Wednesday, March 18, 2020

The Fiserman's Nap

The situation in Korea seems to have the virus contained and the numbers of cases are decreasing without the drastic measures that have been taken in other countries. Testing is taken seriously, screening of contacts, quarantine rules, transparency and reporting results daily in the media but most importantly the cooperation of the citizens—life goes on.

An article in the Catholic Peace Weekly by a journalist gives the readers some humor; a desire to lessen the apprehension experienced by many especially in the southern part of the country where the numbers infected are large. He begins his words with a fable told by the German author Heinrich Böll.

The fisherman was taking a leisurely nap with the boat in port. Tourists from the city unintentionally awakened the fisherman while taking pictures of the landscape. One of the tourists handed a cigarette to the fisherman and spoke.

“The weather is good, there is a lot of fish in the ocean, why are you napping when you could be making a lot of money?”
“I was out there early in the morning" he answered."
“If you go out twice or three times a day, you're going to make a lot more money. Then you can buy a big ship, build a warehouse or even build a fish processing plant. Who knows? You may become a billionaire businessman with a large fleet. ”

The fisherman's face showed an expression of incomprehension and asked; "After that?"
"Then enjoy a sweet nap every day, play and eat freely under the beautiful sunshine. Watching picturesque scenery." replied the tourist. The fisherman smiled and replied. “I was doing that until you came and woke me up!”

Nowadays, people coming out of work are not interested in stopping off for a drink with friends at the beer hall, everybody goes hurriedly on his way alone. Taxi drivers are driving around looking for passengers. The writer used the fable as a fervorino for small business owners who are having a hard time. There is need for some humor during these times of worry. The news mentioned how the Italians are opening their windows and singing.

It's not bad to think optimistically at this time. In Korea, a well-known proverb says a lot: "When you fall, take advantage of the time to rest." Koreans like most of the world know it is better to be positive than negative. There is plenty of news that depresses but there is also the news that invigorates, refreshes

One citizen sent homemade cookies to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, workers tired and in low spirits. One grandmother brought to the township office twenty yellow masks that she made at home with cotton material. They may not be the approved type; not made according to standards, but she was an angel spreading hope.

Now, is the time to pause and look back. We are faced with many disasters, granted that the coronavirus is the one that causes the most pain at present. Ecosystem destruction, climate change, human greed, and the many viruses encountered daily need a wise counter-attack. Without personal and social reflection disasters will continue to strike again and again. If we live without a change, even after we have passed through the crisis, we pay a high price and learn nothing.

Citizens cancel meetings, church services, and refrain from going out shopping. Just a couple of months ago, all were busy with appointments, busy shopping and having a lot to eat, but now it's different. The sudden collapse of the ordinary routine is unfamiliar. However, if you look closely, isn't this the simple daily life we hear a lot about— the 'minimal life'? Minimal life is to reduce what can be reduced, subtract what can be subtracted, skip what can be skipped. We need to simplify our lives so as not to be traumatized.

Spring is coming. Like the fisherman in our story, we awake from a sleep feeling better and looking forward to a different future.

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