Wednesday, July 30, 2014

True Values in Life

Even the parishioners of the  small mission station here in Gyodong were given a petition to sign asking for legislation to determine the cause of the Sewol Ferry sinking on April 16th. Since the disaster a  hundred days have passed and the search for truth is still continuing.The tragedy and the conscientizing that is  taking place should bring changes to the country.

Family members of the victims are on a  hunger strike demanding an early adoption of a  law to find the cause of the incident that left more than 300 people dead or missing.

Both Catholic papers had editorials on the problems in finding  the truth. Flowery words are used to describe the anguish of the families and the sorrow that accompanies the tragedy, but little has been done to discover the truth. The tragedy was man-made, could have been prevented, and we have not come any closer to discovering who was at fault and why, after three months.

Ten of those missing have not been found and there is a fear that we will forget the implications of what happened. The impact on the public can be compared to the 9/11 tragedy in the States. More so than the States the sinking of the Sewol Ferry opened up avenues of thought  that were not  easily accessible to the public.

The sinking of the ferry brought to the mind, said one of the participants in a public discussion on the tragedy, the many problems we have in our society:  the emphasis on economic progress without qualification; the value we give to life and human rights, took second place to profits; widespread corruption; lack of interest for  safety; dereliction of duty; weakness of crisis management on the part of government;  incompetence; and the weakness of the mass media in reporting. Many other areas have been given light by the tragedy.

Another participant representing those who lost someone in the tragedy said we should not forget the kind of  society that permitted this disaster to happen. Because of political  party squabbles on how to proceed each party is jockeying for positions and not proceeding in efforts to find the truth. There are also those that are telling the families to put an end to their efforts to find the truth. It is not difficult to image the hurt that this is causing the families. All they want to know is the truth to prevent this kind of tragedy in the future.

At the conclusion of an article on the issues involved a university professor mentioned people trying to fix something after the problem has occurred, they are trying to close the stable door after the horse has bolted. Closing the door with laws, systems, and procedures will not take care of the problem, says the professor, what is necessary is coming to a new understanding of what is important in life.

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