Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Transformation of 'Gap' into Love

'Gapjil' a new word, thanks to the internet, is on the lips of many. Supporting evidence, we are dealing with something common in society—abuse of power by someone towards a person in a weaker position. Not only a present reality but one that goes back into our history, wherever we had inequality and discrimination. A diocesan priest in justice and peace work writes about the issue in the Bible And Life.

Do you know what ‘Gap-Eul relations’ are? 'Gap' and 'Eul' refer to people who are in contractual situations. Gap (or A) means someone who is dominant in a contract and Eul (or B), who is subordinate. 'Gapjil' is the verb formed, a neologism, which because of the structure of society is seen often and becomes newsworthy.

Put simply: a person with authority mistreating a subordinate. A person who has, towards a person who doesn't, a person with power treating a subordinate with violence. It's violence from above that continues to others. One who has experienced this violence from a superior can continue this with others under them. Those who are in the lower substrate of society can abuse others who they consider even lower. The writer considers this looking for some reward in a relationship and not finding it, resorting to the opposite in a revengeful action—psychological compensation.

A common soldier who was often treated abusively when he becomes an officer will, in turn, treat others in the way he was treated.  A daughter-in-law mistreated by her mother-in-law when she becomes the mother-in-law will act in the same way with her daughter-in-law. A vicious circle of abuse, what was experienced is what is done. This type of abuse is not only present in higher society for it permeates all of society.

How do we break from this violence in society? We need to first examine ourselves on the reason for violence and our own understanding of inequality and discrimination. Why don't we see the disappearance of this inequality and discrimination? Is it not that we want the situation we have. We don't want to be discriminated against, but do we really want a society with everybody equal? If we examine the situation we see that we want to be treated well. We like to be treated like the 'Gap'. Consequently, we close our eyes to inequality and discrimination  and support the society we have.

The writer calls this situation antinomy: a seeming contradiction between two principles or conclusion both which seem justified, a paradox. His way of overcoming the ever-present situation is by love.

Jesus invites us all to be family, the Gap and Eul, master and slave disappear, we are called to be friends: even to love our enemies. "You call me Master and Lord, and rightly; so I am. If I, then, the Lord and Master, have washed your feet, you should wash each other's feet. I have given you an example so that you may copy what I have done to you (Jn 13:14-15).

Rather than alone from the heights looking down on others; on level ground joined with others in simplicity and sharing the ordinary is what will make 'Gap' love.

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