장래희망

돈, 명예, 권력 없어도
뭐 큰 인기가 있지 않아도

억만장자가 되지 않고 커다란 맨션에서 살지 않아도
주님의 사랑을 매일 느끼고

여유있는 곳에서 자연에 둘러 쌓인 곳에서

식물과 동물과 친구와 사랑하는 사람들과

하고 싶은 일을 하고 글을 쓰고

모두가 함께 창조해나가는 의미있는 일들이 있으면

자유롭고 만족합니다.

나이가 들어가니까 할아버지같은 생각을 하네요.

The Mess of Arguing on Social Media

I’ve been trying to refine my stance on the validity of “looting” and the use of violence or property destruction to further BLM.

The real confusing thing is people are not all arguing about the same thing. When I initially spoke out vehemently against looting in my social media, some people responded with “if you care about the looting, you care more about property than saving lives.” But that’s not true at all. I care both about saving lives and doing it the right way. And it is because I care, that I care about the most effective way of achieving that goal, not just being obediently silent to whomever is condoning the most immediately attractive path. I believe looting is an especially risky and counter-productive way of bringing about social justice.

Unfortunately, Fox news and other media channels also criticized the looters for their own purpose (upholding the status-quo, trying to protect police, trying to glorify their own response to the situation) so some might have even misunderstood me as another Fox news supporter because I started to sound similar to them. 🙁 But our intents were completely different. Fox news and Trump were trying to spin looting narrative for their own profit. I was trying my best to talk sense into people so they don’t commit something they will regret later.

And when I say looting, it had nothing with only destroying property, fire hydrants or whatnot. It actually had to do with people disguising as protesters and then going into stores (such as downtown SoHo) and stealing bags, shoes, goods and other things for their own material gains. Due to journals and newspaper sources, apparently it is very common in historic times (even during LA Rodney King riots) for petty criminals and thieves (in all races, not just one) to disguise as protesters in times of unrest and really just rob shops and stores with no concern for the actual protests themselves.

I also have been realizing that not all property destruction can be treated the same. For example, I am now supportive of symbolic gestures such as taking down statues that have deep relationships with slavery or racism (happened in UK I believe per what I heard) or even what happened during Boston Tea Party, where a group was trying to send a clear message to the powers that be . The message from both instances is clear and was executed by an organized group that cared about the higher purpose. Those cases could be exceptions where it’s justified.

But on the other hand, what message does it send to rob bags and shoes from small business owners of all races when it’s a group of unruly people who really might be doing it with no concern for BLM or anti-police brutality?

I want to see the numbers. I want to see the statistical tally and the division between how many of those lootings are actually organized, symbolic gestures designed to further the BLM movement and send an anti-racist message versus how many are actually unorganized, spur-of-the-moment actions committed by people whose primary focus is stealing. Based on the footage I’ve seen and even African-American ministers and leaders speaking out against the craziness of looting, I wouldn’t be surprised that it is skewed toward the latter demographic.

The one thing I was disappointed by with people on social media is that many peers jumped to defending the looting, somehow believing that “if you don’t support the looting, you don’t support BLM or African-Americans at all” perhaps from the fact that there were African-Americans who were defending the looters too. And in the end, many seemed to echo the sentiment that “because people are angry, looting is okay.”

Right or wrong is a hard thing to determine nowadays. With social media, there’s literally billions of opinions and footages and photoshopped pictures floating around, easily infiltrating people’s minds. I really hope God shows us the path. I still do believe in what Jesus used to say. Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the Children of God. Blessed are those persecuted for the sake of righteousness for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Love those who hate you. Bless those who curse you.

Truth and justice will withstand the test of time. Even if we are misunderstood for being truthful and standing up for justice during the current time, justice and truth will always prevail and the fighters of just causes will always be judged accordingly with enough time. Truth will reveal itself sooner or later. Whether I am wrong or not. It is all God’s will.

2020 Protests

To believe in nonviolence does not mean that violence will not be inflicted upon you. The believer in nonviolence is the person who will willingly allow himself to be the victim of violence but will never inflict violence upon another. He lives by the conviction that through his suffering and cross bearing, the social situation may be redeemed.”

