더 올라갈수록

높은 곳에 더 오를 수록 낮은 곳에서 보이는 것을 기억해야 하고

한 곳에 오래 있을수록 초심을 기억해 더욱 겸손해야 하고

남들의 오류가 더 보일때 자신의 오류가 보이지 않기에 더 고개를 숙여야 하는 법.

남들보다 더 많은 것을 했을 수록 자신을 낮출 수 있는 사람이 되어야 한다

미세먼지같은 차별

눈에 보이지는 않지만 미묘하게 상황들이 결정되고 이루어지는 것을 보면 당했다는 느낌을 받게 하는 경우가 종종있다. 미세먼지같이 전에는 느끼지 못했지만 수년이 지나고 나서 몸을 상세히 검진해 보니 혈관에 침투해 여러가지 질병을 유발시키는 것 처럼 10여년을 누구보다도 열심히 일하고 노력해도 새로 바뀐 상사가 들어오면서 여러가지 핑계를 대며 인도인과 유색인종들은 하나 둘씩 몰아내는 것을 경험하게 된다.  처음 들어와 “나는 아메리칸 소프트웨어을 만들고 싶다고” 한 미친놈. 우리가 만든건 아메리칸 소프트웨어가 아닌가?  난 30년 미국인으로 살았다. 그런데 나를 외국인 취급한다. 고위 경영진이 그 아무리 사탕바른 말이 많았어도 아~ 유색인종이었기 때문에 이정도로 밖에 생각을 하지 않는구나 하고 느끼는 점이 있게된다. 물론 백인이라 해도 비슷한 경험을 당할 수 도 있지만 겪는 사람들이 다 유색인종이라면 눈이 병신인 놈 아니라면 상황파악이 너무나 쉽게 된다.  조금은 어처구니 없지만 이러한 것을 언급하면 왜 인종에 차별적인 시각으로 상황을 보느냐면서 반문하는 백인들이 대다수다.  이런 것을 그냥 모른체하는게 인종차별을 하지 않는 것이라는 이상한 이념을 가지고 사는 백인들.  그들은 차별을 느껴본 경험이 없는 눈먼 맹인들이다.  탓하기에는 너무나 무식한 백정들. 2년전에 나가게 되었던 흑인 동료하나가 인종차별을 신고하면서 나갔었다.  믿기 어렵겠지만 최고 경영자 같은 사람이 인도인이다.  자기 밑에서 일어나는 일에 별로 신경쓰지 않는 인간. 공상가같으면서 포부가 넓어보이나 경영자로서는 꽝이신 분. 나는 상당히 민감한 사람이지만 한 곳에 말뚝을 박으면 고통스러워도 직접적으로 자존심에 타격을 받지 않는 한 좀처럼 움직이지 않는 성격적 결함이 있어서 나름 누가 오래 버티나 두고보자 하는 마음으로 내 할일 다 하면서 어떻게서든지 버틴다.  하나님 앞에서 마음을 바로 먹어야 겠지만 인간적으로 사실 한번 피터지는 격투기라도 해서 판을 지고 싶은 마음이 저 한곁에 있다. 그러나, 완벽한 자 누구 있으리.  알고 지내는 필립핀계 미국인 교수도 동양사람에 대한 차별에 대해 언급을 하는 것을 보면서도 저런 지휘에 있어도 겪는 것 같구나 하는 생각이 들었다. 사실 마음 한켠에는 사회적으로 더 높은 자리에 있으면 이런 서러운 일을 당하지 않겠지 하는 생각을 안해본 것은 아니지만… 친구 교수가 그런 것을 겪는 것을 보면 차라리 그냥 내 마음을 고처 먹는 것이 이 백인땅에서 사는 것의 지혜가 아닐 까 하는 생각도 든다.

