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Civic awareness of Pohang earthquake victims

Posted November. 24, 2017 09:17,   

Updated November. 24, 2017 09:36


The old and the weak among earthquake victims in Pohang who lost their homes have begun moving into the rental housings the government has prepared. The city of Pohang initially planned to choose the order of the victims to move in by a draw, given that there are only 160 rental apartments for them to move in. But victims of Daedong Villa in Pohang, who received priority in moving in, have submitted a list based on the standard of “the households with the elders or the children must move in first.”

Victims of the Pohang earthquake who could not go back to their houses labeled “unusable” have been enduring the discomfort and pain of living in the shelters. It is unclear when their damaged houses will be restored and when they can go back home. Against this backdrop, they worried about neighbors who were more struggling than themselves and yielded their priority in moving into the government’s rental housings, and this heartwarming story has made everyone feel pleasant. Their considerate thoughts that agreed to “priority for the old and the weak” as the members of the local society can be called the true attitude of the advanced citizens.

The Korean society is suffering from individualism and collectivism that have gone way too far. In September this year, local residents opposed the establishment of a special education school for the reason that “house prices will drop in their community,” and the parents of students with disabilities had to kneel down and plead with tears. It was a case that showed the bare face of Korea’s civic awareness, about the community that lacks protection and respect for the socially disadvantaged. It is a shameful thing that the Korean society has a weak social capital to signify the trust and consideration between people. According to the Better Life Index announced by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Korea had one of the lowest rates in answering “yes” to the question “Do you have any friends or relatives you can rely on when you’re in trouble?” among 41 countries that were the subjects of the survey.

Even with the unprecedented emergency situation of postponement of this year’s College Scholastic Ability Test in Korea,” the test took place on Thursday across the country without any troubles. Especially in Pohang, a weak earthquake with the magnitude of 1.7 occurred during the second period of the test, which wasn’t serious enough to require an evacuation, and test takers could finish the test safely. This writer wants to give the words of encouragement from the heart for test takers in the Pohang region, who had to suffer from psychological pressure about the postponement of CSAT and the fear of aftershocks.

A country cannot reach the level of an advanced country simply by achieving the national income of 30,000 dollars per person. What’s more important is to create a society with the upright spirit of citizenship and firm awareness of community taking roots. Those who showed the mature civic awareness even when stricken with a sudden accident make all of us feel ashamed. Which you think is truly rich between Pohang earthquake victims who know how to yield to others and those who have everything but still want more? If the beautiful civic awareness the victims in Pohang showed us can spread to the entire community, we could find the solutions for numerous problems we are facing at this point faster than ever.