Heroic acts of kindness

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Heroic acts of kindness

You don’t need to be a billionaire philanthropist or have high social status in order to make the world a better place. The Korea National Council on Social Welfare conferred the title of Citizen Hero for the first time this year to ordinary people, the same folks we run into daily in our neighborhoods, such as a college student, a housewife, a cab driver and a company employee.

They may be ordinary people but the awardees worked up extraordinary courage and made brave sacrifices when they found people in trouble around them. Their heroic acts ranged from rescuing a person who was drowning, attending to a person who was run over by a car, taking on a violent person and rescuing a child who was on the verge of being sexually assaulted. These heroic citizens risked their lives to rescue others and didn’t expect any reward for their acts. We feel great admiration and respect for their attitude and deeds. It is pleasing that our society has found a way to express our gratitude to them.

Knowing that we have such people among us, we are reminded that the world is still a good place to live. Although the world seems like it’s been getting darker as time goes by, we won’t lose hope thanks to our brave and warmhearted neighbors.

The American news channel CNN also names a citizen hero every week. Recipients of the award include an employee of a cafe who donated a kidney to one of its patrons, even though the employee didn’t know the customer’s name. Another awardee is a college student who enlisted volunteers over the Internet to treat people with eye diseases who couldn’t afford to see a doctor.

Back in Korea, there are yet more good-hearted people. Times may be hard but many tightened their belts and reached deep into their pockets to help their less-privileged neighbors.

The Community Chest of Korea’s contributions since early this month are already up 13.7 billion won ($9,272,984) more than last year’s. One recent graduate working at a company donated 200,000 won from his first paycheck. A housewife said she would help others instead of going out to a restaurant on her birthday and donated 100,000 won. A company employee saved all his rebates for oil purchases and donated the sum to the charity. All of them are everyday heroes who make the world a better place.

We hope that their spirit of sharing and sacrifice will spread into every corner of our society. We need more heroes to overcome this unprecedented crisis.
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