[Editorial] An Alert for Cleanliness
[Editorial] An Alert for Cleanliness
  • Ewha Voice
  • 승인 2006.05.03 00:00
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   On April 8, Seoul citizens were terrorized from the skies by yellow dust, reportedly the worst of its kind in four years. While car washes and sam-kyub-sal restaurants were having a heyday, most of Korea's population couldn't help but worry. This yellow dust comes from the heartland of China and is a mixture of desert sand and industrial pollution. Despite some signs of concern, considering the way China is shaping its industrial policies, there seems to be no guarantee things will get better; they might even get worse.
   Although we did not need artificial rainmaking like our Chinese neighbors, it was only after a stormy shower in the following week that the skies regained their blue shades.
This almost curse-like phenomenon was a hazard beyond human control. All we could do was breathe into cotton masks and hope for rain. However, it is not just yellow dust that should signal to us that we need an ongoing global alert for environmental cleanliness. The battles against avian flu and climate change are just two other prominent issues that pose a worldwide threat to public health.
   These issues actually prove how honest nature is. How it will react to the way it is being treated. They also show how much people yearn for cleaner air, bluer skies, and healthier foods, basically the way things are supposed to be.
   In a parallel event, just three days before the arrival of the yellow dust, a group of around 60 college students from various schools around Seoul met in front of Yonsei University's Centennial Hall. They met to campaign for a cleaner campus. They were not, however, out there with green vests and prongs, or spades and seedling trees to commemorate Korea's first non-public holiday celebration of Arbor Day. Rather they were campaigning for a different kind of cleanliness.
Their three vows were, one, "We will not cheat during exams," two, "We will not go to class for others," and finally, "We will not plagiarize other peoples' reports." The campaign was aimed to restore integrity among Korean college students, and thus create a ?leaner?campus.
   After a visible dust storm like last month's, it is actually quite easy to campaign for a cleaner world. It seems more normal to get out our hoses and brooms and clean up the mess than ignore it. What is really tricky, though, is to look and recognize beyond the visible and clean up what is internal, which, ironically is also most clearly within our control.
   The color blue is universally known as the color of trust and honesty. It is thus important to regain this color in our hearts as well as our skies.

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