Wednesday, August 25, 2010
His book is written in the question and answer format, with the questions coming from Fr. Cha Dong-yeop, head of the Future Pastoral Institute of Incheon. Serialized in the Pastoral Information Magazine, the book examines the problems facing Korean society and the Church. He is very circumspect in dealing with the issues surrounding the Four Rivers Project and our relationship with North Korea, and, as always, conservative in evaluating the problems facing society, except when he talks about the young.
He has a great deal of respect for young Koreans. In his travels around the world, he found that they were praised for their creativity. He hopes Korea does not follow the example of the Japanese, who did not accept the help of the young in their revamping of society. Instead, they continued to glory in the past; Korea should not make the same mistake. Motivated more by instinct than by theory, young people, he feels, could put to good use this instinctual response in helping to govern the country, if only the government would allow them more of a voice in the decision making.
Society is now awash with ideas that the establishment doesn't appreciate. We need more openness to these ideas and a new vision, the kind that young people can provide. But government policies continue to exclude them from the decision-making process; the older generation is still very much in control. If the government just prepares the ground for more participation by the young, the monsignor believes that the future for the next 40 or 50 years will be bright.
He would also like to see a Korean Peace Corp that would send our young people overseas to the underdeveloped and developing countries to help them with their dreams. This would take care of many of our problems of finding work for the young people here in Korea. It would also help develop markets in the future with the good will that would be shared, and also mitigate the tensions now being felt between the older and younger generations.
Reading what the monsignor had to say was very uplifting, but I couldn't keep from thinking that his ideas for Korea were very similar to those of the West. I suppose it's natural to expect a personal benefit from what we do to help others. He mentions that since the discovery of America it has been the G5 or G6 countries that have been in control. After the Second World War, it was increased to G7 to G8, which helped to further global development but also continued to hurt the underdeveloped countries. He wonders whether the G8 countries at the recent G20 meeting of major economic powers might still have been in control. One solution to this control would be increasing the number of participants to G 77 so the underdeveloped countries would be in a position to speak out and make known their plight and desires for a more equitable relationship with the economically developed countries.