Friday, May 28, 2010

Not All That Glitters Is Precious

It is refreshing to hear stories of persons who don't follow mainstream thinking. The managing director of the Catholic Peace Weekly and Peace Broadcasting, celebrating 22 years of service to the Catholic community, in the anniversary editorial proclaimed this direction for the paper--a very bold statement in today's world.

Twenty-two years is not a long time, but he says they have seen, heard and learned a great deal during that time. The introduction of smart phones to the Korean society has brought in many changes, affecting not only the way we act but the way we think.

He also notes that computers, without discounting their enormous benefits, are in some ways a mixed blessing to our children. Having been introduced to the imaginary world of computers at an early age, children are having difficulty distinguishing the real from the imaginary. These same children will become the adults of tomorrow. By putting ourselves in their shoes, we might begin to understand the scope of the problem and what can be done to help solve it.

When these technological advances begin to lose their charm, we will, he feels, get back to the things of God, but when that day comes, he worries that it may be too late. We have to contend with the success and widespread use of the new technologies by all levels of society, which can distort the way our society sees many of the values of the past. If listening to God in our hearts means not following the crowd, then we will not unthinkingly accept everything that is new.

He was encouraged to hear a writer say he was not going to write with his eyes on the audience rating; his writing will be determined by what he thinks is good. It's a position the director has expressed many times, though it's not considered good business practice. To keep the values of the past and not be influenced by the distortions of the present, he is willing to take a step into the past. There are, after all, values in life besides material success. What we need now are more successful examples of those who are swimming against the current to maintain their integrity and honor, not only for themselves but for the society they live in.

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