Give You Hope - The UOS Times
The UOS Times
Give You Hope
Song Jin-young Editor-in-Chief  |
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[0호] 승인 2011.04.10  
트위터 페이스북 네이버 구글
Everyone pursues success in their life however the meaning of success differs from person to person. If you ask someone on the street about the meaning of success he or she would probably answer that wealth or social power is the index of success. In modern society, the pursuit of material things has become a virtue. That is why many people crowd into lottery shops and dream about winning a big fortune in one stroke. That is also the reason why many youths are struggling to be hired by major companies.

If you suddenly come into a lot of wealth or power, do you think that you are going to be happy? There is actually someone who answers ‘no’ to this question. He is social designer Park Won-soon. He listens to his inner voice every moment. He thinks that the most important thing to do before making a serious decision in his life is to follow what his heart wants. Most of you have probably never heard the term social designer before. This is the job title that he created to describe his complicated career. He was one of the top lawyers in the 1990s who won many cases. However, he suddenly quit his job and founded a NGO called People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy (PSPD).

According to standard modern values, his decision is very strange. Unlike him, many people eagerly want to be a lawyer because this job guarantees a high social position in Korean society. However, he said that law is a profession which buys others’ concerns. That is why he changed his career. Beyond others’ understanding, he finally achieved a certain status in PSPD. While he was working for PSPD for seven years, PSPD became an important NGO in Korea. It has used its influence on political decision making and strived to make a better society. For example, they put pressure on the legislative body to enact laws for the poor. They also have an effect on making laws which increase social integrity. Because of this, PSPD gained even more fame and influence. Then Park Won-soon suddenly left the organization again.

When a group lays its foundation firmly, most founders will focus on the group and enjoy the status that he or she earned through the foundation. But Park Won-soon made a surprising decision once again. He left PSPD and founded another organization. I am sure that his strange behavior seems unfamiliar to all of us. But considering his ideology, it was a very natural choice for him. After leaving PSPD, he repeatedly started new projects. The Beautiful Fund, Beautiful Store, and Beautiful Coffee were also his creations.

  • The Beautiful Fund encourages diverse activities for public interests. It was founded in 1999 and donated about 6 hundred million KRW on November 2010 to needy female heads of households.
  • Beautiful Store sells second-hand products. By donating and buying products in the Beautiful Store, we can save the environment by reducing resources and energy which were used to make new products. Moreover, they use the profits to help the poor.
  • Beautiful Coffee was started as a part of the Beautiful Store, but it has now become an independent company. They sell fair trade products; coffee, chocolate, and black tea. You can buy them through retail stores or on-line.

Fair Trade means paying a reasonable amount of money to coffee or cacao bean producers. These producers have suffered from hard work and poor work conditions due to unfair payments from global companies.

He is currently working for The Hope Institute. It focuses on the local community, small companies and senior citizens. This institute values ideas from common people and encourages their participation. Also it aims to suggest political alternatives and functions as a think tank. He also often travels around the world to see unique social features in other countries from signboards on the street to their public systems. He has learned from them, given endless suggestions and posed questions to Korean society. He said that he wants to keep up efforts to make society and the world better. A better world will come someday not by a single, special hero but by thousands of normal people.

His Suggestion for Young Students

Most of you have probably heard the term ‘Blue Ocean,’ which means a new field without violent competition. If you choose a job which looks gorgeous and glamorous, it also attracts other applicants. Therefore, it is hard to get the job and it is much more difficult to maintain your position and get a chance for promotion. You have to develop your skills all the time to compete with others. It will cause a lot of stress and you will expend a lot of energy because of that. What a waste! Choose what your heart tells you. It will be the best decision you ever make. If you are skeptical about this advice, remember that a positive attitude makes big differences. When you think something is impossible, then it can never be done. Life is too short and so precious. Do not waste your time and energy on unnecessary things.

When you are walking a path that no one ever goes through, do not worry. It does not imply that you are wrong. Rather it means that you are a pioneer. Take big steps until you achieve real happiness in your life.
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