At this time of year, the campus is full of vibrant colors of red, purple, and white. It is such a joy to see azaleas in full bloom igniting the memories of one’s first love in the spring. The budding flowers exude the faithfulness and erudition contained from deep within when they are in full bloom and it is no wonder these flowers are so lovely and precious. These are plants that need love and care, so the good words and writings felt from these plants are indeed beautiful and full of fragrance.
I am interrupted by the world tainted by ugly words and writings after returning from those pleasant thoughts that are like noise. Our society is contaminated by pejoratives and writings that are at subpar level. Kim Yong-min, the Democratic United Party candidate suffered a political setback due to his derogatory comments in the April 11th general elections. He was well-received by the younger generation as he hosted a hugely popular podcast, “I am a trickster” infamous for its harsh and sexually derogatory expressions which ultimately had a negative effect on his campaign. Although he has expressed regret over his choice of words which have offended Christians, senior citizens, and victims of sexual violence, this does not exonerate him from his past wrongdoings.
Empty promises and offensive language by public figures have left the public feeling frustrated and disillusioned. Many have been left in a state of shock from derogatory comments by chief judge. Perhaps this is a wake-up call for the public to see the true nature of pompous judges in the courtroom unworthy of respect. The same can be said for political figures causing a stir for inappropriate and offensive behavior and language halting the system of mutual communication with citizens leading to a deepened sense of disappointment in the government and political system. Concerns are being raised over these kinds of linguistic abuse making us wonder whether the freedom of expression is almost a thing of luxury for those who do not possess the competency to use refined language which should be inherent qualities in our leaders.
Scathing satires on politics and unfiltered insults prevalent in stand-up comedies have been loved by audiences in the United States for many years. The trends of the times as desired by audiences and readers have been reflected in terms of the ways and freedom of expression thanks to the recent deregulation of broadcasting and media. Although there are positive effects as the public is given a new sense of catharsis, moderation should be seriously considered when it comes to the negative effects of derogatory comments and language rampant in our society. Concerns are being raised recently over the ripple effect of the choice of words used by public figures and media in general. Language is harsh and often times violent among our youth starting early on from kindergarten children continuing on to teenagers. Words are said to be the portrait of the mind. Language among teenagers creates volatile behavior, so now is the time for all of us to seriously think about all of the factors that create violence in schools.
Here is a piece of advice for Kangnam University students – take some time to look at any kind of flower on campus this month. Then, remember that person who sowed the seeds and cultivated those flowers. I truly hope that all of you will apply what you have learned from your parents and teachers reaping the seeds that you have sown remembering to keep those promises you have made to yourself. Indeed, your words from deep within your inner self will undoubtedly be more beautiful and fragrant than any flower. The same can be said for writings. Malicious and hurtful posts online and unregulated disclosure of personal information should be put to a stop. People need to refrain from posting comments they will regret sooner or later on Twitter and Facebook. I am certain the world will be a better place if it is filled with good words and writings.
Translated by Julia Kim