Korea in recent years has worked hard to become a more transparent society, corrupt free. Efforts made thru the social media complaining about the direction of society, the Board of Audit and Inspection have investigated and censured many in society. Illegal collusion in society has been uncovered and the recent law against corruption and the movement for an honest society has given birth to paparazzi and other irregularities. With these words in 'View from the Ark' column, of the Catholic Times, a college professor introduces us to a problem in society.
However, this movement for an upright society requires continual disclosures and punishment and yet according to Transparency International, Korea continues to be at the bottom end of the list of OECD countries for transparency. This is the reality for the last 7 years. We are not attacking the core reason for the problems and may be missing what is important.
According to sociologists special interests and universal interests are in conflict. Interests of the nation are important but the interests of individuals and the groups to which they belong prevail.
In this society with the spread of the idea that punishment will solve all our problems we are getting into dangerous waters. Many are retreating into their shells for self-protection and peace at any price thinking. Civil servants will be concerned only for themselves and this thinking spills over to the larger society.
A business enterprise some years ago was sold at a very low price and those in prominent positions let it happen because of the headaches that would develop if they took another path. They were fearful of the audits, investigations, possible future reprimands and avoided the responsibility. More serious is lack of conviction.
Some of the surveys made among civil servants found the majority feel a need for pride in their work: to bolster morale and foster conviction in pursuit of their goals.
Often in society, for a person to aspire to a greater good is difficult for the fear of repercussions that come with failure. Timidity and a lack of conviction is common. If one does nothing there is no failure, but also no resiliency.
Consequently, we have a large ship sinking and no one takes responsibility. Isn't this something that we have to guard against? We need to get rid of timidity and embrace conviction we need persons who are willing to be heroes.