MLK JR

My heart goes out to suffering African-American people. I want to support as best as I can, however limited I am. To disseminate the kind of helpful information that will propel the movement forward might be one thing I can help with. One thing that has helped me the most gain perspective is to go back to history so that we don’t repeat the mistakes of the past but rather learn from the greats who achieved justice in the past.

One heated debate lately is around looting and violence. My belief is that the seed of violence used to achieve a certain goal reflects itself in the results that come out of it, perhaps not right away but eventually and surely slowly eroding the culture of the people engaged in it. The means used to achieve an end have a direct impact on the end itself, per Gandhi many years ago. Justice achieved through violence have a tendency to fall back to injustice through violence that proceeds it.

What makes the matter even more complicated is that most looters may not actually be passionately involved with BLM at all. There seem to be subgroups of people who, disguised as BLM protesters, are seriously looting stores down in Soho for their own profit, and then when people question their behavior, they lash back out to the questioners and call them “racists.” There needs to be much more clarity around who’s actually causing the looting because it’s a whole another debate if it’s a symbolic gesture from BLM leaders to target only racist businesses or slaver statues and etc. (rightful targets.) Or if it’s really just people, not caring about BLM at all, causing chaos.

When people say I should be caring more about black lives than property damage, I care about both: black lives and destruction in neighborhoods. Small property damage itself is not what I’m concerned about. But the unintended consequences to BLM from looting are far more important than minimal property damage. It carries so many negative consequences. Votes, for one. Votes that we need to create actual change with.

I’ve learned a lot and changed my positions on various things over the past few weeks of protests. But when it comes to looting, even George Floyd’s family condemns the looters saying the family is a God-fearing family that will never condone the looters.

When people jump to it saying that “we don’t get to judge how African-American grieve over Floyd” or “we should just be listening,” we are not actively engaged in bringing justice and fighting injustice. We should be more actively engaged in bringing justice while actually fighting the forces and behaviors that will amplify injustice or slow down justice. Looting will slow down justice and keep protests off-focus. “We will disobey the law unless you give us what we want.” is short-term thinking at best when there’s so many other tools and actions in our disposal. It’s a mild form of “the end justifies the means.” That path may hold very bad less obvious consequences down the line, that we might not be able to realize right away. Most importantly, we haven’t exhausted all options before going down that path. With civil war comes more innocent deaths and a cycle of vengeance and hatred. It doesn’t have to come to that.

Per Dr. King’s autobiography, he was inspired by Gandhi who mobilized the highest number of people in the history of mankind at 230 million to fight for independence of India. He told us a good seed bears a good tree. A good tree cannot come from a bad seed. Therefore, when violence and rage are used to incite looting and riots to fight oppressors, the same kind of violence and rage will continue to ensue even after the fighting has stopped, destroying future moral code for younger generations.

I believe in the way of truth that is modeling Jesus, Gandhi, MLK. Jr. They knew the incredible longevity and perseverance of nonviolent resistance that garners public unity slowly but surely. What most young people seem to be confused about is how to choose whom to follow. Whether they will follow the charismatic “rage” types who are screaming from the top of their lungs condoning violence and arousing everyone emotionally. Or if they will listen to the words of truth and love that Jesus, Gandhi and Dr. King taught, being able to think about the long-term consequences of the means of protest. I pray that God will show us the answer.

Mandela’s absolute determination to keep moving forward on a peaceful path, in the face of intolerable provocations, rather than resort to revenge or violence, was unheard of at the time. I recall two USA diplomats commenting that if the multi-party negotiation process succeeded, it would be a world first.There’s no doubt in my mind, it was Mandela’s unique and leading role in seeking a peaceful and negotiated constitutional settlement that prevented the country slipping into civil war.

https://www.peacedirect.org/us/nelson-mandelas-choice-of-a-peaceful-path/

Dear Earth’s Environment

In 50 years or so (I’m guessing I won’t be alive), many children of that era may never know the taste of fresh fish or seafood. Who knows what other things will go extinct or inedible by then.

