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Archive for December, 2008

For every goal that everyone wants to achieve, there are many paths that lead up to it. The typically “Korean” method of academic success is hagwon, or cram school, that holds your hand throughout your educational journey. The universally unethical methods for getting something you want can be listed off memory any time–lying, cheating, stealing.

Of course, trying to gain an unfair advantage is unjustified. But really, how accurate are these observations, and how much of this is the fault of students? The article about US students admits that its data may be flawed, since the accuracy of it depends on the honesty of those asked. Ironic…wasn’t this article written to criticize the students’ lack of integrity… ? Another thing; while the statistics may be shocking at first glance, the public would be much too gullible if it drinks it in accordingly. Maybe the Christian schools have a more rigid standard of justice, regarding harshly the acts that may be accepted by a non-Christian school. Maybe the Christina school students are just being honest, while a lot of students at non-Christian schools lie that they have not lied, cheated, or stolen.

Now let’s weigh the means and ends in context to society. Is the fact that there are more cheaters, stealers, and hagwoners the fault of a posterity of rotten values? Or is it the impossible standards of society that drive the youth to desperation, oftentimes thoughtlessly overlooking their own morals because of the result-oriented nature of the current community?

Or maybe this impulse is a dark side that everyone has and few people are strong enough to overcome. And…even if it started out as the fault of societal values, one really has no excuse for the wrong choices he makes.

I’m guessing that success would come either way, whether you play it dirty or not. Only you would know, unless you got caught. And that in itself is a paradox; you can never hide anything from yourself. You are your best friend, your keeper of secrets, but also your worse enemy who can look into your bare soul and penetrate all the dark things you have inside. You are naked in front of yourself, and you know everything that you are guilty of doing, saying, or thinking.

and in the end, when you’re almost done with life, everything you did will come to haunt you.

if only people could think that far in life.

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