There is a proverb that syas, "The beginning is half of the whole". It basically means that nothing is harder than starting. I am a perfect example of this. I have provably said to myself that I will go on a diet and yet, even at this very moment, I have a donut in my mouth. Starting is the simplest thing but at the same time the hardest thing to do because as soon as you start, there are things that you need to let go of in order to achieve your goal. It is hard to tell which one is more difficult: starting or giving up.
Everyone wants to start but is also scared to give up, which is the reason why there are so many conflicts going on at this very moment. The ‘Anti-Japan boycott’ movement is another flare-up in the unstable relationship between Korea and Japan. The continuing argument between taxi companies and new ride platforms is caused by those who want to protect their territories and others who want to create a new market. Situations where at the end, both sides have to lose something in order to gain what they want.
On the other hand, there are areas where people have started to make a change. ‘Child abuse’ is not a new issue. It is a violence that has been a social ill for a long time. Recently, however, more attention has been paid in society. More and more people have been recognizing the symptoms and causes, raging against those committing the abuse and helping the victims. ‘Save the Earth’ has been a slogan thrown around since the late 20th century as long as we can remember. Prior to this year, there were not many 'Save the Earth' solutions in Korea but now cafes are using reusable cups and paper straws. Shops are also encouraging their customers to bring reusable bags. These are not big changes, but it has taken a long time to start these reactions and social movements, and they are definitely significant steps toward a better future.
Which bring us to this 343rd edition of the Hanyang Journal, where we will touch on some issues that deserve attention such as, the increasing tuition fees for foreign students and the boycott of Japanese products. As mentioned before, the cost of starting is letting go. The process might be painful, exhausting or troublesome since you are giving up on something that made your life easier. However, take a moment and think about how worthwhile it would be in the end. That one call or the attention you gave to a child in pain, one less plastic bag that was not used, because you brought a reusable bag instead. Your opinion and actions on issues might seem small but will affect the society as a whole. In all of these things, you are already starting a change.
All of us need to begin and make a difference. Take the courage and please don’t be afraid to start. I started by not finishing the donut. What will you start doing?