Founder of Walden Korea.
Chairman of Jeju 4.3 Memorial and Families Association of the U.S.
Henry David Thoreau laments the "mass of men leads lives of quiet desperation". He says the ease we pursue makes us feel uneasy. The comfort brings no comfort. Thoreau realizes that the things with which we try to appease ourselves always turn out to be a temporary solution. I spent a lot of time in Walden and thought we had to "retreat" in a real sense for objective social understanding through introspection, just as Thoreau retreated into the forest.
Thoreau's lesson is that all the change is in me. Walden means 'the practice(Praxis)' to me.
Thoreau's Walden also covers justice, peace, human rights, and the environment geopolitically. Walden symbolizes civil disobedience and self-reliance. Thoreau was the first American to define and use civil disobedience as a means of protest. He inspired Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr.
Walden's symbolization is connected to Korean philosophy. Korea has historically been a peace-oriented people. It has also fought for democracy and the realization of justice.
I started "Walden Korea" to teach second-generation Korean Americans the importance of the Korea-U.S. alliance and Northeast Asian issues, connect them to resources, and help with research in theses and related fields.
South Korea (officially the Republic of Korea, or ROK) is one of the United States' most important strategic and economic partners in Asia. The United States and South Korea share a long history of cooperation based on mutual trust, shared values of democracy, human rights, and the rule of law, common strategic interests, and an enduring friendship. Over the past several decades, the ROK has achieved a remarkably high level of economic growth and, in 2019, was the United States' sixth-largest trading partner. In 2020, the two countries commemorated the 67th anniversary of the U.S.- ROK Alliance and the 70th anniversary of the outbreak of the Korean War. Korean Americans celebrated the year 2003 as the 100th anniversary of Korean immigration to the United States. On June 27, 2002, the U.S. Senate passed a historic resolution (S.R. 185), recognizing the 100th anniversary of Korean immigration to the United States. The second generation of Koreans is growing and becoming leaders in many areas such as business, law, politics, economy, science, and culture.
I hope that the young generations, who are proud to be descendants of Korea, will play an essential role in American society as leaders with Walden's cultural sensibilities.