The columnist mentions a wine store near his home that offers Korean makgoli ( a sweet alcoholic drink made from rice). When you order makgoli you get a bowl of ice chunks in water. Taken together, he says, you have an unique and original taste,you experience something different. Gently melting ice also melts the tiredness of the day. It adds elegance to the makgoli.
Drinking a cup of coffee we are introduced to a topic of conversation and drinking makgoli with ice water, we are introduced to the present times. We are living in a time of diversity: in a Global village. Multiculturalism is the reality, to think only of a traditional Korean drink in Korean style homes, limits us. With this thinking we have difficulty living in our world village. He doesn't want to say this hodgepodge like culture is a good, but we need an open mind and wisdom.
Coexistence and win-win thinking is the maxim of society in which we live: a time of fusion. Korean culture is spreading to other countries: Korea pop music, dress, food. What is the reason for this? Truth, originality and self- respect is maintained, but we are open to listening, and communicating with others. In politics those who stubbornly held to the purity of their case without compromise lost in the recent election.
When political platforms are broad it has great merit. To foster zeal, inbreeding is a help, but not always a good, as we know from history in cultural revolutions, and many of our recent political-isms.
We also have the opposite: politics is the art of the possible, and its own brand of pragmatism: "It doesn't matter whether the cat is black or white as long as it catches the mouse." We have in the past alliances that helped to achieve the goals of the respective parties even though they were far from being sympathetic to the others' ideas.
Blending helps the creative buds to work. This slogan has long been used in industry and culture. We have to bring this into our political thinking. Understand what is different and work with it, and work so that everybody wins. I am always right and you are always wrong kind of camp thinking is not profitable with political realities. Conservative means you will have progressives and vice versa.
Koreans should be masters of this way of thinking. Look at the flag and the message is very clear: Yin and Yang thinking. We are blessed also to be peninsular, surrounded by water, where we have interchange and communication. We need to be an example to the rest of the world on how to get-along.