Last night I watched the movie “Perfectly Precious Love” at a cinema preview. As a surprise, one of the lead actors appeared on stage. He said to us, “Please don’t analyze this movie with your head but watch from your heart. ”
This movie is about the importance of love in a time of despair; when one encounter changed someone’s life. A young boy, Onyu, had lost hope for a cure of his cancer. He received a surprise visit from his idol star Yena. After this encounter, Onyu found hope and eventually was cured.
Many years later, at a hospital where he then worked as a volunteer, he encountered Yena, hospitalized after a suicide attempt.One girl had changed one boy’s life. Now this healing relationship began again.
This movie talks about the importance of relationships in human lives that bring healing at times of despair. Everyone needs to be recognized and everyone finds life difficult to sustain.
Those who lose hope sometimes encounter and create healing relationships; not with magical power but with ordinary sustaining power to survive in the present moment. I think that is why the name of this move is “Perfectly Precious Love.” Life is not perfect but love in those important moments can make life perfectly precious.
When I watched this movie, I thought about my freshman year at Ewa Womans University. I dearly wanted to be a lawyer to support the poor and oppressed. I failed to be accepted by the department of Law but I was accepted by my second choice, Christian Studies. That was one of the painful moments of my life because I felt I was giving up on my dream.
However, paradoxically, through teaching, I find that I empower and support students. Like me, a lot of freshmen struggle to find who they are and what dream they want to follow.
Students may choose something they don’t really want as a major or they make a choice when they are not sure of their futures.
Some students discover, only after classes begin, that college life is not what they expected or dreamt of. Some students come ask me what makes college life meaningful. Sometimes foreign students share with me the excitement they feel about studying in a new community and they also confess their sense of isolation.
In these students at Ewha, I see and sense the same despair that I had experienced in my freshman year. Life is beautiful. But life is also sometimes very cruel. If we accept this cyclical change between the beauty and cruelty of life, finally we can learn to enjoy the present moment.
I encountered great friends at Ewha community. More than twenty years ago, I developed a precious friendship here. After 10 years of study in the U.S., these precious friends whom I met at Ewha welcomed me back and became the centerpoint of my life in Korea.
I encourage Ewha students to accept what they experience now whether it is bitter or sweet. During these bitter-sweet college experiences, I hope that they will encounter their Onyu and Yena in this greater Ewha community.
You and your precious friendships at Ewha will make your life “perfectly precious.”
Students in Ewha community, enjoy your perfectly precious present moment!
*Professor Kwon Jin-sook is a lecturer in the Department of Christian Studies. She earned her Ph.D degree from the Claremont School of Theology and received her B.A. and M.A. in Christian Studies from Ewha Womans University.