Like a rabbit
What if the two Koreas were finally reunified? The Northern regime would wave a white flag, and our people’s long-cherished wish would come true.
It would be moving to see the Korean Peninsula become a single nation over a reasonable and peaceful, step-by-step process.
We could cast off the notoriety of being the world’s last divided country. We would no longer need to worry about national security.
Moreover we would not need to suffer migraines about the cost of reunification, thanks to the North’s lucrative resource development. It could cover not only the financial problems of the reunification process but also revamp Korea’s position in the global community. Furthermore, Korea, with its heightened national power, would cease to be the ``bait’’ in power struggles among its neighboring countries.
Per capita national income will hit $30,000 and the average life expectancy will hover around as old as 100 years. Hurray for Korea, to have persevered against the sabotaging by international powers and risen with pride.
Following Korea’s example of putting a peaceful end to a long-standing armistice, conflicts will disappear in other parts of the world and the international community may agree to forever put an end to nuclear testing and regional and global disputes. Terrorist organizations could put their arms down, expressing a wish to partake in the peace-making process.
However, such a situation still remains as aspirations yet to be fulfilled ― wishful thinking that I would have loved to hear in the news on New Year’s Day.
The Year of the Rabbit has dawned, winged by hope. Given the shaky state of the economy and polarization of wealth that is crippling our society, it doesn’t seem that much will change in 2011. The New Year might pass us by in vain just as 2010 did.
This is because as much as there are many hopes for the New Year there are many worries.
We can neither ignore this nor give up in advance.
If we can solidify efforts and strategic plans to realize our dreams, then there is no reason why we can’t step closer to making them come true.
And yet the reality continues to be a rather dark one.
Youths, unable to find employment, are left in the lurch, as are those stifled by inaccessible welfare policies.
Statistics show how the country’s top 20 percent possess assets that amass some 474 times that of the bottom 20 percent. Polarization of wealth has long become an issue in our society, and we don’t need numbers to show this as various inter-class conflicts testify the facts.
The President’s premature lame-duck term is adding to the anxiety. Taking advantage of this situation are numerous politicians eyeing the next presidency, promoting all sorts of rosy policies and reforms and giving way to a chaotic ``baekgajaengmyeong’’ (100 schools of thoughts contend).
It is no exaggeration to say that Korea is at the brink of its greatest crisis.
It may seem illogical to speak of hope in such times.
And yet I choose to speak of hope. Hope brings spiritual valuation to the center of things, rather than quantitative indexes, in positively and proactively solidifying our visions for the future. Igniting the flame of hope ― that is surely foremost for 2011.
It is a new year. In particular, it is ``sinmyonyeon,’’ the Year of the Rabbit.
As a local folktale tells us, the rabbit is adept and diplomatic, and I hope this year will prove to be marked by such characteristics. It is hoped that the economy, education, welfare and other aspects of society will make a rabbit’s nimble leap toward improvement.
I hope that in the New Year, everyone will be able to make their dreams come true, by rooting in reality.
Let us inscribe hope into our hearts, so that our dreams ― as individuals, societies and the global community ― can come true. Let us hold tightly onto the reins of hope, for hope is truly powerful.
The writer is president of Kyungmin College in Euijeongbu, Gyeonggi Province. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.