Sunday, April 15, 2012

Sincerity and Genuiness in making One's Case

A  Catholic Religious Sister  was not too happy when seeing a cartoon showing the values of the Free Trade Act between Korea and  the United States. Writing in the "Window From the Ark" column in the Catholic Times, she wonders if there is anything that can move us like sincerity. It is, she says, what our society needs more than anything else. With sincerity we can  forgive mistakes, and separated hearts can be joined together again; our strength comes from sincerity. 

She feels that sincerity can do a great deal in healing some of the problems of our society. The compassion  Koreans showed during the IMF period a few years ago, when Korea had problems with foreign exchange, is a good example.  Citizens helped to overcome the problems by  converting what they couldn't convert--precious wedding gifts, golden rings given to babies on their birthdays--to help increase the gold reserve of the country.

The cartoon was captioned: "With the American and Korean Free Trade Act our daughter will change." Seeing the cartoon, Sister felt wretched. "Lemons, oranges, cheese, etc. at a good price; complexions will improve, easy diets.... American cosmetics, handbags, etc., at cheap prices; the increase of foreign investment will increase  jobs."

This pro FTA cartoon issued by the government was hard for her to accept.  It lacked sincerity. She was hoping for facts, the pros and cons to help make a good decision, but this was not forthcoming. Citizens have a right to know what the facts are in order to make an informed decision on the wisdom of the FTA.

Her problem with the cartoon was twofold. If it is recognized as a serious policy issue and is treated with this kind of lightness, there is a lack of morality.On the other hand if the issue is not recognized as serious than there is a lack of understanding of our society.

The second problem is the way women are seen. Are women so dull-witted that the seriousness of the problem is on the back burner, and all they are concerned about is their appearance? She felt it was looking down on women, seeing them as a nicely wrapped commodity, interested only in themselves and making commodity buying cheaper.

Some of the younger generation will be happy with the change to free trade, but we should not forget those who will not benefit. For them, life will be more difficult. And shouldn't their future predicament be also our present concern? With more sincerity, the sister says, our citizens  will be happier and more at peace.

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