Monday, August 16, 2010

Three Problems Confronting Korea

In this week's opinion piece in the Catholic Times, the head of the Family Academy examines three problems confronting Korea today by using thoughts taken from Pope Benedict's  encyclical  "Charity in Truth."

 "The way humanity treats the environment influences the way it treats itself, and vice versa" (#51). If we have a weakness in one part of the ecological system this will affect other parts of the system.

"If there is a lack of respect for the right to life and to a natural death, if human conception, gestation and birth are made artificial, if human embryos are sacrificed to research, the conscience of society ends up losing the concept of human ecology and, along with it, that of environmental ecology" (#51). The way we treat life is the way we will treat our environment.

Ecology is a major concern for Korean society, the writer believes. What we are doing to destroy our environment is an insult to humankind, and whatever we do to make our environment live, makes us live.

The second problem is the low birthrate in Korea. Young people do not find marriage an easy possibility. The increasing difficulties of  finding a good job that will make raising a family easier is a worry not  only for the individual but for families. This is one reason the young are avoiding marriage and, when married, deciding not to have children or to have one or two at the most.

"Uncertainty over working conditions caused by mobility and deregulation, when it becomes endemic, tends to create new forms of psychological instability, giving rise to the difficulty in forging coherent life-plans, including that of marriage. This leads to situations of human decline, to say nothing of the waste of social resources. In comparison with the casualties of industrial society in the past, unemployment today provokes new forms of economic marginalization, and the current crisis can only make this situation worse" (#25).

Finding work in Korea for the young is a big problem. The writer does not want us to see the fire on the other side of the river but here at our feet; government, business and the whole of society should be working together to do something about it.

The third problem is the serious matter of our peninsular. The attempt to strengthen the alliance between Korea and the United States brings to the fore the  struggle between the two super powers, the United States and China and  casts a shadow on the peninsular. The efforts to find peace has not brought the dream of a united Korea any closer to be realized. And with the tension mounting, the goal should not be to feel safer but to go beyond the peninsular and prepare for peace throughout Northeast Asia.

"Today humanity appears much more interactive than in the past: this shared sense of being close to one another must be transformed into true communion. The development of peoples depends, above all, on a recognition that the human race is a single family working together in true communion, not simply a group of subjects who happen to live side by side" (#53).
The thinking expressed in this opinion piece is shared by many of our Koreans, especially those who believe we are relying too much on the West when there should be more effort given to living in peace with the people of  Northeast Asia. This will explain much of the rhetoric that we hear and possibly some of the antics that are being reported.

1 comment:

  1. The world is like a playground, it includes different bullies.
    Korea has to decide which bully it wants to play with, China or USA?
    I think that USA has shown itself to be the less difficult and more 'friendly' bully.