After the past few chaotic months there is now a hint of “sunshine” over the Korean peninsula. The Korean government announced plans on Monday that it would send aid to the flood-stricken victims in North Korea, reversing its original plan to limit government-level aid to Pyongyang. It may be safe to say that efforts are being made to ease tensions between the two Koreas for the first time since the Cheonan Incident.
Now comes the R-word: reunification – a word so dear to the elderly but distant to the young.
The younger generation was educated to rationalize every matter and recognize the economic costs and benefits of each move. They are the object of “chronos,” the players of a never-ending race along that straight track of time where we are told to push forward again and again. In a mind programmed with style, speed and scientific reasoning there is little room for the other Korea.
It is a fact that the North voluntarily detached itself from a world that spins on the latest i-Phone as its axis. It also stubbornly pursues ideologies discarded by the 21 century. It is poor, unstable and like the distant relative that no one is really allowed to talk about at family gatherings. All in all, it is a large obstacle for the desperate runners of chronos.
Therefore it is crucial at this point in time that our generation turns to kairos for wisdom. Transcending values must also be newly recognized. In the book “Reconciliation Reunification: -Peace and Reunification of Korea” written by Honorary Professor Park Kyung-seo, the forerunners of this very notion defines this point of time as a “moment in kairos.” Reunification is in fact a matter of kairos – the motives and values supporting it are timeless.
It seems paradoxical to seek a moment of kairos in a speedy world driven solely by reason. However, it is that paradox that makes reunification a more pressing and sacred matter.
This does not mean a deadline should be set or that drastic measures should be taken to take down those who stand in between the two Koreas. There is plenty to be done and an appropriate moment for each step. The most crucial matter is to define one’s stance. Is there no interval along that race of chronos to take a breath and take interest? Does reason indeed prevail in every matter? Is reunification a pressing matter only to a weeping grandparent?
“The younger generation was educated to rationalize every matter and recognize the economic costs and benefits of each move... In a mind programmed with style, speed and scientific reasoning there is little room for the other Korea.”
It is up to our generation to take the hearts of the elderly and keep the minds of the young. One must embrace kairos and realize that reunification means not meshing together two entirely different elements but placing them back to where they originally belong. The world is at its peak in intelligence and global cooperation is heightening in all fields. And kairos is waiting.