Every society has its own problems. However, recently, Korea has been overwhelmed with news of violent crimes. The violent crimes were mostly cases dealing with sexual abuse or brandishing of knives. These kinds of incidents have been showing up on the news more frequently since the end of August. It is the end of September now, but still when I type in ‘sexual abuse’ on an Internet portal site, I can find eight different sexual abuse cases that happened on that day alone.
These types excluded, there are also many other social problems that are not being reported as much, such as assaults of the elderly by youngsters. Youngsters have lost their respect for the elderly. Teenagers bullying their fellow students or making one of them an outcast is becoming more and more prevalent. As a result, the suicide rate of teenagers is increasing at record levels. Additionally, celebrities are violating laws or committing suicide even though they should set good examples since they are whom teenagers and children look up to. Why are all these things happening?
Experts in diverse fields have analyzed these social problems. There are countless factors that contribute to making social problems: unequal social structure, indifference of society, discrimination, rough childhood, easy access to violent media, personal problems and so forth. As you can see, we cannot actually solve these problems directly since we do not have the expertise or the authority to establish new policies to solve them. However, what we can do to help in solving these problems as a member of society is ‘giving attention.’ I believe this can bring great changes to our society. Most of us may have just forgotten about these matters after watching the news or after the media stopped broadcasting about them because it did not happen to us. However, if we stop giving attention to these matters, others will probably do the same. Then who will make efforts to try and solve these social problems? If we give consistent attention and support, it will remind high officials to work hard to solve them and protect the rights of the victims, rather than moving onto another matter.
It may still be quite hard for us, university students, to give attention to many different social problems. Let me limit the scope to university life. University students are living in a society where we all compete against each other to get hired after graduation. We are too busy preparing for this and that. Most of us do not pay attention to current affairs or certain matters if we do not need them for job interviews. Also, in an individualistic and egoistic environment, many university students do not feel the need to know deeply about those around them. University students’ relationships have become superficial; people only find their so-called friends when they need something from them. Consequently, university students suffer from loneliness and depression.
There is a social problem close to us. It has been reported many times on the news about university students wanting to commit suicide for several reasons such as employment, Grade Point Average (GPA), financial problems, family problems and so on. Indifference from superficial relationships in university does not help those students. It makes them feel like there is no one to help them. Let us start with those around us. To prevent others from falling into the bottomless pit, giving attention to the people around you will help you find what they are struggling with. Hopefully, then you can prevent them from doing something they cannot turn back from.
Giving attention does not require much of your time and it does not require money. Why do not we pause for a moment and start with those closest to us?