It’s not just song birds that will go extinct, I assume. The future generations will never get to hear some sounds that existed in nature. It’s being able to see those birds, hear those birds, knows them at all. Being able to just experience seeing a fish. Seeing a whale. Tasting a fresh healthy fish. Things we taste, see, hear and smell in modern life in 2020 may never exist by 2070. We really do take things for granted. We are almost depriving the experiences of future children by prioritizing our own experiences first. We’ve been doing things with no consideration of consequences for the future.

Having been a meat eater and an all-around omnivore my entire life, I never really understood the environmental impact of meat, seafood, dairy and etc. until recently. Everything came to us so easily, happily and innocuously packaged under some cheerful branding or attractive logos or another. But now that the cat’s out of the bag, it’s impossible to conceal the truth. They say ignorance is bliss. In this case, it really isn’t. We are killing the planet. Out of pure greed for “taste,” really.

It’s really the human taste bud and appetite for meat, the demand, that we must control, nothing more. As long as there is demand and a desire for meat, people will keep eating it regardless of environmental impact. It’s extremely difficult to reverse a person’s appetite or cultural affinity toward one type of food or another, I imagine. But I believe our love and dedication to protection of nature must outweigh the desire for our tongue/brain to taste something. It must. Otherwise, this immediate primal desire keeps overriding our long-term potential for survival and hurting the very house we live in.

That’s the epitome of what makes humans different from animals, after all. If we keep indulging in the desires of our primal brains, that love to engage in sensory pleasures in sight, taste, touch, smell and sound, what makes us different from other animals? Animals are already doing that, driven by lust, survival instinct and reptilian instincts. But as long as we exercise our advanced human brain to set aside our immediate desires to eat or taste meat … or indulge in this luxury or that luxury … we can exercise control + self-restraint to protect the things that really matter to us.

Suffering and sacrifice. It’s foreign words to many people. But there’s no other way. As long as the human society at large is manipulated by desires, there’s no hope. Quelling desires, keeping them under our control. That’s the goal. It’s possible, and many have already shown us that.

Just like our parents took care of us when we were little and vulnerable, and forgave us for all our mistakes and trouble-making as babies and children. It’s time for the adults of today to forgive the transgressions of past generations and to do the right work (for the environment) by ourselves.

I imagine we are all living under one roof, this house called the Earth. There’s all kinds of families living under this same roof. Yeah, we compete against each other and fight all the time like a dysfunctional family, but one thing we can’t deny is that we are all living in this one house. We better take care of it, otherwise this whole thing collapses, and we can’t live anymore. So it helps to take care of the oceans, our backyard, take care of the garbage, making sure all the rooms are clean. We can’t bring the house down just to fill our tummies and please our tongues.

Human beings were supposed to be the kind, wise kings and queens of everything on land and sea, everything in nature. We were supposed to supervise, respect the circle of life, and make sure everything runs smoothly, like Mufassa does on The Lion King. In one way or another, well in many ways to be honest, we became unfit to rule.

If we don’t want future children to not hate us any more than they already will, we better start doing some stuff now to atone for the sins of our ancestors and ourselves.

I’m sure we can do it. Inshallah.

주님이 원하시는 것

창조자의 큰 뜻. 내가 너무 무지하고 작아서 헤아리지 못하겠다.

인간은 생존과 번식의 도구가 아니다. 생존과 번식만을 생각하는 사람들은 바로 동물과 똑같은 이치로 살아가고 있는 인간들이다. 천지의 생물등중에 으뜸으로 군림하는 인간이 어떻게 동물과 99% 똑같이 살아가고 있는 것인가? 그것은 우리들의 한계일까?

주님의 뜻을 이해하는 것은 혼란스럽기만 하다.

Healing Period

I’m taking this quarantine time to take a breath from all the busy-ness of life. I think it’s been a good opportunity to reset a little bit. When you are caught up in the machinery of every day life, it’s easy to get swept up in that momentum and spend the days without thinking or retrospective.

Nobody can say this pandemic is a “good thing.” But if I believe in the words of ancient sages, it’s the concept of “Se Wong Ji Ma.” There’s no good or bad in this world but thinking makes it so. When something like this happens, or events that give you feelings of rejection, pain, suffering, loss, etc … it’s easy to be flustered, frustrated and feel bad all the time. But from the ancient Chinese story of “old man who lost his horse” … it becomes easier for us to gain perspective. That even the events that happen to us that seem like the worst things that could have happened to us … as long as we stay composed and calm … may have a way of working out or even working its way out in our favor … in the long-term. How that will take shape in this pandemic incident is mysterious to me, and perhaps will take much more time for us to gain perspective into God’s bigger plan. But I do believe in that. All that’s gone wrong during this pandemic … God will make it alright. There must be a reason for this.

