Posted in Journal

Life and Beyond: My Two Cents

Like a dream is nothing if not pursued, a good intention is meaningless if not actualized.

Gun-wook: we come to this world alone, and we’ll leave alone. But the picture is so painful. Every time the director gives us a shot of Gun-wook’s uninhabited apartment after his presumed death, my heart always skips a beat. It looks lonely and forgotten I couldn’t imagine it could be true. An abode whose owner will never return and no one will ever notice that the owner has gone. Possibly amongst other things, the saddest situation that can happen to a human being is to be forgotten. That no one remembers one’s being or reminisces him/her afterwards.

Each of us has a role in this world – there’s a reason why we are here – whether or not we are aware of that. The question is, will people still remember and appreciate us, our works or contribution after our time is up. Unless we’re a crazily prominent figure, there are only so many people whom we may know or who know us. Fewer of those would probably miss us after we departed. But then, what’s next? Setelah generasi orang-orang tersebut, tak ada lagi yg mungkin akan mengingat keberadaan kita di dunia ini karena orang-orang baru tak punya kesempatan untuk mengenal ataupun bertatap muka dengan kita untuk bisa mengingat atau menghargai kita. Berpuluh-puluh tahun setelah kepergian kita, tak akan ada yg menyadari bahwa kita pernah ada. That’s…scary. That our existence may someday be completely forgotten.

How nice it’d be if we could make a significant, memorable contribution to mankind and be remembered by the next generations to come. A legacy would definitely be great.

Is this particular thought too deep? Let’s proceed to something lighter then.

Another thing I’d like to discuss after watching Bad Guy is the notion of life and death. It’s often said that we cannot please everybody. When we try to do so, we’ll end up pleasing nobody. Every little thing we do in life – be it each action we make, each decision we take – even the way we talk, walk, behave, and position ourselves will conjure up pros and cons. No matter how benign we aspire to be, there will always be people who dislike us. It’s an inevitable fact.

It’s possibly not likely to entirely rid ourselves of negative thoughts/feelings, so I daresay that hatred is somewhat humane. Speaking unfavorably about someone is thus fairly tolerable (imo) yet it becomes intolerable when the dislike causes any physical harm. This doesn’t rectify badmouthing or verbal bullying. Tolerable doesn’t mean acceptable. We still have to watch our own mouth because there’s a saying that slander is more sadistic than murder. Being careful of what comes out of our mouth is one thing, but being physically abusive is a totally different thing. Verbal attacks don’t necessarily kill (literally or metaphorically) the victim unlike physical attacks do. Eleanor Rooservelt said: No one can make you feel inferior without your consent – unless victims of verbal attacks succumb to the heinous words they’ll be fine whereas those of physical attacks helplessly get stamped out. This is when it becomes unbearable even to watch or listen to. I invariably switch to different channels when news is about casualties from fights, robbery, or (worst) murder.

My stomach churns uncomfortably when it’s depicted in dramas/movies. A scriptwriter who resorts to violence/murder to resolve mounting conflicts is neither smart nor creative. There are so many other viable ways to solve disputes – use brain, not fists! I therefore abhor Madam Shin’s repeated killing orders and today’s episode 8 of Pasta which denigrate human’s core existence. In that episode, rookie Chef Yoo-kyung is locked inside a cold room and the Head Chef claims a good chef would freeze to death (because she shuts down the cooler in order to survive the freezing temperature). To which I totally go, “WHAT?!?!” (I didn’t say it out loud; I silently yelled it)

YES, it’s wasteful to spoil good [expensive] ingredient. YES, a good chef would never opt to ruin their resources used for working and thus living. YES, the damage costs a hell lot of money (if not a fortune). And YES, she must feel sorry for the incident. But it’s NOT her fault at all – the door is defective! It’s NOT wrong prioritizing ourselves on top of anything else. And it’s NOT wrong wanting to survive!! How can he expect her to die – to sacrifice a LIFE over DEAD materials?! Lost money or things can be earned or bought back, but a lost soul is gone forever. Life is precious and indispensable. Isn’t it clear-cut?

Life is a gift. We’re born outta [parents’] love, and we should leave outta [God’s] love as well. No one else but God has the right to decide on our time here. Definitely not by another human’s hatred, foolishness, or judgment. Maybe that’s why I oppose capital punishment regardless of the severity of the committed crime.


Back to the opening topic. I know someone in real life who lives in solitude. Not as extreme as Gun-wook, but he has no family of his own; but like Gun-wook, he is wealthy. I was mulling over those silent-den-scenes and the following day that solitary man in my life was called back. The news came as shocking, the more because he was out of town. Out of my grandpa’s siblings, we’re closest to him. Idk if it’s coincidental but roughly a month ago we ate out at an eatery near his house, and I was half-teasing half-suggesting that we came for a visit. It’s not likely to happen but deep down inside I hope we could meet again and be on friendly terms. Because he’s a family, and upon meeting him I was always reminded of my late grandpa. The only hindrance was because he had such a sharp tongue that once hurt our feelings. You know how it hurts it is when your weak points or sensitive issues are being picked on.

My father went on, stating that our family was most likely the closest to him. (Reciting examples…) However, I don’t think it’s the time to count or boast our good deeds towards him. We should pray for him instead – forgive any of his wrongdoings and reminisce him in his best – that’s certainly what he’d have wanted. Because had we known him long or close enough, we’d have been able to cry as we’d definitely have missed him.

I wasn’t close to him. We never had one on one conversation. I heard and realized that he’s no longer with us, but it’s not until I stood in front of his praying table did reality start to sink in – that I won’t see that smiling face again; my eyes ‘ached’ they got warm and watery. I was hoping that we’d be on better terms because he was the remaining grandfather figure that I had left. Grandpa (maternal) left when I was merely 11 and I had no strong lingering memory of him except his advice for me to smile more. The (last) hope I’d had with granddad (fraternal) was left unfulfilled too. I was always hoping that I could get cozier with him but had no idea how to actualize it. On my last time seeing him I really had an urge to hug him – I didn’t – and I could never do it. The same thing went with him.

Regret always comes late.

I have a lot of imagery – things I would like to do, a better personage I would like to be in real-life. They don’t seem hard to accomplish in my mind, but they are always stuck in execution stage. I stop myself from carrying them out partly because I don’t have the guts. I realize they are the nice things to do but I could not move my muscles to react to what my mind tells me to. Like a dream is nothing if not pursued, a good intention is meaningless if not actualized. Because the other party would never know I have such intentions in my head. I wish I were more expressive.

Rest in peace. We’ll always remember you. You’ll occupy a certain space in my heart evermore. He was alone in this life but I believe he no longer is wherever he is now. Because God called him back to be with Him.

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