the surface it may be a beautiful sight to see Koreans speak out against a policy as one, deep down is an ugly reality ? there is no trust between the citizens and their government.
I was always proud to be a Korean. This pride is one of the reasons why I strive to achieve success everyday. Therefore, there was never a doubt in my mind about the government and its capability. I believed that the democratic government of South Korea was a strong one that cared for its people and considered their safety a priority.
This belief has never proved me wrong until the issue broke out regarding importation of beef from the United States.
Protesters in Seoul and from the countryside have been gathering for weeks.
These anti-U.S. beef rallies are struggling to catch the attention of their government; it is the method they have chosen to speak out as citizens living under a democracy.
Because it is not just a few people but thousands of citizens pleading for renegotiation of U.S. beef imports, the government should take heed with sincerity.
A democratic government is supposed to follow the will of its people. South Korea’s government should consider the widespread protests of children and their parents seeking assurances of safety as an opportunity to fulfill its democratic duty.
It is a chance for the government to prove itself capable of communicating with its people, and creating a bond of trust.
However, the government does not show willingness to respect, accept or understand the opinions of citizens. Just as it’s important for the government to earn the trust of the citizens, it is also important for the citizens to trust the government’s capability.
Instead of rebelling against the government, it is important for Korean citizens to work with their government as a helpful system toward settlement of the issue. Mutual cooperation and encouragement are crucial. After all, they are aiming for the same goal of development leading to a stable and successful future.
Whether we like it or not, it is natural for issues and opinions to collide within any society. Korea is currently facing a difficult challenge along its path to becoming a successful developed country.
Despite the political issues and its catastrophic impact on the stability of the country, it is the perfect opportunity for Korea to get to a higher level of maturity.
We are fighting among each other, a fight that is not only hopeless but also greatly damaging to the nation. We have come this far; it is foolish to lay waste to what we have achieved because of the insecurity we feel.
After many years when we look back at this collision, it is my wish that we remember it as the revolutionary event that helped the republic build its strongest internal bonds. It all depends on you and me.
Suwon International School,Gyeonggi Province
by Haeun Noh