Now entering the world of mathematics

With the life-changing religious experience aside, a bigger part of me had proclivity towards the immutable. First, it was the absolutes of the Biblical truths. The absolute Being and His absolute laws–especially the moral laws. It was soon after I had come to a certain, but a simple realization that the adults of my family had broken the sacred laws, and the bubbling spring of pain in my childish heart silently taught that breaking such absolutes caused a whole lot of pain for the innocent. I went to college to study the Bible, and majored in Biblical studies, learning the absolutes of this absolute Being. However, I found that the Christian Church, that is supposed to be entrusted with such immutable truth, is fraught with people who took the Biblical truth like a sugar pill that’s supposed to help them feel less painful living in the world. I’ve had enough of meeting men with empty chests. Instead of promoting a high view of the Scripture, the Scriptural authority is constantly trampled upon and its values treated as secondary to the prevailing values of humanism and secularism.

So, I return to the subject that is filled with fond memories of youth. I was once called a genius for winning various awards in math, and in state and national computer competitions.  I remember my teammates sitting and standing behind me while I typed away the code to win first.  I felt little bad for them, but I was the only one who knew what to do. The math was much more private endeavor, and I excelled at it. I think it had a lot to do with the encouragement of teachers early on and the fact it was also dealing with a type of absolutes.

Having treaded the path as a Jundosa (“youth pastor” or “assistant pastor”) for nearly over 20 years in Korean American churches, I’m now back in college studying math in after-work hours. I’m still passionate about learning the languages of the Scripture, and desire to do so if time allows it, but I see very little future for a jundosa in any church setting. Church attendance is low, churches are filled with old people who just want to keep the status quo, and it is poor. They’re acutely, but quietly aware of its own demise. You just put on your optimism and hope for the best. Of course, Christ’s Church shall prevail, but I see no intentional investment (they would if they were hopeful and had faith), or no excitement to keep others excited about the things of God.  I sometimes feel like a lone voice in the wilderness, but I’m sure the senior pastor feels it at a much more depressing level.  He faces it at a greater scale, on a weekly basis.  I only preach to little kids and few teens.  I should be more hopeful, but I know the church isn’t going to put up a serious financial support to cultivate an aging worker. They probably prefer someone much younger–like a young man in his 20s. My heart has broken more than I can count at numerous church leaders I had previously worked with.  My expectations for Korean American church has come down to the sinkhole.  And all these years, most of them have been singing loudly about the ministry to the second generation.  I entered ministry fully dedicating myself to that generation for nearly 20 years, and I’ve only discovered that it was just a facade, and churches are just as materialistic and more worldly than its counterparts in the secular establishments. They pride themselves for sending their children to Ivy League schools without a care in the world about their faith. They work long hours to buy big houses, meticulously build diversified portfolios, and other long-term assets with exceptional liabilities like luxury cars while donating their leftover trash to the church, and saying reluctant amens to Jesus’ call to store the treasure in heaven, and seek His kingdom and His righteous only. Am I jaded?  I used to be.  Am I now bitter?  I used to be. I’ve got over them.  I just make sure I do my part in the good service that God has called me to.

After graduating from an elite high school in Northern Virginia, my heart felt no inclination to math or science. At the time I desperately needed an emotional component, because I was getting none from the family. I had a gargantuan appetite for a spiritual connection, a human connection that was more than human, and for that fervor of the spirit.  That’s one of the major reasons why I had chosen to go to a Christian school for college. When I did, I did find what I was looking for. It was fulfilling at a deep, personal level. And I’m probably one of the few peers who had stayed in the church, and tried to remain faithful to the calling… in spite of the feeling that not even the closest people around me cared about such calling.  So am I abandoning a faith?  No.  Am I about to leave the church and the place of serving?  No, but as a human being, I feel like there’s no support around me, and I need to change my career. I’ve developed my career during the weekdays as a programmer.  But with a recent experience at workplace with a new boss, who swiftly demonstrated a direct, full-frontal something with a hermetic pretext of needing to build a new system, I’ve been deeply scarred but still clear-headed. It’s not the boss’ fault, but inept management that has had no skin-in-the-game in the development of its software.  In spite of quietly building a robust system myself at a personal expense, the management never tried little more than throwing new IT manager at the problem. And the problem is compounded by fact that new IT manager is always trying to prove themselves in the beginning instead of humbly trying to understand the existing system and improve upon it.  I pinch myself to be reminded that I live in a real world where everything seems to be imperfect — in a profoundly systemic way. Every meeting with this otherwise an intelligent gentleman with a Ph.D. is a diligent practice in how to overcome attrition. I’m not sure he realizes it, but he has effectively pigeonholed me by having everyone believe that we have an old system, and that I’m incapable of adopting to a new development environment. Everyone in the management team believes this now, and he has also created a very toxic environment by allowing the speed of adoption and skills over and above valuing people. It was painfully apparent in how he interacted with a quiet Indian employee, whom I had hired when he was still a student and allowed him to grow at the workplace.  Even David has oriented towards such priority, and he now believes he’s learned everything he needs here and that he needs to grow his skills elsewhere.  I’m not sure the price we are paying as a medical outreach group is worth the people-burning, people-disposing, and devaluing people for someone’s personal glory. The whole management is jaded and bought a fluffy version of “let’s create a people friendly culture” while having no reflection whatsoever on the very environment they have massively contributed.  Let’s bring the consultants in, and all of sudden we have a new culture.  Yeah, right.  Wherever you are, there you are.  Again, this environment only serves to remind me how imperfect our world is, and how blind the managers are.  They just don’t want to hear the complaints.  It’s a reflection of how inept they are. That way they can believe they’re doing a better job, because all of sudden people have shut their mouths to create this new “culture” the management so cherishes.  Creating this new “culture” is put before whether things are working properly or not.  They can afford it, because they have so much more money to burn through.

