Editorial: Looking in the mirror

The voices of concern about the crisis can be heard everywhere. Crisis is, of course, something negative that must be overcome. However, crisis can occur at anytime and anywhere in the blink of an eye because it is something that affects the whole community — not just an individual. Crisis is an inevitable part of our lives that can be overcome when we are at a stable point in our lives. But when we are at our weakest, crisis can cause irreparable harm to an individual as well as the entire community. In this case, we may assume that said crisis occurred due to corruption and greed. For instance, if we follow this logic, the Roman Empire fell due to corruption and greed. However, these claims are superficial because the very existence of corruption and decadence were sure signs that the Roman Empire would eventually meet its doomed fate. In other words, corruption and greed took over once the mind and spirit had died, resulting in crisis for the individual and the community as a whole. Then why do the mind and spirit die?

When we need to complete a task, we judge whether or not we are on the right track. However, in most cases, our decisions are centered on ourselves and comprised of ways that are beneficial to us. We often forget the fact that the decision arose from our point of view and place in life. Afterwards, we are convinced that it was the right decision. Of course, there are times when we make bad decisions largely due to ignorance. However, in certain cases, we make bad decisions despite the fact that we know they are bad. Those bad decisions in particular are made because they benefit us in some way. At this point, we know that it was a lapse of judgment, and we make up reasons to justify and rationalize our decision. Thus, these wrong decisions transform into right ones through this process of rationalization and justification — to make them invincible. However, if members of a community show these signs, it will become a self-centered and egoistic community as they cannot reflect on themselves or on others and will be limited to a literal space of thought. At this point, the mind has died as it has become a means for protecting one’s desires. Then are there any other ways for making a sound decision?

We look at ourselves in the mirror often. When we do so, we distinguish the self that is in the mirror from the self that is looking in the mirror. Through this, we know that we are separate beings because we can confirm once more that we can reflect on ourselves through the mirror. In a way, the mirror is a means of self-introspection and self-reflection. Through the mirror, we are able to judge ourselves in an objective manner so that we are not self-centered or egoistic but transcending toward a more mature being. This sort of self-examination is an effective way to be strict with oneself but lenient towards others.

Crisis will always exist. In order to overcome this, we must all avoid this self-centeredness and listen to what others have to say with an open mind and humble attitude. Moreover, self-reflections and self-introspections must lead to actions because, without actions, these will merely be empty, abstract thoughts. We need to deeply consider the crisis at hand and reflect on ourselves, thereby putting our thoughts into action. To do this, we should look at ourselves in the mirror from time to time. Who is the person reflected in the mirror, and is that face a beautiful one?

Translated by Julia Kim

Editor

English edition of The Kangnam Hakbo, newspaper for Kangnam University 강남대 영문학보 Like us on Facebook! Follow us on Twitter!

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