We all wonder what the chances are for unification of the country. 70 years have passed, and we are no closer to a meeting of minds or seeking opportunities to talk. In the Catholic Times, a columnist who writes about reconciliation of the country asks is it possible.
She introduces us to one of her relatives who she admires a great deal and with whom she can speak without reservations on any topic. The person is very sensitive to abuses in society, and doesn't hesitate to talk about the injustices that abound. This quality in her relationship has always attracted her. However, recently, the person said something to her that was very much unlike what she understood the person to be. "I am not looking forward to unification" she remarked. The columnist hearing these words were like getting punched in the stomach. She has never talked about unification with the person which was a reason for surprise and disappointment.
Her relative was in the early forties and the reason given for the opinion: no knowledge of those in the North. "I don't know people in the North and consequently, to live in harmony with them will not be easy. It will double and triple the conflicts we have in society and divide the country more than it is at present." Contact with the refugees in the South from the North is well known; many are not interested in getting to know them. Her relative confessed (?) that she understands with her head the refugees from the North, but she is not inclined in her heart to get close to them.
The columnist respected the honesty and courage with which her relative approached the subject of North and South; it did not in any way diminish the respect she had for the relative. This way of thinking is well-known in the South. "Unification must be realized" all subscribe to this but when they reflect on the reality many express serious concerns: economic difficulties and culturally the country will be in chaos and unstable.
In the beginning, we saw the open hand and warm greeting, compassion, curiosity, words of encouragement but with the increase of numbers and hearing about some of the shameful things done, many began to distance themselves from the refugees. Those from the North also do not know the ways of the South, and wonder whether they will be able to live in harmony together.
sides have the same worry. With unification will we have harmony? Will
it not be wise then to get rid of all our worries anticipating reunion?
Is it not necessary to understand that with 70 years of separation the
North will be different from the South? We need to accept these
differences of the North and see them in a positive way. We have to
change our thinking and not see what is different as wrong. We need to rid ourselves of our feelings of superiority, and see the North as
our brothers and sisters and start making efforts to know them.