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2019 Konkuk Bulletin Essay Contest
Do Hyo-young, Editor | 승인 2019.12.11 22:42


Topics for the Essay Contest

1. Your opinion on mercy killing

2. Recommend a policy or system for single households

3. The ultimate goal of your life



The ultimate goal of my life

Kim Yoon-sub

Department of Business Administration


 Without a doubt, mankinds have always endeavored to be happy from the time of beginning of civilization. However, the means of obtaining happiness deffers from individuals. Some would say having a lot of wealth would lead us to be happy, and some others would claim having an honorable job is the main goal. Yet, from my own personal perspective, helping vulnerables is the ultimate factor of living my life.

 In order to illustrate my statement, I would like to demonstrate my personal experience. From back to the time of my childhood, I had a chance to live abroad, Ethiopia and Vietnam, for several years. Living there in my teenage was a misery at first. I had to leave my friends and online games behind and stay in deserved, and under developed city. However, I was able to learn some valuable lessons by living there. The reason why I am living in South Korea is not because I am privileged, but to give hands to people who are suffering from poverty. Everytime I go outside of my residential area, numerous beggers circled around me for donations. I was truly astonished to see beggers at my age bearfoot and begging for money. They would not even have a chance to dream their own goal due to the lack of financial support and even hand time maintaing the basic needs. I have felt that I shouldn’t be taking my wealth as a given, yet to share and help others. Of course, there are people who are living under the basic standards in Korea, but they are not serious as much as least developed countries. Thus, I have set my final objective of my life to help the least privillaged.

 Helping vulnerables is not an easy goal. There should be steps taken in order to achieve or to be at least near to the goal. But I have accomplished my first step. I worked as an intern in UNDP(United Nations Development Programme) for 6 months this year, I stayed in Amman, the capital city of Jordan and have experienced how official development assistance is being held internationally. The unemployment rate and poverty was the key issue in Jordan which leads all foreign donors and multilateral aids to aim solve the problem. Yet, it was complex, we had to figure out political situation and cultural background. Just simply giving money would end up without an outcome. Thus, I’ve learned that I should study further in order to handle issues beyond.

 For my future step, first, I’m planning to get a job in development assistance. In Korea, KOICA(Korea International Cooperation Agency), and EDCF(Economic Development Cooperation Fund), are the main institutions. Of course there are some private sectors and NGO’s, however, I believe working under the governmental institution would help me to improve my perspective to be more systematic. After having experience in the field, I’m planning to work in UNDP again with my specialized career and experience. For this, I could apply for JPO(Junior Professional Officer) or KMCO(KOICA Multilateral Cooperation Officer), setting these future plans would guide me to achieve my dream effectively.

 To sum up, helping the vulnerables overseas is what makes me happy and mu life meaningful. Providing helps to people who don’t even have a chance to dream is what I should be doing. However, this cannot be accomplished in a simple practive. It would require a hard time and challenge, but that is what I am also ready for.



Recommend a policy or system for single households

Ahn Dan-te

Department of History


 On the contrary to popular beliefs, living alone, or single house holds, has been popular way of life in developed countries for decades. In Scandinavian countries, where the concept of social welfare became a paragon for countries around the globe, single households have accounted for considerable amount in the demographics. It has spreaded to rest of Europe and then to the world. But what makes this life style so different for today is that it has become a norm or a trend for modern societies. In order to recommend a policy or system for single households, we must identify its causes. As countries become industrialized, average age of getting married increases, which denotes that the age of cohabitation would also lag. The reason for this is that as a person starts a career, a person would have to settle down and be stable with his/her economic status to get married. A more significant cause that attributes to increment of single households is the rapid advancement of technology. Length of interpersonal interactions has plummeted thanks to the introduction of smartphones and applications. Digital nomads are now members of the society. Globalization facilitates a person to travel around the world, and hinders him/her to settle down and be commited to another person.

 Eventually societies that have reached sufficient levels of economic affluence are now experiencing their societies pivoting towards single lifestyles. For example, there are lots of restaurants that offer menus and a table for a single person in Korea and Japan. Companies come up with marketing strategies to dominate the single-household markets. Now single life has become a new hit.

 Especially, it's become a serious social issue, which becames a matter for a big discourse, in Korea, Japan, and China, where existing cultural values have disintegrated swiffly due to fast industrialization. Western-standard industrialization in these East Asian countries, in which Confucianism is deeply embedded, has caused the members of the society to be discombobulated. On the contrary, developed nations in North America and Europe, where the industrialization has continued for a couple centuries or more, have already adapted the lifestlye and integrated it into the society availed by long history of legislation and education. Unlike the Dragons of Asia, industrialization and modern economics have persisted in these continents. As a member of Korean society, it is a paramount issue to be resolved by every member of society including the government, activists, and citizens, lest it will totally dismember a nation into aggravated depression.

