‘Trust power of positive thinking’
Ji used the computer mouse and keyboard to focus on writing and was able to freely write using a computer. “I wanted to become a computer programmer to freely communicate with the world,” Ji said.
Ji was accepted at Kyungsung University in 1998 as a computer engineering major, and completed his master’s. He received a doctorate last month from the computer engineering department of Pusan National University.
By overcoming his disability, the 31-year-old Ji turned out to be an inspiration for Korea’s disabled. He recently became the first severely disabled person to become a 5th-degree civil servant.
“I trust in the power of positive thinking every moment,” Ji said.
He did not allow his disability to limit him. When he was in his first year at university, it took him three days and four nights to hike the ridges of Mount Jiri with his friends. In his second year, he took a one year leave of absence to work part time at Hyosung Industrial Machinery in Seoul.
“I lost two toenails hiking Mount Jiri and faced hardship living alone in a rented room in Seoul, but I was able to cope by thinking of the future,” Ji reminisced.
The next chapter of Ji’s life has taken him to the Korean Intellectual Property Office.
Ji will go through field training and begin working on computer programs and electronics patent evaluations in December.
Kim U-ho, who works in the human resource development planning section at the Ministry of Public Administration and Security, said the government will be doing more to help disabled people like Ji gain employment. “This year, with the severely disabled-person special employment program, 14 physically and visually disabled people will be placed in 13 government departments,” Kim said.
Ji said he also believes in the “power of consideration. One must let go of the thought that as a disabled person, others have to give consideration first,” Ji said. “Thinking about what consideration I can give to others is important. When consideration is given to others first, more is followed in return.”
By Han Eun-hwa [firstname.lastname@example.org]