Mea culpa, mea maxima culpa
“The model person is someone who is good at cooking like an Englishman, respects foreigners like a Frenchman, has a good sense of humor like a German, is diligent like a Spaniard, has good self-control like an Italian, speaks foreign languages like an American, is paid well like a Chinese, has a strong individuality like a Japanese and refrains from drinking like a Russian.”
If you want to include a Korean in the joke, what would it be? Considering the latest social climate in Korea, we could say an ideal person “does not blame other people like a Korean.” Nowadays, people are not willing to take responsibility but instead raise their voices to blame other people, the other side and other groups.
When an incident occurs, it would be only normal for the citizens to wonder what the social leaders would say. However, we are not curious about their positions any more since it is so obvious.
When a judge acquitted former representative Han Myung-sook, the justice system was praised as wise, but when former representative Chung Bong-joo is ruled guilty, the justice system is pronounced dead.
The perspective should remain the same regardless of personal likes and dislikes, whether it is about Chung Bong-joo or the families of Lee Myung-bak. However, the responses are not just obvious but nearly shameless.
The Emergency Response Committee on the popular television comedy show, “Gag Concert,” has an insight into the latest tendency. Kim Won-hyo quickly fires, “Let me guess what you want to say. I know what you are going to say. Isn’t it right? I know what’s going on in your mind!”
Mea Culpa means “my fault.” It is also the title of a love song by Edith Piaf, but Catholics remember it as a part of the prayer of confession. “Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.” The believers confess “through my fault, through my own fault, through my own most grievous fault.” As we celebrate Christmas, we should remind ourselves that sometimes the fault is our own, as we wish for love, forgiveness, peace and reconciliation regardless of our religious beliefs.
*The writer is an editorial writer at the JoongAng Ilbo.
By Noh Jae-hyun
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
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