Sunday, June 2, 2019

What To Do Finding a Fly in the Soup?

What does one do if one finds a fly struggling in the cold noodle bowl just ordered in a restaurant? The Peace column in the Catholic Peace Weekly asks the readers. For many, obvious, you call the waiter to take it back. If the waiter says: take the spoon and remove the fly, why do you want to change the whole bowl? The chances are pretty high that the restaurant would be rather noisy.

The waiter was not wrong. Since the fly was struggling to get out it just happened, so the whole bowl can be seen as not contaminated. Nevertheless, we think it is reasonable to give it back to the waiter. The human mind has an instinct to avoid contamination. For example, most people find rotten food disgusting and instinctively push it aside since it can pollute both emotionally and physically.

Nowadays, politicians are manipulating the human mind in the above fashion and making politics a mess. Granted that politics requires the use of power and strength to achieve goals but does it require crude words and non-human-like behavior to achieve these goals. Recently the rude words uttered by one of the politicians was top news on portal sites, each viewer taking sides. Many take the news to the social media and amplify the conflict and hatred in their own way.  The conservatives are old fools and the progressive are leftwing reds. Each sees the other as a fly in their noodles and wants to get rid of it.

The politician seeing the many 'thumbs up' response on the social network must have been pleased. He was in the big times. It spread to the other media outlets and YouTube and he must have been happy with himself with all the clicks.  

Looking over the political climate which helps to rally confrontation and hatred one is saddened. Instead of criticizing this sad state of affairs, the media jumps in and helps to stir it up. The writer doesn't know how much coexistence and integration is worth to them. Ideology in society that has gone to the extremes is a responsibility of the media and the netizens who go along with it.

Did you just comment in the digital world today with unkind and rude words? If so, it is the seed of division. Have you ever poured ideological biased content—personal opinion— without deep thought into the internet?  The devil is always there to encourage confrontation and to engage in violence. In fact, Korean society has not been able to get out of the 'demon trap' and two of the examples: Gwangju Uprising  (5:18) the truth, and the 'environment-friendly' policy debate.

"A community is much stronger if it is cohesive and supportive, if it is animated by feelings of trust, and pursues common objectives. The community as a network of solidarity requires mutual listening and dialogue, based on the responsible use of language." These words are in the message for World Communication Day, Ascension Sunday 2019.

"What I say to you in the dark, tell in the daylight; what you hear in whispers, proclaim from the housetops."(Matthew 10, 27). Public institutions should be tools for encounter and reconciliation, not of division but facilitators of peace.

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