[Viewpoint]Wish list

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[Viewpoint]Wish list


It was a truly turbulent year. “Turbulent” probably doesn’t even do it justice. A new administration launched and the nation was shaken by anti-beef rallies. We are now facing an economic crisis so severe that some have said it is the worst in a century.

Everyone worked hard throughout the year, but as I look back on it, I still feel regrets and a lack of satisfaction.

At the beginning of 2008, I would never have imagined that I would feel the distress I now feel. Back then, everyone was dreaming that the future would be brighter.

Whenever a new year comes, I always create some goals and set about achieving them. Now, as the old year ends and a new one begins, I have taken out my list to see how I’ve done. It is very disappointing.

My score was pretty miserable last year because I failed to do much of what I had planned. The unexpected economic crisis made things even worse.

But it wasn’t all bad. While my average score took a nosedive, I still managed some achievements.

I’m sure many of you probably accomplished your personal goals amid the hardships, and that thought comforts me.

It’s time to prepare for the year ahead, but I’m very worried. The economy is expected to worsen this year, and I have no clue what my plans should be.

Although it is extremely frustrating, I can’t give up hope for this year. The times are harsh, but that’s never an excuse to give up hope. Without hope, it’s impossible to overcome the looming hardships.

Rather than creating ambitious New Year’s resolutions this year, I have decided to make a simple list of wishes. Instead of being firmly determined to achieve my plans, this year I’ve just decided to hope that my list will be realized.

I don’t want to score the list this time. If I get through it, then I’ll be lucky. If not, I won’t be disappointed.

Actually, the idea of creating a wish list is borrowed from a movie that I watched recently, “The Bucket List.”

The film is about two terminal cancer patients who seek to get the most out of the remainder of their lives. Carter, played by Morgan Freeman, is a wise man who spent his life as an auto mechanic. Edward, played by Jack Nicholson, is a stubborn millionaire. They share a hospital room and become friends.

While in the hospital, both learn that they have less than a year left to live. That’s when they make their “bucket list” of things that they want to do before they kick the bucket.

Items on the list include: witness something truly majestic, laugh till I cry, drive a Shelby Mustang, kiss the most beautiful girl in the world, get a tattoo, go skydiving, visit Stonehenge, see the Pyramids, visit the Taj Mahal, and ride a motorcycle on the Great Wall of China.

The pair embark on a journey to do what they really want to do for the first time in their lives. Whenever they achieve one thing, they cross it off the list. They get through a lot, but still fail to “witness something truly majestic.”

Carter dies first, and shortly after that, Edward faced his death.

The ashes of the pair are buried together on the top of Mount Everest, overlooking the “truly majestic view.”

When the unlikely couple went to see the Pyramids, at one point Carter asks Edward the two questions that the ancient Egyptians had to respond to before they got to enter the after-life. “Did you find joy in your life?” and “Did you bring joy to others?”

With their deaths approaching, the two elderly men seriously contemplated the questions.

Now, I’m asking those two questions of myself, and adding an item to my list of wishes.

I recommend you make a list of your own, too.

Happy New Year!



The writer is an editorial writer of the JoongAng Ilbo.

Kim Jong-soo

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