Thursday, April 16, 2009

Conflict of Values

We are replacing presently an old fence behind the Church with a block foundation and a new fence. The property was surveyed. We are not claiming all the land that we own but trying to keep close to the line of the old fence. I thought this would be appreciated by our neighbors. Well, when the contractor started to work we had all the neighbors there complaining about the drainage. I thought that since we were so generous and were also interested in handling the drainage problem correctly all would be well. The contractor has his own views on what should be done. He was involved in the initial conflict and doesn't want a problem with the neighbors.

Even the Catholics and not only our neighbors are guided by the traditional Korean values. I am a Westerner with a more individualistic appreciation of my rights. The Korean Culture emphasizes group awareness, over my personal concerns. They are much more sensitive to the feelings of the others, and they on the whole do not like conflict.

These traditional Korean values seem to be more Christian than the values that I have been brought up with and consequently the conflict. I have decided to stay out of it for my own peace of mind but it is difficult.

We Need 3 Different Set of Eyes

This Korean e-mail was received yesterday in my e-mail and thought it worth sharing even though it is a poor translation.

First we need eyes to see ourselves. What do I want?
I need eyes to see truly what I need.

Secondly we need eyes to see the other.
To know what the other expects of me.
Not losing the core of what one live in harmony with the other
is forming a healthy personal relationship.

Thirdly Eyes to see the world.
How is the world changing?
I need eyes to see what I can do for the world.
If the society that I am part of does not grow then my growth will be limited.
We need to see ourselves and others with the eyes of wisdom to discern the society to which we belong.
When we have these eyes we can cultivate our will and strengths to positively change the society to which we belong.
First see myself, see the other and then extend to seeing the whole of society.
It is then that our ideal and the real world begin to come into harmony.
The person with these 3 set of eyes will walk firmly in the real world: the head and heart in the direction of the ideal.

1 comment:

  1. From Fr. Brian Barrons in China.

    I enjoy reading the Maryknoll Korea Blog.

    Peace and my best wishes to all of you.