[Outlook]Never give up

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[Outlook]Never give up

Once a grandfather and grandson went up a mountain to find wood to make an axe. The grandson’s feet started to hurt so he asked his grandfather, “There are lots of trees here. Why are we going further and further up the mountain?” Without answering the question the grandfather kept on going. Eventually they arrived near the top of the mountain. The grandfather found a branch that had penetrated the boulder of a cliff and struggled to cut it. Coming down the mountain, he told his grandson, “A tree must be really strong for its roots and branches to make a crack in a boulder. One should use the wood of such a strong tree to make the handle of an axe. Then the axe won’t break for a lifetime. Things can be used for a long time only after they have endured a great deal.”

From 1939 to 1945 during World War II, around 6 million people died in the Holocaust, the Nazi’s persecution and genocide of Jews. But Victor Frankl survived four concentration camps, namely Theresienstadt in the Czech Republic, Auschwitz in Poland and Kaufering and Turckheim in Germany. He survived because he never forgot the meaning of life and endured hardship. A person can’t go on if he loses faith in his future. But a person enduring hardship while remembering the meaning of life can overcome hardship of any kind and creates his own future.

On Friday, Oct. 13, 1972, 45 members of the Old Christian’s rugby team were flying to Chile when their plane descended and crashed in the Andes. Of them, 13 died on the spot while another eight died later in an avalanche. Under the extreme circumstances of minus 30 degrees Celsius (minus 22 degrees Fahrenheit) the survivors resorted to consuming the flesh of their dead teammates to go on. They had to go in search of rescue. The survivors had no equipment to climb the snow-covered mountains. In just basic clothing and sneakers, Nando Parado and Roberto Canessa climbed 5,000 meters above sea level, walked 100 kilometers and finally managed to get help. Thanks to them, all their remaining fellow players were rescued. After a 72-day fight against death, they came home.

Parado said that in the Andes, they barely stayed alive, feeling and cherishing every heartbeat, and they could truly love life. They realized that every second, every minute was a gift. After being rescued, he tried not to forget the desperate moments and as a result his life was filled with more blessings. He tells us to breathe and breathe again. If we can breathe, that means we are alive. We should love ourselves.

We should live life to the fullest and shouldn’t waste even the slightest moment, he advises us.

The lyrics to Mariah Carey’s hit “Hero” go: “Hold on, there will be tomorrow. /In time you’ll find the way. /And then a hero comes along with the strength to carry on /and you cast your fears aside /and you know you can survive. /So, when you feel like hope is gone /look inside you and be strong /and you’ll finally see the truth /that a hero lies in you.”

We should go on. No matter how difficult it may be, we should never give up but instead endure. If we give up now the hero that lies within ourselves won’t see the light of day and will be gone forever. We shouldn’t give up tomorrow, or the heroes within might leave us. We should keep pushing through hardship that is cast on us and let our heroes survive. We should say to ourselves, “Come on, there will be tomorrow!” When tomorrow comes, the perseverance that we have today will be proved to be very precious.

The writer is  an editorial writer of the JoongAng Ilbo.

by Chung Jin-hong
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