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Going beyond the ethnic background while retaining our core value is the ideal for any and every American. Nowadays, each one of us belongs on the world stage. It's up to each one of us how far we can go on that stage. It is a long, and demanding journey, at the same time, interesting, wonderful, rewarding task. This writing is a part of that task. - Dr. Myong D. Lee

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Once in a Thousand Years

글쓴이 : 이명동 날짜 : 2013-03-29 (금) 21:32:03

 

Some chances come once in a thousand years, if ever. When that chance comes, recognition of the possibility of having that chance is the first step. And then, we have to make the best of it. The clear recognition comes when we understand why and how the chance has come. If we don't recognize to our core that the once in a thousand years chance is coming, the chance will move to another place without a question. The history shows us many precedents to help us handle the rare opportunity.

 

Actually, the main narrative of history is the story of people who had that rare opportunity of once in a thousand years. Just go through the history, I don't have to list the precedents in chronological order here. The only thing I want to point out is that in the beginning it was determined more by the location than by the quality of the people. The location implies access to water, fertile plain, river, agreeable climate, and calm sea for easy transportation.

 

One of the most important revolution with the practical impact on our life is the industrial revolution, the technological one. A little before that, the improvements in navigation and ship-building enabled some tribes in the European coasts to have the once in a thousand year chance. With the industrial revolution, the country which had that chance is, of course, England. They took great advantage of it but it's been over for a long time. The rare chance always comes and goes like anything else in life.

 

The U.S. became the country of "from sea to shining sea" with the decisive help from the train with steam engine, the product of the industrial revolution. Then, came electricity. The historian Sean Cashman wrote that "The Electric Tower dominated the Pan American Exposition at Buffalo in 1901, widely interpreted as the culmination of America's industrial and imperial progress in the Gilded Age. Mastery of the new technology of electricity made it possible to apply limitless energy in precise quantities."

 


 www.en.wikipedia.org

 

Cashman quotes the journalist Mark Sullivan "electricity was streaking up and down the country, literally like lightening- wires to provide it with a pathway were everywhere being extended, like long nerves of a new growth, from central power houses, from the city to the suburb---everywhere ending in the turn of a switch, by the turning of which a man could tap himself a practically limitless reservoir of physical power."

 

The internal combustion engine was another boost to the American Century. The American love affair with the automobiles is a big part of the American culture.

 

The point I like to make is that the once in a thousand years chance, now, demands the kind of people who deserve it. It is no longer the luck of a good location. It is the product of creativity of the people.

 

The creativity of the people made the current revolution of the information technology possible. This latest revolution is giving Korea a chance to be in the sun for a change. For the first time in a thousand years, Korea has the chance.

 

The interesting question is how koreans are going to handle this. Just remember, it requires creativity, open mind, integrity, dignity, decency, empathy, critical thinking, hard and persistent effort, and a wonderful sense of humor and tolerance. Also, a dose of humility never hurts.

 

Above all, the essential question is how to keep that creative energy with passion as long as possible. That is the task of the Koreans, now.

 

 


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