Friday, June 4, 2010

A Very Vunerable Life Span

An e-mail was received in praise of the United States with the following poem, along with pictures of President Obama relating with his opponents in a friendly manner. The theme of the poem (translated freely below) is particularly relevant in these turbulent times when the potential predatory nature of nations is all too visible. The history of nations should remind us that world powers have a limited and very vulnerable life span.

There was a hunter some time ago,
His bow in hand, his eyes on an eagle.
The eagle not conscious of his imminent death
Was preparing to grasp a snake.

The snake was staring, with no awareness of the eagle,
At a frog who was glaring at a ladybug,
Motionless, unaware of the frog,
Its attention firmly fixed on a tick.
The hunter dropped his bow
And quickly turning he thought to find
What might be eyeing him from behind.
Was he, like they, both predator and prey?

Not seeing anyone, the hunter saw
In a flash of insight
The silent predator, time's hourglass.
It preys on all of us.

Koreans have great respect for the way the United States government seems to change with little ill feelings between the two competing parties. There is hand shaking and a calm acceptance of defeat--all done with class. There are no fist fights or violence in their deliberations, and if one party does not get their way, they go to the people and willingly abide by their decision. This is not so readily done here. The transition to democracy in Korea is a very recent phenomenon, and seeing the States with its melting pot of nationalities getting along so amicably is a challenge. The dream is that Korea soon will be the home to this type of democracy.