In many ways, KAs are going through many crucial moments/historical events, now.
We’re at the stage where we have to think about our upgraded image, vision, core values, roles in the community and Country. We’ve come a long way in a relatively short period of time just as Korea has come a long way in the world stage in a short period of time. It is no longer enough to be satisfied with individual achievement/excellence alone although it is the foundation of the upgraded next step in our journey as Americans. We want to have voices and play important roles in the future of our country, the U.S.A.
So the issues we face have two major components, at the individual level and the collective level. They say U.S.A. is a country of “rugged individualism” but it is also a country of identity politics. They go together, hand in hand, and should be upgraded simultaneously. As important, the two components should be harmonized to improve our image as a Korean and American. Why is image important may you ask? Good image is good marketing, of course.
The bottom line is that we’re lucky enough to reach the stage where we must start to think about more than just surviving. We should have a clear picture of who and what we want to be. Again, good marketing for better image not only helps much with surviving, but also enables us to reach prosperity and confidence. It is not an option. It is a must, responsibility, necessity, and an obligation to the following generations. We have to promote ourselves by creating positive image of KA. Upgrading ourselves is, again, a must.
The difficulty lies in the fact that upgrade implies evolving in response to the changing world. As the author, Kim Hoon says in 남한산성 “changing yourself (스스로 자신을 새롭게 한다는 것은 정말로 힘들다) is so very difficult.” But 스스로 새롭게 we must.
The real, essential issue is how and what to do to reach true, meaningful upgrade. There could be many different ways to go about it. But one of the most fundamental ways is through understanding the U.S.A., Korea, and the world by expanding our horizon.
Someone described the USA as “ceaseless becoming.” It applies to modern Korea and most of the world. Ceaseless becoming is happening politically, socially, culturally, economically, technologically, racially, and historically.
To understand issues and find the solutions to them, we have to think clearly, critically with proven facts, and informations. Also, we have to communicate with each other from our heart with clear mind and empathy. Because without communication, dialogue, common consensus, and common narrative, individual excellence doesn’t mean much to the collective issues/soul/will/consensus/narrative for obvious limitations. On the other hand, individual excellence coming together works beautifully. It can work magic. One plus one becomes three or more. Sometimes, if lucky, much more.
Specific issues are too numerous with a lot of etc. to list here, and examine. What is emphasized is how to prepare ourselves for issues old and new. So that we can handle anything that comes our way with confidence.
글로벌웹진 NEWSROH 칼럼 ‘이명동의 세계인 한국인’