Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Brotherly Love And Peace On the Peninsula

A peace activist writing in a Catholic Times' column on Korean unification and reconciliation introduces the readers to a folktale all Koreans know. It's the story of two brothers: Nolbu and Heungbu. Their father left the family inheritance to both equally but the older brother kept it all and threw out his brother. The brother did not complain and accepted his life of poverty.

One day Heungbu saw a swallow on the ground with a broken leg and treated the bird so it could fly. The following spring the swallow returned with a seed. He planted the seed in the yard it became a big gourd. When he cut open the gourd all kinds of good things came out: gold and gems. He sold them and became wealthy.

This news reached his brother Nolbu who asked his brother how he became so wealthy so quickly. The brother explained what happened with the swallow. Nolbu went home and broke the leg of a swallow and waited until the following spring. He also was given a seed which he planted but this time all kinds of bad things came out and he lost all that he possessed.

The younger brother helped his older brother without his knowledge. In conclusion the older brother apologized for his greed and the younger brother shared his wealth with the brother and they lived happily ever after.

Do we have this type of opposites in real life resolving in this way? We don't find persons who are all good or all bad. Usually we cast our light on what we want to see and ignore what we don't want to see. We can bring to the fore the good or the bad.

Behind any conflict or fight there is another side that's developed over many years in the way participants grew up and were raised. What is the secret for a resolution? Is it to continue maintaining one's viewpoint or to consider the other viewpoint if one wants to see some resolution?

Brothers quarrel and go to their rooms and lock the door is this not what we experience in our world? Mother is in the kitchen preparing a delicious meal but anger blocks them from the enjoyment to their great loss.

Rather than have a third party do the knocking on the door when it is one of the brothers, elder or younger and they have a desire for understanding,   the opening of the heart, the knocking on the door is not a problem. This has a greater possibility of resolution than having a third party doing the knocking, where defensiveness and revenge often appear.

We are all weak deficient human beings. However, despite this we we make the effort with the strength and freedom we have and if we don't have the  strength we know it will be given to us and quietly go to the door and knock. "Let's resolve our problem",  these words gives us a hope for change.

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