Time for a new icon of excitement
Koreans’ shoulders are sagging more and more. Life is a series of challenges, but people increasingly confess how they are suffering. Koreans are supposed to be festive. We are born with the festive gene, and we love dancing and singing. But with only two months left in the year 2015, Koreans are not having fun because there is no hope. The Pandora’s box opened and released greed, jealousy, envy, diseases and all the evils of the peaceful world. But hope remained at the bottom of the box to keep people’s lives going. But now, we have lost hope. How do we live now?
The politicians who are paid by taxpayers are dividing the nation over state authorship of history textbooks. In heavy rain, rallies for and against the government-authored history textbooks were held in downtown Seoul on Saturday. Those who support the state-authored textbooks claim that it is a protective measure to suppress the history of rebellion of North Korea supporters.
Opponents argue that the accusation of being North Korea supporters and justifying with economic reasons are classic tricks the government uses to escape blame. When the state-authored textbook is published in 2017, the next administration may not uphold it. We need to wait and see whether history will repeat itself, but the citizens who are busy making a living are worried about raising children, getting a job and preparing for retirement.
The economy has become defunct, with a red light on. Technicians are working hard to repair it, but they may not be capable of fixing it. The patient is still in pain, but the doctor claims that he was all treated and should not worry. The youth unemployment problem remains serious. Koreans want to have fun rather than get involved in complicated problems.
Let’s look at what Koreans enjoyed. The Saemaul Movement made Koreans excited and hopeful to get out of poverty. “Let’s live wealthily” was so obvious that it did not require complicated theories. Koreans could not go on starving and get out of extreme poverty if we worked hard. The 2002 World Cup also put the country in a festive mood. Even in heavy rain, Koreans gathered to cheer for team Korea, which advanced to the semifinal round. They made a miracle happen. Koreans can make the impossible possible when we get excited and enjoy.
One of the key ideas that made the United States a superpower was “manifest destiny.” It was the belief that was widely held in the mid-19th century that the United States was destined to explore and expand throughout the North American continent. It justified expansionism and territorial claims and played a major role in urging people to migrate to the newly discovered lands in the West. Americans headed west and created what would become the United States today.
The Saemaul Movement and 2002 World Cup are icons of dynamic energy treasured in Koreans’ memories. Now, we need a new icon of reinvigoration and excitement. We need your help on this, President Park.
The author is a researcher at the Unification Research Institute, JoongAng Ilbo.
JoongAng Ilbo, Nov. 9, Page 34
by KO SOO-SUK