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How to fix the world in five minutes


The world paints the same picture every day. The school bell at three o’clock marks busy footsteps rushing to English hagwons, lines of cars honking for their children, bags of books jolting in sweat. This is typical: nothing wrong, nothing strange about such seemingly busy, light circle of society.

Before anyone complains about the dreadful cycle of scribbling notes, sitting up straight for five hours, and sauntering to math hagwon from English hagwon, there are those who desire such strenuous cycle of dread. Those without dollars and cents, those without pencils and books, those without care and love.

Too often we take things for granted. The timeworn books from back of the corner in school library can find a happier place—a place where students will actually appreciate the crinkled words and pages. Many people these days pour buckets of money in favor of helping poor Africans thousands of miles away from Korea. Of course, such acts of kindness all deserve an ovation. However, our priority ought to settle with our community and our country first. We’re simply overcasting shadows over the future lights that can possibly polish Korea into a better shape.

All these blabbers about helping kids with education by donating books, supporting free mentoring system, and opening classes may sound cliché to some. Clichés, however, have their grounds and they are never old adages in vain; paying a little more attention toward these unfortunate kids and their education can later fizz into a bigger, brilliant bubble. Unfortunate kids aren’t in unfortunate situations because they want to, quite perceptibly. Children are born the same way, and it’s just a little tweak in their natural circumstances that frequently decide if they’ll be applying for a job at McDonald’s or at Samsung.

If we really uphold the value individuals must seek, at least in their youth, education is the primary key. Books, worksheets, teachers, and paper seem too “normal” that people unconsciously suppose that every single kid from Korea has access to such supplies. Ironically, the only barrier that blocks most unfortunates from continuing on their life journeys to their own standards of success and happiness is education, and more specially, the books, worksheets, teachers, and paper. We can let these children in the “normal” side of our society, only if we do lend them our hands first. As long as we want to spur further growth of our community, we must fix our world, perhaps in five minutes or less.