Mayor's Hope Journal

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  • Dasan Jeong Yak-yong’s 177th Memorial Service
    [Mayor Park Won Soon's Hope Journal 129]

    SMG 805
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    We had a memorial service for Dasan Jeong Yak-yong’s 117th anniversary memorial service and a tea dedication ceremony this morning.
    I was honored as one of the three ceremonial officials.
    It is the most prestigious role in a memorial service.

    Director Park Seok-mu of the Dasan Research Center had invited me to represent all the mokmingwan (equivalent of governor) in Korea. I realized how much responsibility I had on my shoulders.

    The weather was better than expected since the rain stopped earlier. By the time the ceremony began, the sun started to shine brightly, and the temperature climbed.

    People from all over the nation came to pay their tribute to Korea’s great philosopher, Dasan.

    Unfortunately, that is something he was not entitled to enjoy in his lifetime.

    He was born at a time when aristocrats were consumed with partisan conflict, hindered by ideals and justification while widespread corruption continued. had they taken the time to review and apply dasan’s reform proposals, the system would have undergone remarkable change. Perhaps we could have avoided the degrading colonization during the Japanese rule.

    Dasan spent most of his life in exile far away from the capital. His legacy survived only in books and writings. To think that his great teachings never saw the light in his time! Mokmin simseo, also known as Admonitions on Governing the People, has become the handbook for ethical administrators, yet it failed to make any difference when it was most needed.

    I believe there are disturbing similarities in Korean society today. The people suffer while the ruling party and opposition continue their discord. The future of Korea looks murky at best.

    Dasan’s practical, realistic reform and people-focused policies are nowhere to be found when the loud and the belligerent dominate the stage.

    as mayor, i will straighten out my collar and learn from the past, taking the path of dasan to realize an alternative and a better future that benefits the people.

    please wish us good luck from the skies!

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