Here’s the ancient story of “Old Man who lose his horse” in case you are interested.

There once was a village that had among its people a very wise old man. The villagers trusted this man to provide them answers to their questions and concerns. One day, a farmer from the village went to the wise man and said in a frantic tone, “Wise man, help me. A horrible thing has happened. My ox has died and I have no animal to help me plow my field! Isn’t this the worst thing that could have possibly happened?” The wise man replied, “Maybe so, maybe not.” The man hurried back to the village and reported to his neighbors that the wise man had gone mad. Surely this was the worse thing that could have happened. Why couldn’t he see this?

The very next day, however, a strong, young horse was seen near the man’s farm. Because the man had no ox to rely on, he had the idea to catch the horse to replace the ox and he did. How joyful the farmer was. Plowing the field had never been easier. He went back to the wise man to apologize. “You were right, wise man. Losing my ox wasn’t the worst thing that could have happened. It was a blessing in disguise! I never would have captured my new horse had that not happened.” The wise man replied once again, “Maybe so, maybe not.” Not again, thought the farmer. Surely the wise man had gone mad now.

But, once again, the farmer did not know what was to happen. A few days later the farmer’s son was riding the horse and was thrown off. He broke his leg and would not be able to help with the crop. Oh no, thought the man. Now we will starve to death. Once again, the farmer went to the wise man. This time he said, “How did you know that capturing my horse was not a good thing? You were right again. My son is injured and won’t be able to help with the crop. This time I’m sure that this is the worst thing that could have possibly happened. You must agree this time.” But, just as he had done before, the wise man calmly looked at the farmer and in a compassionate tone replied once again, “Maybe so. Maybe not.” Enraged that the wise man could be so ignorant, the farmer stormed back to the village.

The very next day, troops arrived to take every able-bodied man to the war that had just broken out. The farmer’s son was the only young man in the village who didn’t have to go. He would live, while the others would surely die.

The moral of this story provides a powerful lesson. The truth is we don’t know what’s gong to happen — we just think we do. Often we make a big deal out of something. We blow up scenarios in our minds about all the terrible things that are going to happen. Most of the time we are wrong. If we keep our cool and stay open to possibilities we can be reasonably certain that, eventually, all will be well. Remember: maybe so, maybe not.

God gave us dominion over land animals, sea animals and birds …

I don’t think we are doing a good job as humans ruling over other animals, birds, fishes and plants. We were supposed to be made in God’s image living with those animals and keeping order and balance among land animals, sea animals and birds alike, as a king of the hierarchy. I don’t think we were ever supposed to abuse our power and treat them however we wish, like we are doing now. It’s coming to bite us soon enough.

Today we are overfishing, overeating, overproducing meat and driving everything to extinction … because we’ve been greedy, insatiable and gluttonous, not able to limit or restrain our appetite for meat, fish and other blessings that God gave us. To be honest, I myself don’t exactly like the “ethical” argument from vegans … that there’s something “inherently immoral or unethical” about eating meat. For thousands of years or even more than that, the human kind had to evolve and adapt to eat whatever we could find to survive. Whether it’s hunting for meat or scavenging, we had to do whatever we could. And without the knowledge of agriculture and farming, there was no way we could even disturb the planet’s ecosystem at the rate we are today. But ever since we started to mass-produce things … that’s when it started affecting everything on a mass scale. Human greed can be infinite and timeless if we let it. However, the resources of the planet and the ocean are finite.

So I think that’s what it comes down to. If we were doing a terrific job maintaining the planet, there’s no reason why many of us ever has to give up eating this or that. But because our limitless appetite for certain things has gone out-of-control, that’s why the planet and other species are suffering. And as rulers made in God’s image, we were never supposed to put other species in suffering in order to satisfy our own selfish desires (taste mainly, and fancy, satisfying dinners). If it’s for daily survival, perhaps, it’s understandable. Other than that, it’s a total luxury that we are not supposed to indulge in daily. Otherwise, the planet cannot support our lifestyle in scale.

