In the beginning of the 1960s per capita income in Korea was 100 dollars, in 2013 it was over 20,000 dollars. During the period of 40 years we have seen an increase of over 200 times. Briefly, many citizens have become 'rich overnight'. Sudden accumulation of wealth and new social status brings new attitudes: self importance, different from others, wanting respect, and the desire to show off the wealth and separate themselves from others.
university rector brings this reality to the attention of the readers in an opinion column in the Catholic Times. We see this in individuals who become overnight
millionaires but also true of a country-- immaturity, confusion and
he says are absorbed with the myth of success. Society does look down
upon failures which promotes the myth of success. Sadly, this thinking has entered the world of religion. Imported from the States in the last decades is the power of positive thinking, the
ideology that has moved much of Korea: personal development, happiness
evangelizers, and the feel good understanding of life.
Like a flood this enters our businesses, our churches, and
even the academies of learning. Much of this positive
thinking has worked. Like a panacea--we are dealing with the placebo
effect. What is the object of the positive thinking? Positive thinking
is the motivating force that energizes one to overcome difficulties and
moves the will and gives hope, but it can also be the driving force
for ambition and the spirit of greed.
'Feel good' understanding of religion can be pervasive in society.
The power of positive thinking is important but it is not
religion. Life is not the thirst for continual prosperity and health.
This religion of prosperity is not the longing for the eternal but attachment to the transient and ignoring our follow citizens and
matters of justice. God is often used as a tool and as a means to
attain success and prosperity.
Newly rich do not realize they are being controlled by an
inordinate emotion. In their new culture of wealth they do
not realize they are not being 'more' but losing what they were
made to be. Consequently, the uncontrollable passion for education, extreme competition, and many of the abuses that we have in society.
need to have a win/win understanding of culture, with the teaching of
wisdom enabling us to live together with others, and he concludes that this
should be the aim and duty of Christianity.