Basic Facts: the formed character

(One of requirements of TH 501-01, Drew Theological School on September 15, 1982.)

Very my own story:

Since my family came back to Seoul, Capital of South Kora, again in 1951 from the war exile for 8 months, my father had a chance to work as a mechanical engineer. Then we returned back to the middle class in the Korean society. However, he spent most of his life in a field of factory and the company office to design a machine which makes the acetic acid and to build a production system. Otherwise, he spent most of his time with us, but rather not saying anything. People were obviously depressed by the war. But one of the important reasons why my parents had to live in silence was personality difference.

Secondly, according to Korean marriage customs, the heads of the two families (fathers or grandfathers etc.) decided the marriage for their children who are below 15 years old without hearing their feeling or opinions.

Thirdly I never saw their affection to each other as wife and husband as well as towards us, children. In addition, my father was two years younger than my mother. In the traditional thinking of Korean customs fathers have the authority in their families. However, mother had been the commanding officer at home. As the result, father always away from home and stay in his work by their emotional conflicts.

Therefore, my mother took care of the children and all family affairs. However, they never have lived in separating or divorcing.

In the circumstances of this conflict, the children grew up with lack of affectionate feeling, rather fill the house management duties: each child keeps their duties. mine was to clean the floors and fill the ceramic water container of 100 gallon daily from a well of few miles away. Now, I felt why I am a good hand for others. I had to endure all of hard works, because I had been trained by my mother as a middle son. I sometimes felt sorrow. However, I never heard words of appreciation or compliment for the results of hard work by mother. My other two sisters had carried much harder and important works for management, such as cared the baby brother and cook all meals daily for the family.

This was a gift which God gave me through this journey as endurance as recognizing the importance of family bond that the magnificent base of the society. 

About TaeHun Yoon

Retired Pastor of the United Methodist Church
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