Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Fighting Against Materialism

In English, we often use the phrase: born with a silver spoon in the  mouth;  meaning, the person was from birth born into wealth and  high society. The Peace Weekly brings to the attention of the readers a topic of discussion among the young. 

Young people have made their own spoon hierarchy: gold spoon, silver, bronze, and clay. Gold would be wealth from birth and social standing. Each spoon decreases the inheritance and lifestyle until you have the clay spoon: no inheritance and simple living. 

Some of the young people do not care for this division. Rafaela was brought up in wealth and went to the best schools but when told she was born with a gold spoon, denies this vigorously, and if you want to use  these words, she says,  laughing: " I am a  stainless spoon." She will be married next year and will  spend only about 1,250 dollars for the wedding not including the meal. "If I were a gold spoon person wouldn't I  have the reception  in some prestigious hotel?" 

Kim Matthew, whose family upbringing would be closer to the clay spoon group maintains that he is a gold spoon person. His  parents taught him the way to live and how to be happy. His mother lived by her convictions, his father quietly worked doing his best in everything, and both taught him what was necessary for a happy life. "Since that is the life I am living is that not a gold spoon existence?" If we used other values besides financial capability: self-respect,  no complaining  about one's condition in life, no feeling of inferiority, and each one pursued happiness, this spoon hierarchical thinking will disappear.

Park John feels that  using the word 'clay spoon' is disrespectful of one's parents. The very fact that we are using the analogy of spoons shows we are not living in a healthy society.

Justice and Peace Committee of Seoul mentions that the young people's bantering about spoons is a sign of their frustration with salaries, education and inheritance of wealth and their influence in society.  

Many irregular workers  have a hard time meeting expenses. Parents pass on opportunities for education, status and employment to their children. This passing between generations through inheritance is seen as one of  the reasons for inequality in South Korea. 

In a recent survey, the percentage of those who think they can raise their status in society by hard work continues to decrease. Peace and Justice community of Seoul, proposes that the policy of money and finances take second place, and persons and the environment take first place. Making these our  values would be a good way to begin the New Year. 

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