Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Simplicity and Detachment

Korea recently had the feel of the middle ages, understanding the fear that was generated with the plague.  Korea will shortly be declared MERS free, but it did bring about much fear within the country. The 21st century began with many disasters and epidemics. New viruses, and bacteria quickly spread. With the exchange of medical news, we have seen wonderful results in preventing the  spread of these epidemics.

MERS has taught the citizens a great deal about our failures in not being able to contain the disease as was done in other countries. A professor writes in a column in the Peace Weekly on some of the lessons we need to learn from what was experienced. Hospitals were not prepared and even the first class ones were unprepared for the epidemic. We had an attitude of complacency that prevented people involved to expend their energy to the problem at hand as was seen in the Sewol tragedy of last year.

In the column, he blames those in a position of responsibility of pride and peace at any price thinking, which  prevented the containing  of the virus. Instead of responsibility and understanding, first consideration was for personal advantages  instead of concern for the sick. One was looking for their own personal well-being and motivated by covetousness.

When a society does not  remember those hurting, and is not concerned with them, we have a society without trust and community. MERS and the Sewol tragedy both  showed us what we lacked. He wonders if we have learned from these disasters. Failures should teach us, but wonders if this is the case. We do not have the feel of solidarity with others.

Pope Francis  has expressed  this as necessary if we are to grow as humans. In the  MERS and Sewol tragedies, we have those who did sacrifice themselves to help others, and we have learned from their heroic actions. We have to see these actions shown for the  health of  others as examples for all of us to follow. Even if we can't be as altruistic we should have our ideas go from the head to the heart.

In conclusion, he tells us in the words of Cardinal Stephen Kim:  "It took me 70 years for love to go from my head to my heart," It is only with this attitude that we will prevent future MERS and Sewol tragedies.

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