By Jang Chang-yong, senior editorial writer of The Korea Post
If there had been no 'hope' at the bottom of the Pandora's box in Greek mythology, I think our lives today would have been markedly different.
The meaning of this myth is that the trivial actions of a woman (Pandora) who was full of curiosity without restraint caused a huge wave of repercussions and divided the fate of human.
Related to this, we can imagine two cases. One is when Pandora restrains her curiosity and does not open the box at all, and the other is when she closes the Pandora's box lately after opened it, exposing the “hope” at the bottom to the world.
If the Pandora's box had not been opened, all the seeds of unhappiness in it, such as hatred, jealousy, anger, war, cruelty, poverty, hunger, disease, aging, and suffering, would not be ejected into human society, so that humans could feel happiness and live forever. For example, there would be no today's COVID-19 pandemic, and there would be no slaughter wars.
Then the reaction can also be imagined. In other words, human intelligence would be lowered, scientific development would not have been achieved, and civilization would have regressed due to the loss of efforts for a better life, loss of desire, and indolence and ease. Furthermore, we can imagine that human beings would have lived a life similar to that of an animal that pursues only basic needs – desire for food and sex.
Conversely, if the box door was closed late and all the elements of evil mentioned earlier were ejected into the human world, even hope would be lost and mankind might have become extinct.
Paradoxically, as all kinds of evil elements and hope were mingled and existed, human beings suffered, but because of the hope remaining in the box, they are not frustrated and are living this life without being frustrated.
Hope is the driving force of life, and humans feel happiness when they feel achievement and satisfaction by working tirelessly without giving up on that hope.
Today, our society is facing various difficulties. Not only the nation, but also each economic entities, including businesses and households, are living in a world where it is difficult to survive day by day.
Young people in their 20s and 30s who are frustrated because they can’t find a job even after graduating from school, the elderly who cannot make preparations for their old age in order to take care of their children, small merchants who are suffering from all kinds of regulations and wrong policies, the poor people who do not have their own house, the middle class that is collapsing day by day, the highest suicide rate among OECD countries, and the highest national debt growth rate --- none of them are good.
There is even a sense of crisis that if we go on like this, the tower of 70 years of growth that the Republic of Korea has worked hard to achieve could collapse.
The history of Korea's development, which the world envies, has been a benchmark for many other countries and has been recognized as a guideline for national development.
But the drama of dazzling development is about to come to an end. We are facing a desperate crisis in which we have to fundamentally solve the problems we are facing.
Now, there is concern that the proud miraculous Republic of Korea may be turned into a representative contrasting lesson that the country has collapsed in just a few years.
So what are we have to do? Should we just be lamenting the devastation? Should we blame others and be frustrated? We should not.
The Korean people are born with the innate DNA to turn crisis into opportunity.
Going back to the beginning, leaders from all walks of life, including the President, the government, and politicians, must show the attitude of taking the initiative and setting an example through their actions.
As there is the saying that it is the darkest before dawn, let's talk about the 'hope' that is in the Pandora's box with the belief that a bright sun will rise tomorrow.