The poem by Sangwha Lee ‘Does spring come along at the taken away field?’ – a poem published in 1926, which was in fact a poem of resistance that was written to express sorrow of our nation’s status at the time during the Japanese Imperialism. The poet’s words ‘taken away field’ points out the reality in contrast to ‘spring’ which is a symbol of hope, hence, more emphasis on depression rather than the liberation of the country. However, this negative message was for the strong wish for freedom rather than continuous depression.
On the threshold of spring, the feeling of that poem 90 years ago is back today. The divided nation after liberation and even more, the divided people within this nation brings suspicion whether that spring is really coming. What is more frightening is to lose true identity and philosophy rather than losing the nation itself.
The current political situation suggests for impeachment of the President. Such happenings are bringing two divided people out on the street every Saturdays as all the politicians as well as religious leaders are using such circumstances to express their opinions for their advantages. People of this nation are becoming tired and somehow even getting accustomed to these things happenings around. Whichever they stand for or stand against, only one’s side is right and correct whereas the opposite side is always wrong and must be accused.
Come to see it more in detail, it merely is a strong opposition between extreme conservatism and progressive, but the people of the nation are taken as hostages on these bizarre conflicts. Innocent people are trapped in the coming spring time with these useless antagonisms. Spring is life and hope, but the reality we face today is a living hell – it would be a blessing if such pain is a dream after all.
What does ‘conservatism’ mean? It would mean many things, but the most important one would probably be to preserve current nation’s system and the constitutional order. Above all though, would be to continue grow for the people and the nation for pure reasons. What does then progressive mean? It means to reform the current system’s negative elements for better world. It would be difficult to define which one of the two is correct as both values have not been implemented yet. ‘Security’ and ‘Reform’ are in fact a double-edged sword, but note that depending on market circumstances, either one of the two sides could be applied. This is the pure reason why one must abandon the idea of extreme hatred just because one stands in one other’s way.
Progressive and Conservatism – what we need to find is the moderation between the two ideas amongst the confusion. Then what exactly is this moderation? Our nation has from long tradition has taken the knowledge that right had is the ‘correct hand’. And with this, the culture has negatively thought of the other that values the left-hand sides. Hence, the symbol of ‘Right’ meant ‘Correctness’. However, one must not ignore the other side of the coin as ‘right’ exists just as ‘left’ does as well. In other words, ‘right’ can only genuinely be evaluated as right should it embrace left – hence, having an objective mindset. This provides a good lesson in that one should be careful to not be a prisoner of being obsessed with conservatism and progressivisms since moderation is a genuine conservatism – right or left, what is correct is correct and vice versa. If my side is wrong is forgiven whereas the other side’s correct opinion is always wrong – this is not moderation or objective because that is simply not truthful from the beginning. A nation where justice is alive, and truth governs the nation – then the people with the correct thoughts and philosophies will embrace the genuine spring.
▶한국어버전: [천지일보 시론] “빼앗긴 들에도 봄은 오는가?”