A grandfather who was living alone in a rented room, was notified that the house was sold, and he had to move.The situation was serious, despondent, he took his own life. Those who were entrusted with the moving found a note waiting for them; in the envelope was 100 dollars to have a meal with rice and soup. Another envelope had enough money for the funeral expenses, electricity, water and taxes.
Feb. of this year we had the suicide of a mother and her two
daughters by carbon dioxide poisoning because of poverty. The
daughters because of sickness were not able to work, and the mother in
her 60s worked in a restaurant to support them, but could not work because of an injury. The incident was reported in the news and caused a
great deal of remorse on the part of many.The government was moved to work on ways to help the indigent, and prevent incidents like what happened
to the grandfather.
Around the same time was the
case of another death of a popular singer that pushed aside news of the
mother and her two daughters. The columnist, writing on this issue, in the Peace Weekly, knows
that death brings sadness, but was again reminded that money and
honor, in many cases, determines how we look upon death. Putting his thoughts together on the grandfather's death the columnist felt distress.
In Buddhism birth and death,
prosperity or failure are all transient; important to see all as
vanity. A Christian, however, sees life as a sign of God's love and to put an
end to life with one's willful act is not acceptable. We are to
respect our bodies for they will be resurrected on the last day.
bishops in their recent meeting lamented in the way money and power is
pushing people to their death. We have put money and power on an equal
footing with life. Materialism and money are trampling
the poor under foot, and the bishops have decided to be with them. Up
until now we have had a middle class church, prosperous, on mission, a big
church, that has not chased out the poor, but have not made it easy for
them to find a place to stand or feel comfortable.
Bishops have expressed their sorrow and plan to do something to change the
The world is beautiful because one can find
love. A world with love is filled with human-like lives: a world that is lived according to the principles found in
creation, and is filled with the immanence of God. When the first
Christians in Korea were persecuted and escaped to the mountains, living together in difficult circumstances, no one died of hunger or
Like the bishops we have to meditate on the
situation we have today in the world, and work to put an end to those
who kill themselves because of alienation and poverty. In November we meditate on death and pray for the dead. A
time to change our attitude, and begin to see
what is important and what is less important in our lives.