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Mr. Kim’s Canadian Dream (19)
chungheesoo

 

Mr. Kim came to Canada; he had dreams; did he realize them?

 

(지난 호에 계속)

 

Another episode which Kim heard was a story of a mother-daughter team who chased her father for abusing his paternal authorities. The father wandered for some time to end his life far from home.

 

The lesson of the intergenerational relations in the Korean community was this, according to Kim.

 

The basic problem was the lack of love based on mutual knowing and understanding and the willingness to provide mutual assistance for each other’s welfare. Kim thought that the fundamental reason was parents’ failure to guide, through love, their adolescent children toward healthy and autonomous life.

 

Kim was convinced that Korean parents did not know how important the adolescent period was for the formation of identity and character of children. The Korean parents tended to impose on the adolescent children their rigid Confucian values.

 

The children may pretend to obey for the sake of peace in the family. But they could not find their own identity and they grow up with anger toward their parents. That is, the whole problem was, according to Kim, the absence of mutual love.

 

The immigrant parents feel, with remorse and sorrow, the consequence of poor parent-children love. In the absence of such love, the parents-children relation becomes one of materialistic interest.

 

Kim remembered the data published by the Canadian Statistic Bureau concerning grown-up children’s bad treatment of their old parents. Most of such treatments are economic-interest related. In fact, Kim knew many cases where Korean adult children steal the savings of their parents without any feeling of guilt. Nobody knows how serious the problem is, but Kim knew personally several cases.

 

Kim’s plane was still in the middle of the Northern Pacific Ocean. He was looking down and saw an endless carpet of thick white clouds. The clouds looked so peaceful and Kim was glad to find himself in such peace and think of the turbulent life of human beings below.

 

High above the land and sea, Kim had the pleasure of thinking that he was above the comedy and tragedy of human life; he wanted to think that he was transcendent above the human society. Kim went through ups and downs like everybody in life; there were moments of despair; there were moment of glory.

 

But human life was, thought Kim, in general a series of worries, uncertainty, fear and pains Only love allow us to find the beauty and dignity in the midst of suffering of human life. Kim was glad to know that he was successful in developing love with his children. He thought that he was lucky.

 

Mr. Kim became a good Christian

At the age of 80, Kim was writing in mind, in the plane taking him to Korea, the balance sheets of his life. He was not an economist or accountant, but he knew something about the balance sheet of life.

 

For Kim, in a financial balance sheet, there are two sides. On one side, there is a list of liability showing how the funds are prepared, then, on the other, there is a list of assets showing the funds are spent and form the assets.

 

Kim tried to apply this system of counting to his life. His liability would mean the love he received from others, while the life assets should be love given to others.

 

"I must admit that balance sheet of love is negative, that is, the love I have received from others is much greater than the love I have given to others." said to himself.

 

Kim was thinking how and if he had loved others. He started with his love for his father; he was raised in a social environment where Confucian ethics dominated Korea.

 

Kim was not sure if he loved his father. Kim was not given the chance to know his father. What he remembered was the respect.

 

Kim was thinking about his love for his mother. He knew how she had gone through suffering, hunger, fear, insecurity for the welfare of Kim and his siblings. But Kim knew that he did not love enough his mother.

 

One afternoon, Kim had the urge to pray and he felt warm tears came down on his cheeks for long time. What made him cry was the fact he had hurt by action or by words, knowingly or otherwise those who had loved him. Kim thought that the greatest sin a human being can commit was to hurt those who love him.

 

“Mother, I know that you sacrificed your wellbeing for us, your children; I remember the moment when you went two days without meals to feed us; I remember the terrible time of Korean war when you were ready to give your own life for us. Mother, you are no longer with us in this terrible world. I do regret, mother, that I did hurt you without knowing it”, Kim cried softly

 

During his immigrant life in Montreal, Kim tried hard to become a good Christian. He was asking himself what a good Christian should be.

 

He gave himself a definition. For him a good Christian should be a person who loves God and all neighbors through God. He remembered a preacher saying that human cannot love neighbors without loving God and without God’s grace. To become a good Christian one must have God’s grace allowing us to love Him and others

 

But how should one love God? Kim was convinced that to love someone one must know the person first and please him. Therefore, the next question is how one should know God. Kim thought that the answer was the Bible through which one could know who God was, what he did and why. In short, the first thing a good Christian must do is to read the Bible.

 

Kim remembered reading somewhere that one should do more than reading the Bible; one should listen to the Bible; one should feel the Bible; one should live with the Bible.

 

Kim heard that the Bible cannot be understood without the grace of the Holy Spirit. Hence one should pray so that the Holy Spirit would help. The Holy Spirit is the best teacher of the Bible.

 

The next thing one must do to love God, one should please Him. But how?  Kim thought he had the answer.

(다음 호에 계속)

 

 

 

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