1. To Respect Self and Others: During a recent Peace Workshop for families,
participants shared their ideas on how to practice self-respect, as well as
respect for our family members and neighbors. All the participants
realized how unaware they were about how to respect self and others. Each
person made plans to practice respect in daily life: by exercising,
reading books, not reading newspapers during meals, looking at the face of the
person we talk to, greeting our neighbors, sharing food, cooking only the
necessary amount, etc. Participants felt these daily practices would
spread out to our neighbors and our community.
To Communicate Better: 'Friends,' 'The Gangster Wife,' and 'Honor of
the Family' are three blockbuster Korean movies about gangsters. Even the
most popular TV show is about a well-known gangster's life. They all
present fighting rather than talking as an accepted way of solving problems.
Vulnerable children and teenagers can be heavily influenced. Such shows
also encourage human relationships that are unequal and impersonal. In
fact, we now have a social problem in some schools called 'Wang-Tta' - the
scapegoat of a community. This means that one student is excluded by all
the others without any reason. 'To communicate better' helps us realize
the importance of conversation rather than resorting to violence. Only by
communication it is possible to build equal relationships.
3. To Listen: We often watch on TV the speeches of
political candidates. However, people are sick of listening to them
because too often the pledges they make are lies. It's not just
politicians, but parents as well. Parents don't listen to their children.
They force their children to do what they ask. That's why the generation
gap gets deeper. When we listen to others, we can get closer. A
commitment to listening is one of the crucial factors in building up a true
4. To Forgive: Korea has a very high divorce rate. The
main reason is that husbands and wives don't know how to forgive each other.
At a workshop for couples, we introduced the Family Pledge. Many of them
agree with the Pledge and decided on their own practices for a better family.
Only by understanding and forgiveness can husband and wife love each other
deeply and keep the family relationship healthy.
5. To Respect Nature: Awareness about the importance of preserving
our environment has been increasing. Nature should be preserved not
only for us but also for the next generation. We can easily respect nature in
our daily lives by doing small things such as reducing our trash, not using
disposables, separating garbage for recycling, etc.
Several years ago, the TV show 'Tideland is
Alive' was broadcast. The program raised awareness of the importance of
the tidelands in Korea. Many unique creatures dwell on the tideland and
actually keep the lands alive. These tidelands are an environmental
treasure. Despite strong opposition, the government wanted to develop the
tidelands in order to expand the usable land. Now many people are
joining the movement to prevent the tideland from being destroyed by
6. To Play Creatively: Many of the tows that our kids play with
today are quite violent, and can make children more inclined toward violence by
planning with them. These toys are misleading the children of our society.
Furthermore, the idea that kids can't play without toys gradually lessens their
creativity. 'To play creatively' leads us to protect children from violent
toys as well as to encourage the development of their own creativity, so that
children can spend time without the misleading toys. If we encourage
creative play, then children will often play with ordinary things around the
7. To Be Courageous: Several years ago a teenager committed
suicide because she was distraught with a bad grade on the entrance exam of the
university. She wrote a letter titled 'happiness does not come from the
grade.' Many parents and students now want to change our education system.
It took courage to challenge this misleading social trend. People had to
come together to share their concerns and then decide to build a better society
together. It can't be done by a one person, but must be done by people
joining together. As a result there are increasing numbers of parents who
do not send their children to schools which overemphasize grades.