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정희수 칼럼

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  Dr. Joseph Chung - Column
 정희수 칼럼



Another episode which Kim heard was a story of a mother-daughter team who chased her father for abusing his paternal authorities. The father wandered for some time to end his life far from home.

The lesson of the intergenerational relations in the Korean community was this. The basic problem was the lack of love based on mutual knowing and understanding and the willingness to provide mutual assistance for each other’s welfare. Kim thought that the fundamental reason was parents’ failure to guide, through love, their adolescent children toward healthy and autonomous life.

Kim was convinced that Korean parents did not know how important the adolescent period was for the formation of identity and character of children. The Korean parents tended to impose on the adolescent children their rigid Confucian values. The children may pretend to obey for the sake of peace in the family. But they could not find their own identity and they grow up with anger toward their parents. That is, the whole problem was, according to Kim, the absence of mutual love.

The immigrant parents feel, with remorse and sorrow, the consequence of poor parent-children love. In the absence of such love, the parents-children relation becomes one of materialistic interest.

Kim remembered the data published by the Canadian Statistic Bureau concerning grown-up children’s bad treatment of their old parents. Most of such treatments are economic-interest related. In fact, Kim knew many cases where Korean adult children steal the savings of their parents without any feeling of guilt. Nobody knows how serious the problem is, but Kim knew personally several cases.

Kim’s plane was still in the middle of the Northern Pacific Ocean. He was looking down and saw an endless carpet of thick white clouds. The clouds looked so peaceful and Kim was glad to find himself in such peace and think of the turbulent life of human beings below.

High above the land and sea, Kim had the pleasure of thinking that he was above the comedy and tragedy of human life; he wanted to think that he was transcendent above the human society.

Kim went through ups and downs like everybody in life; there were moments of despair; there were moment of glory. But human life was, thought Kim, in general a series of worries, uncertainty, fear and pains; but only love allows us to find the beauty and dignity in the midst of suffering of human life. Kim was glad to know that he was successful in developing love with his children. He thought that he was lucky.

■Kim was a good Christian

At the age of 80, Kim was writing, in the plane taking him to Korea and his past, the balance sheets of his life. He was not an economist or accountant, but he knew something about the balance sheet.

In a balance sheet, there are two sides. On one side, there is a list of how the funds are prepared, then on the other, there is a list of how the funds are spent and form the assets. Kim tried to apply this system of counting to his life.

His funds would mean the love he received from God, his parents, his brothers and sisters, friends and all other people. This result of this love would be his health, skills, professional qualifications, his wealth, his job and other things needed in life. Kim thought that apart from God’s love, the greatest love was mother’s love for her children. Kim knew that he received an enormous amount of love.

Kim knew that what was more important would be how he had allocated the love he received. He was asking himself if he loved enough his mother, father, brothers, friends, neighbors, Korea, Quebec and God.

Kim, after 80 years of life, began to have some ideas of God’s commandment of love. “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. You shall love your neighbor as yourself”. This is the passage in the Matthew’s Gospel  22.37, 39, 40.
<to be continued>