Wednesday, May 06, 2009

어린이날에 대한 감상

When Billy was in elementary school, his teacher asked him, "몇 살이에요?"
"삼겹살이에요.", He answered. For his mischief, he was made to join the 나머지 반. 나머지 반 means the class that remains behind after school. Students who join such class are either weak in their homework, mischievous or have done something wrong. They are looked upon as no-hoppers.

Some years later, Billy was much older but his unconventional way of thinking sticks. One day, his teacher asked the class to make a sentence using ~(으)면...겠다. Billy's classmates wrote sentences like, "돈이 있으면 좋겠다" and "이번 방학 때 영행을 갈 수 있으면 좋겠다. Billy wrote, "신라면 맛있겠다."

When his teacher read his work, Billy was made to join the 에디슨 반 (Edison Class). 나머지 반 has since changed its name to 에디슨 반. The name change was to give the class a positive spin and to better reflect its purpose. Edison was not a smart student when he was young. He achieved fame later in life through sheer hard work and not by good school grade. Student who joins 에디슨 반 is no longer looked upon as a failure but as someone who still has the potential to succeed later in life.

There is a common saying that to get into the top university in Seoul, a person must have 3 '력' - 자기의 실력, 엄마의 정보력 and 아빠의 재력. My mother is not educated so she won't know what is available out there that can best help me to succeed. My father is not rich so he won't have the wealth to see me through success. Lastly, I don't have the ability because I never believe I have. So if I am born in Seoul, it is almost impossible that I will gain admission into its top university. Even if this is real, I will not lose sleep over it because success in life is not determined solely by good school grade as Edison and many other successful people had proven.

If I can be a child all over again, I would want my parents to teach me 3 things about life instead of providing me a comfortable and carefree life.

Teach me to dream a dream. Tell me that dream is not something nebulous and out-of-reach. Nudge me to do something about it rather than hoping for miracle. Caution me that it will take a lot of hardwork and sacrifice to pursue it to fruition. Enlighten me that the day when I realise my dream, I will also hold the torch of inspiration to inspire others.

Teach me to believe in myself. Tell me that anything that is existing is attainable if I set my mind on it. For any problem in this world, there is always a solution. Be not afraid to try and fail as solution always hide behind failure. I can have doubt about myself but I should never doubt the universal truth - I reap what I sow. Enlighten me that I can never trust anyone fully if I don't believe in myself first.

Teach me to appreciate life. Tell me that life is too short to be spending my time grumbling about it. Everything in this world has a purpose and it is for me to uncover and appreciate it for what it is meant for. Why call a "weeping willow" when I can call it a "laughing willow". The more I appreciate about life, life will naturally reveal more of its positive sides. Enlighten me that I only start to live my life when I start to appreciate it; if not, I am just wasting it away.

With these three gifts, I will find the rest myself.

P.S. This post is supposed to be written on May 5 which is Children Day in Korea. Korea has the world's lowest birth rate and that makes Children Day all the more significant here. By designating it as a national holiday, it gives emphasis to the importance of children to future of the country.


  1. Wow. 정말 대단한 통찰력, 관찰력 인듯.
    자신의 실력, 엄마의 정보력, 아빠의 재력...ㅋㅋ

    사진 보니 요즘 잘 지내시는 듯. 시간나면 한번 봐요~

  2. 대단하긴요.
    다 선생님이 말씀을 한 건 데요.