The internet has spoiled us. We want immediate answers and results and get immensely frustrated when we don’t get them. Many articles have already discussed the new generation’s lack of ability to focus and appreciate long term thinking. It’s only at times when you travel abroad with limited wifi and phone access, do you realize that there was a period when you had to wait and wonder before you get an answer.
I adore traveling for various reasons. One of them is because it provides me the opportunity to appreciate the “present.” When you travel, you tend to notice small things like how the road is paved or what bus system is used differently in this city and country. You notice how certain clothes are in fashion and certain time of the day the store gets crowded. Instead of looking at my phone using my data, I am using my phone to take pictures or write notes about the places I am witnessing. You feel grateful and awed almost to realize how these small differences have become what they are.
I found a quote that summed up my thoughts on my return flight back home to the United States. The Korean film The Fatal Encounter was about King Jeongju. I won’t spoil the story here for it was a well depicted one and I would recommend others to check it out too. But I will share the quote, which was repeated throughout the film: Chapter 23, Doctrine of the Means, a Chinese Classic.
“Next to the above is he who cultivates to the utmost the shoots of goodness in him. From those he can attain to the possession of sincerity. This sincerity becomes apparent. From being apparent, it becomes manifest. From being manifest, it becomes brilliant. Brilliant, it affects others. Affecting others, they are changed by it. Changed by it, they are transformed. It is only he who is possessed of the most complete sincerity that can exist under heaven, who can transform.”
“작은 일도 무시하지 않고 최선을 다해야 한다. 작은 일에도 최선을 다하면 정성스럽게 된다. 정성스럽게 되면 겉에 배어 나오고 겉에 배어 나오면 겉으로 드러나고 겉으로 드러나면 이내 밝아지고 밝아지면 남을 감동시키고 남을 감동시키면 이내 변하게 되고 변하면 생육된다. 그러니 오직 세상에서 지극히 정성을 다하는 사람만이 나와 세상을 변하게 할 수 있는 것이다”.(중용 23장)
“其次致曲 曲能有誠 誠則形 形則著 著則明 明則動 動則變 變則化 唯天下至誠 爲能化” (中庸 23章)
I closed my eyes and repeated the message again to myself. Be patience, be present, and count all the little moments. I’m not going to let the internet spoil me. Life is too good for that.
Copyright © 2014. Monica H. Kang, All Rights Reserved.