I don’t think I’m going through a mid-life crisis, but I feel like I’m under-utilized at church with no support for the future growth, ignored at workplace for not having sufficient credentials in spite of the fact that I had built the backbone of most important systems, and not respected at home. Sometimes, I feel like I want to run away from all and start over, but that would be too painful for the family, especially the younger ones. And I had promised myself and to God not to break the family like my own parents did.  So, here’s the first, tiny step towards a change.

続・深夜食堂을 보고

심야식당 2. Midnight Diner 2.

마치 중심인물인 마스터가 음식을 만드는 것 같이 만들어진 영화. 간단한 메뉴에 모든 사람들이 모여 앉아 먹을 수 있는 이 식당은 밤 12시 열어 아침까지 열지만 의외로 많은 사람들이 방문한다.  続편에서는 크게 세 가지 이야기가 나온다. 사기꾼에게 속아 넘어간 후 승려와 결혼하게되는 여인. 10여년 연상의 여자와 결혼을 하기 원하는 청년. 보이스 피슁에 넘어가 아들에게 돈을 준다고 규슈에서 동경까지 홀몸으로 오게된 노모.

영화다운 영화답게 첫편에 이어지는 모티프들은 그대로 살아있다. 일본 경찰 홍보물 처럼 그려나온 인물인 순경과 그를 사모하는 배달부 처녀. 남여노소 상관없이 아무나 다 같이 앉을 수 있는 식당. 청렴결백하고 인간미 넘치는 식당주인 아저씨. 각각 인물마다 뚜렸하면서도 거슬리지 않는 특색과 성품을 보여주는 것이 이 영화의 특징이다.

내면과 외면의 두 세계가 있다는 일본인의 성품은 그 어디서도 찾아볼 수 없고 마치 서로 서로에게 마음을 열고 훈훈한 인간의 정을 보여주는 것이라고 할까. 추억속 안개뒤에 가려진 훈훈했던 인관 관계를 마음 아리게 그리워하게 한다. 서로 서로 다 이웃이지만 다 따로의 삶이 있고 서로 서로 걱정해 주고 관심을 보여 준다는 자체에서 이런 훈훈함이 엿보이는 영화이다. 보통 소리내어 말하지 않는 것들이 자연 스럽게 표현되어 나오고 그것에 자연 스럽게 행동하는 것들이 사실 우리의 일상과는 거리가 느껴지지만 그러한 마음들이 있다는 것과 그리고 우리가 타성에 젖어 행하는 것들 뒤에 그러한 미덕이 있다는 것을 다시 한번 확인 시켜주고 있다.  우리게에 잊혀진 것들. 같은 길이고 같은 음식이고 같은 사람들이지만 그곳에 촉촉한 오아시스가 있다는 것을.