I really think there’s no moral code that God gave us when it comes to eating meat or fish. However, God did give us the responsibility to rule over them, and that means being a good parent and shepherd for those species, not a slave-slaveowner kind of relationship where we drive everything to extinction. That’s like an employer who abuses their employees to the point where the employee dies from exhaustion or quits, and ultimately creates an empty office. Or a farmer that mistreats its animals, and all the cows and sheep dying.

The young people of current and next generation are much more aware than the past. I believe that those people, like Greta Thunberg has already done, will take up this mission and be passionate about defending the environment. I wonder if they will forgive the previous generations (including myself) for being so negligible about all this. In order to atone for my own sins and the sins of the previous generations, I feel responsible to make sacrifices as well.

P.S.

I want more green plants in my room. They really brighten up any room with their energy. I feel like they are alive. Talking to me. And they love it when we sing to them apparently. Even my horrible Smule karaoke singing.

Doing God’s Work

I see younger generations wanting to do good in their work. Helping the impoverished. Protecting the environment. Shedding light on the corrupt. Changing policies. Innovating society. Challenging the status quo.

We want the heavens to open up all kinds of paths for us now that we have decided to dedicate our lives to such noble causes. You might think to yourself, ‘I’m breaking my back trying to fix the world, and nobody else is trying as hard as I can, but nobody is noticing my hard work and on the contrary, I have to live on my small salary. The world is so unfair!”

In fact, our compensation system seems to work almost exactly in opposite. If you are a public school teacher trying to teach hundreds of inner city children, you get paid just a fraction of what you get paid as a corporate employee in Finance making the rich few even richer. No matter how noble your life purpose is, you will not get be compensated in terms of material wealth. Nobody might even care.

But I don’t think that means that we all have to give up entirely and live only for paychecks. In an ideal world, the amount of money you are paid and the level of material wealth you have will be directly proportionate to the “positive” benefits that you give out to the world. In that way, the “good” people will be largely rewarded and incentivized to do more, while the selfish people who only care about themselves without positively impacting society can be compensated less. But we all know the world does not work like that. So, we accept that reality. The ideal system is not here and may never come. The ideal system only exists in heaven.

So no matter how unfair this system is, We must give our all to impact the world in those noble ways with or without monetary compensation. Hell, nobody might even give us kudos for doing good.

The conclusion I came to is this. We do the Work no matter how poor or rich we are, that’s actually completely arbitrary. My parents’ generation and previous generations before them had to scrape a living doing whatever they would. Purposeful, purpose-less, it didn’t matter as long as it brought food on the table. And that’s completely understandable because back in olden times, food was actually scarce. We can barely think about fixing society when we can barely imagine how to feed ourselves in our next meal. But it’s different now.

People like us, especially young people in developed countries in the 21st century who have never known hunger and poverty, are in a prime position to think about purposeful work because we don’t have those urgent needs to satisfy anymore. We don’t have to worry about hunger because food is abundant here and now. We do, however, have to think about the repercussions of OVER-production of meat and other activities that will impact the finite resources of this planet.

What are we going to use our education and advanced degrees for? How do we use our god-given talents, resourcefulness, intelligence and privileges to do what God would have wanted us to do all along? No matter what form or shape that “Work” is. If your destiny is not in the convenient shape of a job (that makes you feel fulfilled but also pays well), and it usually isn’t, it doesn’t matter — you still keep going.

If you currently feel “stuck” at a place that has a very low-paying salary with bad work-life balance because you made a decision to find a more “purposeful” job, you must be willing to look at your life realistically. The world is not black-and-white. It’s not a decision between “find a noble job but be poor and miserable” vs. “find a high-paying job but be a selfish corporate slave.” The answer is more complicated than that. You must find the balance that works for you. If it’s not working out, you pivot.

We all need to survive first, yes, to satisfy those needs first. And after that, that’s when we can dedicate ourselves to those higher callings.

But the most important rule, I believe, is this:
Never give up doing God’s work through your life.