Recently much has been made of the Gap-Eul culture (see May 26 blog). Even comedians are finding ways of getting the words into their routines, says the Catholic Times writer in his View from the Ark. The current understanding, seen as natural, of the words ascribes being strong (having an advantage others don't have) with the word Gap, and being weak (lacking an advantage in any confrontational situation) with the word Eul, our writer believes this understanding to be woefully misleading.
one is questioning, he says, that society is made up of individuals who
are often described as weak and strong participants in our society, but
we should not forget the win-win
possibilities, one of the ways to build a healthy society. Otherwise,
the weak tend to be oppressed by the strong, and the law of the jungle
where the Gap (the strong) have oppressed the Eul (the weak) have
angered many, leading to demands to remedy the situation. But law is not
the answer for this type of
abuse, says the columnist. We should rather look at
ourselves and see where we have played the part of the Gap and used
others to our advantage. He points out the example of Jesus, who was the
of Gaps and yet he accepted the role of the Eul. Guided by this
example, the writer suggests six ways for persons who are in a Gap
position to overcome the temptation to take advantage of their position.
First: When someone asks for help, I can give it or not. This is my Gap
position, but since as a Christian I have the duty to love, which is a debt I can't fully repay,
this makes me a Eul.
Second: When people ask for my opinion or advice, I
can consider myself Gap because of the trust they place in me. But remembering that
wisdom comes from God makes me a Eul.
If I have a position in
society with some authority, receiving respect that comes with the
position, that makes me a Gap. But realizing that as a Christian I'm
obligated to love my neighbor as myself, I know that when another is
suffering I too am suffering, this makes me a Eul. Fourth:
When I have received
help and have paid out money for the help, the work done, I am a Gap,
but to remember
that without that help it would have been difficult to live the way I
do, making me thankful and respectful to those who have helped me, this
makes me a Eul.
money at my disposal to use the way I want, I am a Gap, but when I
remember those who have difficulty living well, often not getting enough
to eat, this makes me a Eul. Sixth: Thinking I can use what I have in the way I want makes me a Gap; when I realize all is a gift, this makes me a Eul.
I remember I am God's child and friend and the temple of the Holy
Spirit, I'm teaching what it is to have the blessings of a Gap. And when
I live as a Eul, admonishing myself, lowering and behaving
circumspectly, and asking especially from the Holy Spirit for the gift
of awe, I'm teaching what it is to have the blessings of a Eul. Both
qualities are needed, both blessings help us to become the whole persons
we were meant to be.