 The biggest possible outcome without appropriate legislation is the total distruction of the society as we know it. The current political, economic system were establish on the assumption that every person will be married and ploliferate. But as the birth rate being all time low in Korea and recently Japan, it is a living proof that the social structure is failing to cope with fast-changing 21st century. Influenced by rigid social norms, such as Confucianism, the older generation who holds the paradigm of the society fail to detect such changes. As a result, the country slowly decays into inertia. As the ultimate solution, the society must transform into a new form, transcending pre-existing norms that made single households social pariahs. In Korea, the divorce rate has been the highest in the world, because, in my opinion, a person formed a family not with affection and care for the spouse, but, more often than we know, due to pressures from the society. A person who chose not to get married is considered as incompetent.

 The government should institutionalize a new norm that will make single households feel treated. The public is already turning to the new lifestyle, and the institution is lagging behind. An exemplary solution could be the enhancement of law enforcement to make the female single households to feel safe. The new system should divide approaches to single househols into two branches; young single households and old single households. They are in different environments that need different cares. Young singles' major concerns are the pressure from cultural and social norms, and the economic instability from exorbitant living expenses. Old singles' major concerns are loneliness and joblessness. The government could initiate housing projects to help young people. The government could increase welfare budgets on public health care, pensions, and social case workers to match old singles' needs.

 On top of all, the priority should be the increased taxation. The exorbitant price of houses in the cities hinder cohabitation. The current economic prosperity heavily relies upon capital incomes, like stocks and rent, than labor incomes. The government should follow Scandinavian examples to cope with new paradigm. On top of all, the priority should be the increased taxation. The exorbitant price of houses in the cities hinder cohabitation. The current economic prosperity heavily relies upon capital incomes, like stocks and rent, than labor incomes. The government should follow Scandinavian examples to cope with new paradigm.

 Finally, efforts to change perceptions on alternative lifestyles should be made. Educations by public and private institutes, public campagnes could be the examples. But unless any support from the public exist, will any implemented policy have significant efficacy. Thus, the society should endeavour and be persist on solving this problem to be ready for unforseeable future and on achieving the sustainability of the society.



Your opinion on mercy killing

Jeon Min-hwi

Department of International Trade


 Although it is 21st century, there are illnesses that cannot be cured. But as the result of the development of technology, there are high chance to find disease if we want including whether it is cured or not. If you have a chance to be alive and want mercy killing, then that should be considered as a suicide. There for, for today’s essay, I would like to focus on mercy killing on people who have no hope to be cured and people who want to die because of their illness. I would like to continue my essay with three following reasons: 1. As a human being, you have a dignity 2. People who are at the stage of death suffer too much due to their illness 3. mercy killing will be economically beneficial for the patient and the family.

 First of all, mercy killing will allow the patient to have the last dignity as a human being. All humans want to show that they are healthy to their loved ones – especially if your families are taking care of you, your heart will be broken. People who are at the stage of wanting mercy killing might cannot even walk or go to bathroom themselves. One of their families would have to stay beside and take care of them. Although families will say they are fine, they might not. Both of patient and family will get tired of the situation. Of course the patient’s family will want their loving one to be alive, but now I am speaking in the sight of the patient. They would want to be remembered as a happy father or mother. They would want their last memory with the family as a happy one. However under the current law, you are not able to have a mercy killing. I believe the mercy killing will allow the patient to have the most beautiful ending of their life. If you are illed, you always have to wait for death. However under mercy killing, you can prepare for the death. You can have the last meal with your family. The last kiss and the last hug. You might even can prepare your own funeral to make visitors to adapt your death.

 Furthermore, patients who want mercy killing suffer too much on illness. It is not that people who have a papercut want a mercy killing. Here, I am talking of people who are at the last stage of cancer or any disease near to that. Those patients’ suffers are unprictable. They have to experience all that pain while they know that they will die because of that disease. They have to get pain killer because of the degree of pain – you cannot stay normal with that much of pain. Pain killers make people want to sleep. When they are not in pain, they are sleeping. When they are not sleeping, they are in pain. This circular is a daily nase of a patient. I believe mercy killing will make those patients to remember their life as a happy one not a painful one.

 Lastly, mercy killing will lower the economic pressure of the patient and his/her family. If you stay in the hospital, every hour is connected with money – and obviously it is not a cheap one. I am not trying to say people should die because they cost much. People who are at the last stage know that they are dying soon and they have to face that their family are suffering because of their illness and hospital fee. As a normal people of Korea, hospital fee is not something that can be easily paid. In that situation, it is either hospital or work to earn hospital fee. I believe we should give at least an option to the patient to continue their life or not.

 Losing someone is extremely hard one and I cannot even say that I understand those who lost their loving ones. However, whenever I imagine myself in the last stage of my life, I would want to end it peacefuly with all my loving ones around. I want to have a last good meal, watch a movie with those loved ones. Talking about mercy killing is sad but it is worthy if we imagine it is connected with us. If you do not want that, you can just not take it, but we should at least let people choose either they want mercy killing or not.

 Thank you for reading my essay. 

Do Hyo-young, Editor  ninibin0@konkuk.ac.k

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