The true meaning of professionalism

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The true meaning of professionalism

Sometimes, you find your rival more attractive than your own team. Players with professionalism fascinate allies and enemies alike. Upon the Battle of Hansan Island during the Japanese invasion (1592-1598) of Joseon, Japanese commander Wakizaka said he hated Admiral Yi Sun-shin the most and admired him the most. The true nature of significance is revealed not only in historic battles but also in conduct and behavior at normal times.

Pro baseball player with an outstanding offense Eric Thames of the NC Dinos said in an interview with the JoongAng Ilbo, “I would have to train no matter who visits, even President Obama.”

He had turned down a meeting request from U.S. Ambassador to Korea Mark Lippert because of his training schedule. Every day he follows the same routine and it is important to him because it gives him confidence and peace of mind. The athlete is strict on his professional training schedule.

KLPGA golfer Kim Se-young was spotted wearing toe socks on a television program. The 22-year-old golfer may have wanted to dress fashionably on television, but instead, she chose the toe socks because they allow her to put more weight on the toes and swing farther.

Professionals postpone a meeting with an ambassador or are not embarrassed to show an ugly pair of socks. They deserve respect even if they don’t get the best outcome. Even if the fans don’t appreciate their endeavors and passion, they will calmly carry on with their training routines.

Professionals don’t blame others or seek consolation. In fact, half-hearted consolation is rather insulting. Professionals are beautiful yet lonely; they continue to struggle against themselves.

The one that should be most professional today in Korea is the security control tower. Seoul is given the complicated task of marching towards reunification in the confrontational state between South and North Korea. So the security control tower should be a congregation of the best and most competent professional public servants.

But in reality, the National Intelligence Service (NIS) has been wrecked by illegal wiretapping allegations. The Ministry of National Defense is in chaos in the aftermath of the explosion of land mines placed by the North Korean military in the demilitarized zone. Their pursuit of solutions is hardly professional. They are wishy-washy about the issues that require details and amplify suspicion with belated explanations. They were insensitive about facts like the color of the license plate on the car driven by the dead NIS agent. They allowed the irony of proposing a talk with Pyongyang the day after the land mine left two soldiers maimed.

But some ruling party members side with them, discouraging the public from blaming them for the sake of national security. The security control tower may find the supporting fire from the allies grateful. If they find consolation from the support, they are not professional.

The author is a deputy political news editor at JTBC.

JoongAng Ilbo, Aug. 14, Page 30


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