Don’t just do it

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Don’t just do it

Song Gil-young
The author is Mind Miner.

The mountains surrounding the palace within the four gates of the city built 600 years ago were for defense, but they are now a blessing for the future generation. They bring the joy of amazing seasonal changes. As I stepped into a residence of an architect nestled in the mountain in downtown Seoul, I felt that autumn was almost here. The air I breathe in was already refreshing. I knew that autumn is approaching, but knowing it and feeling it are different.
We know that flowers bloom and wither, and babies are born and grow old. We also know that when you do good deeds, you will be blessed and that if you treat others kindly, you will be treated the same. But it is not easy to live every moment faithfully just because you know these. If you had known everything early on, you would have studied harder, read more good books and practiced at least one musical instrument before it’s too late.
Then, why can’t we act it out even if we know? Isn’t it because we feel that there are too many things to do now — and too many things “you must do now”? And isn’t it because the timing to expect the outcomes seems distant? As seen in the television program showing people who went into the mountain to eat natural food and exercise more after their health deteriorated, we only feel the importance when it hits us.
As I watch our lives living day by day knowing what’s going to happen but hoping to delay or avoid it, my mantra has been “What will happen will happen.” Observing the challenges humanity has gone through for nearly two years now, I wonder what’s going to happen next.
The flow of distributing resources like blood all of a sudden has stopped, exchanges among countries are restricted, and the cooperative system of mankind to closely rely on each other is being challenged. We witnessed the tragic reality of evident differences between countries depending on the efficiency of system and material abundance. As we became reluctant to meet in person, alternative and selective methods show the possibility of human isolation in economic activities while pursuing safety.
The vertigo we feel is hard to stand even for those accustomed to rapid growth, as acceleration of change continues to increase. For example, the online registration for vaccines allowed the entire nation to experience the automation in administration. You can get proof of vaccination on the Korean Centers for Disease Control app, and you can also report suspected symptoms. In order to use the app, you can learn the process of getting a certificate or verifying text messages on the phone under your name.
If you link the Foreign Ministry’s system for quarantine exemption for overseas travel, passport information can be entered. The day has come when everything is seamlessly connected through the collaboration of data-driven linked systems and smart users. The benefit is entry into a safer and convenient world, and the fear is the confusion of the people who find it hard to get used to the process that has become the subject of efficiency.
But what I’ve listed above are nothing new. Scholars have already warned over time about the problems of climate change, globalization, AI and platforms. Fictions from more than 100 years ago and movies from decades ago also addressed the dark and inconvenient truth about survival of humans in the intelligent systems. The problem is that the things that seemed farfetched are approaching, and with the pandemic, the speed is accelerating.
But if all these things are meant to happen, shouldn’t we prepare accordingly? Execution in the wrong direction before fast changes can lead to irreversible outcomes. Don’t do it mindlessly. You have to think first and plan to prepare for what’s expected to happen. After understanding the proposition that our future is created by the sum of our desires, set goals for the life that’s been extended, and then act.
Translation by the Korea JoongAng Daily staff.
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