이번에는 여러 사기꾼들이 두번이나 등장한다는 것이 특징이었다. 일본사회에 난무하기 시작한 것들일까? 그런 사건속에서도 담담하게 이겨나가고 회복되는 사람들.  이중잣대로 자신 스스로가 탄로가 나는 어느 청년의 어머니. 사실 우리의 모습이다. 끝까지 고집을 피우는 모습, 그러나 모두가 다 동의 할수 밖에 없는 상황이고 판단인 것. 아들을 위해 희생을 두려워하지 않는 노모. 노모는 아들의 사는 모습을 멀리서 바라보고 다시 만나는 것이 아니라 그냥 보기만 하고 조용히 떠난다. 택시의 창문이 닺히는 모습을 보면서 눈물이 핑 돌았다. 왜 이럴 수 밖에 없는 것인가. 유유히 돌아가는 택시 뒤에 노모를 도운 순경이 자전거를 열심히 타며 뒤를 따라가고 있다. 여기 미국과는 너무나 다른 경찰의 모습. 일본의 경찰은 시민들의 경찰로 영화에서 홍보된다. 이런 영화가 있어 사회를 잔잔한 사회로 조금 더 감수성이 풍요로운 사회로 이끌지 않나 하는 생각이 든다.

Reluctance

I know better than to accuse someone groundlessly, but having seen both the good and the ugly in my three decades inside the Korean American churches it is hard not to cling on my experience and intuition when I see a clergy openly hint at something.

The head of well-known North Korean ministry in South Korea was visiting Albuquerque not too long ago, and the main purpose of his visit was to gain support for his ministry of course. My pastor and the elders seemed to have agreed. I think that was his second visit. While eating with him, bunch of church members, and North Korean girls he had brought with him, I noticed that he was comfortably embracing one of the teen girls without hesitation.  I understand that physical touch, and such embrace used to be something very common in Korean culture, and I’m sure all the other adults in the restaurant probably didn’t think much of it, but it really bothered me.  He was sitting down, and one of his arm embraced the girl below the waist around her buttocks after he had called up the girl to introduce her to the group. The girl enthusiastically massaged his shoulders at one point, too. I had an internal knee-jerk reaction. Here’s a pastor who was traveling globally to gain support for this ministry, and yet his actions and how he embraces these girls doesn’t even come close to meeting any international standards on etiquette. Again, let me point out that many adults in his age group is more comfortable about physical touch than subsequent generations, and I even know how such things are rationalized–“oh, he’s treating her like his own daughter”–but enough with the bullshit.

Three decades in different churches, mostly as a youth pastor, taught me that pastors are human beings, with all of its glorious flaws. And many mega-churches have come to ruins because of the illicit conducts of its senior pastors. This is no news. And in light of such cultural failures, you can only expect dimwits to believe that this respectable(?) pastor from Korea is clean with his hands when it comes to dealing with these girls?  If he’s not hesitant about such embraces of these girls in the open air, I don’t want to imagine what he could be capable of when he’s alone with these girls. Growing up hearing so much of sexual misconduct by pastors, I personally became hesitant to even shake hands with youth group girls, much less embrace them “in Christ.”  I had created a big, internal monitor on self to check my thoughts and behaviors. Even with my own daughters, after reaching certain age, I’m more careful about how I embrace them.

Would you allow your own daughter to be handled that way by ANY ONE?  Start there.  I don’t know why these adults continue to allow these self-designated religious leaders to handle girls this way. Since he left, he’s requested to have various things translated–for free. After completing one of the translations, my heart turned weary… with the barrage of news coming from Korea about pastors who secretly raped teenage girls under their care (the latest is so-called the verified “x-file” of pastor Kim Gi-dong of Sungrak Church)… I really pray and hope this specific pastor would be pure in his life, but I’m not naive enough to have no serious doubts about it.

귀성 (歸省)

연어나 홍어 같은 어류는 알을 낳기 위해서 상류로 올라간다.

온 힘을 다하여 온 몸이 부딪쳐 만신창이가 되가면서 귀성한다.

본향의 자리에서 죽어 새로 부활하는 고기.

본향을 잊고 물 보다 더 빠른 속도로 물을 앞서려는 어리석은 자들이 현시대의 우리의 모습이다.

저 고향의 냄새를 맡고 돌아가자, 우리.

