In Korea like any society, there are many who are not able to partake of the good life. The Peace Weekly, in a recent article on some who are having a difficult time coping, told the story of a woman who was born blind and was left in front of a hospital shortly after birth. Now 30 years old, she is in school studying music.
She was in the orphanage attached to the hospital until the age of 7 and then transferred to the school for the blind. She tells us: " I was lonely and wanted to talk to others about my situation, but I kept it to myself even during the years of puberty. I have a grudge against my parents. However, there must have been a reason for them to hand me over to the hospital. They got rid of me, but I want to forgive them."
She graduated from high school at no expense because of a government subsidy which also pays for her current music studies, but leaves nothing for her use.
In order to earn some money for her living expenses she has worked in massage parlors but most of them are places for sex. Only the blind are legally permitted to give massages, but the restriction is often not taken seriously.
When she got chubby, she was fired and then decided to work in the field of music. She's been told she has talent but living in a culture that is not very understanding of the handicapped, she often is frustrated by the responses she gets when she expresses her desire for a career in music. There are signs that this unfortunate situation is changing: we will soon have our first blind lawyer in Korea.
The Japanese, by training the blind to practice medical massage, were instrumental in opening the way for the blind in Korea to work in this area. This has now spread to other parts of the world. The blind make good masseurs; it is a shame that the image of the massage parlor is no longer what it was.