Sunday, May 2, 2010

How Much of This Speaks to Us?

Buildings are taller but our personalities lackluster.
Turnpikes are wider, our visual fields narrower.
Buying more goods, our consumption is greater
While our enjoyment is less.

Building bigger houses, the home is forgotten.
Having more conveniences, we have less time for ourselves.
More schooling but less common sense,
Information increases, judgment ceases.

Where specialists abound, more problems are found,
More medicines are given and less health.
Using things without thinking and laughing a lot less,
We drive ourselves too fast, impetuously causing disasters.

We have multiplied our possessions,
Only to find they are worth less than we thought.
We have created more words,
Only to find it easier to lie, and less easy to love.

We've learned how to earn a living but forgotten how to live.
Increased the years for living but lost the meaning of living.
Have travelled all the way to the moon, and back,

But find it difficult crossing the street to meet our neighbors.

We may have conquered outer space
But are losing our inner life.

We have instruments to clean the air
But few to scrub our spirits clean.

We break the atom to harness its energy

But hardly notice that breaking our prejudices
Would harvest a world of good will.
Good intentions waver as temptations enslave us.

We are taller in stature, but dignity has withered.
Searching for more profits our relationships have suffered.
Anxious for more leisure time,

Peace of mind escapes us.

There's more and faster transportation,

More disposables, more advertising, more of everything

We think we need, while our consciences

Get duller and happiness harder to experience.

This was an e-mail I received recently and freely translated. Filled with pessimism, it may speak to many of our Koreans and others. Our ancestors probably saw life in the same way. The optimist and the pessimist exist in each of us. The Koreans, because of their history, may be more on the side of the pessimist. But there will always be the question, who is more realistic: the optimist or the pessimist? For our health it is always better to see the brighter side than the darker, and for a Christian, we can be guided, among many other teachings, by advice from scripture: "I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. Choose life,then, that you and your descendents may live..." (Deut. 30:19). Basking in the sun gives you the strength to withstand the darkness when it comes.

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