Korea has been the dumping ground for low-quality meat

(Sorry, but the video is in Korean.  The documentary clearly brings awareness to Koreans who have been fooled by believing that the beef quality increases with the fat content. The most expensive beef in Korea are the ones with the most fat content.)

When I was growing up in Korea back in early 1980s, eating meat was for special occasions.  I’m not sure if that’s the real reason why there weren’t many fat people back then, but it’s a different landscape now. Although I have been living in the U.S. for over 30s year now, it seemed like a lot of Koreans ate meat on a daily basis starting at some point in recent past. I guess the price has gotten lower and people just oriented towards what tasted good for them. For a while, our own family didn’t eat that much meat, even though my wife is an ethnic Korean. She immigrated back in early 1990s. Anyway, after recently joining a local Korean American church what surprised me once again was how much Koreans liked sam-gyeop-sal (sliced fatty pork belly meat).  It’s basically 90% fatty bacon.  People usually consume it by frying it on a grill in front of them, and wrap it with a leaf of lettuce w/ chives and other side dishes with rice. Once or twice a year there would be sam-gyeop-sal party at the church. Koreans love meat.

The video on top is basically an exposé of how the Koreans value meat is strictly based on taste and not on the soundness of health. Basically, the beef certification system strictly based on how much fat beef contains. The higher fat content, the better beef, thus more expensive.  The documentary points out that such rating system started in the U.S., and then moved to Japan, the home of Wagyu Kobe beef, and then popularized in South Korea. It also features how Argentinians prefer lean meat, and compares the Korean beef cert system to the U.S. one. It also shows how Australians, preferring lean meat themselves, intentionally fattens cows to sell to Korea, a large meat market now.

How did Korea become such a meat loving country?  The answer lies in the not too distant past. Koreans were under dire poverty right after the war, and for many growing up during those years being able to eat meat was associated with well-being, and so that generation instilled in the next that eating meat, with little regard to health — which was taken for granted, thanks for their vegetable-based diet — is something that is promoted within families. In fact, it was only on special days that my father came home with cha-dol-bae-gi, thinly sliced beef, that was roasted on top of a frying pan.  However, all such factors contributed to where Korea is today.  A dumping ground for unhealthy meat. And paradoxically, it has also become a nation of health craze.  Maybe, it was only a matter of time that this type of exposé comes to the general public.

This is yet another documentary that exposes the other meat — pork.  Korea has been the dumping ground for the fatty pork belly meat.

Is this because Korean people in general are more gullible than other nations?

한국어: 정경유착

2017/2/17 KBS News

“한국의 정경유착을 끊을 중요한 시기”

政經癒着
政 정사 정/칠 정
經 지날 경/글 경
癒 병 나을 유
着 붙을 착, 나타날 저

기업가(企業家)는 정치인(政治人)에게 정치(政治) 자금(資金)을 제공(提供)하고 정치인(政治人)은 반대(反對) 급부(給付)로 기업가(企業家)에게 여러 가지 특혜를 베푸는 것과 같은, 정치인(政治人)과 기업가(企業家) 사이의 부도덕(不道德)한 밀착(密着) 관계(關係

한국어: 지양, 추경

출처: 2017년 1월 17일 뉴스

반기문 왈: “죽기살기식으로 정권만을 잡겠다는 행태는 지양돼야한다”

止揚 (지양) – reject [for the sake of improving]

①더 높은 단계(段階)로 오르기 위(爲)하여 어떠한 것을 하지 아니함  ②어떤 사물(事物)에 관(關)한 모순이나 대립(對立)을 부정(否定)하면서 도리어 한층 더 높은 단계(段階)에서 이것을 긍정(肯定)하여 살려 가는 일

 

출처: 2017년 1월 11일 뉴스

“한국은행의 기준금리 인하로 추경 편성이 급류를 타고 있다”

追更 (추경) => 追加更正豫算의 약자 – supplementary budget

예산(豫算) 작성(作成) 후(後)에 생긴 사유(事由)로 해서 기정 예산(豫算) 경비(經費)에 부족(不足)이 생겼을 경우(境遇), 이에 추가(追加)하여 작성(作成)된 예산(豫算)