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왜 일하는가?

이나모리 가즈오 교세라 회장이 쓴 “왜 일하는가?”(신정길 옮김, 서돌 간)라는 책 서문을 읽으면서 눈이 번쩍 뜨이는 부분이 있었다.

“이 글을 읽는 이들 중에는 자신이 왜 일하는지도 알지 못한 채 일에 끌려 다니는 이들이 적지 않을 것이다. 마음에 내키지 않는 일을 어쩔 수 없이 해야 하는 자신을 비하하고, 그 때문에 상처받고 좌절하기도 할 것이다. 그런 때일수록 내가 그랬듯이 자신이 맡은 일에 최선을 다하라. 그것이 오늘의 시련을 극복하고 내일의 운명을 바꿔주는 만병통치약임을 명심하라.” – 이나모리 가즈오 “왜 일하는가?” p12
딱 내 이야기라는 생각과 함께 오랜 경륜을 가진 지혜로운 사람은 간결한 표현으로 의미전달이 정확하구나 하는 느낌이 들면서 다음 구절이 떠올랐다.
“네가 자기 사업에 근실한 사람을 보았느냐 이러한 사람은 왕 앞에 설 것이요 천한 자 앞에 서지 아니하리라 ” (잠언 22:29)
비록 지금 내가 하고 있는 일이 “내키지 않지만 어쩔 수 없이” 하는 일이긴 하지만 이 과정 속에서 자신을 비하하고 상황을 원망하기 보다는 성실하고 근실하게 내 소임을 다 한다면 일의 성패에 상관없이 성실함으로 인정 받을 수 있지 않겠나 싶다.]]>

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Color of Spring

Although we had rather cold spring this year, gardens welcomed the visitors with wonderful colors of the season.]]>

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Books Update (April 2010)

I was at Kyobo Bookstore on April 27th, 2010 when I spotted a brand-new layout design of Bloomberg Businessweek magazine (photo above). It was a welcome facelift compared to the previous design whose use of bland sans serif headline type was rather awkward and even ugly. I am looking forward to the Korean edition of BusinessWeek to catch up with the new layout. Meanwhile, my favorite magazine layout design is that of Time magazine, redesigned in 2007. I found out that the design was done by Pentagram. No wonder.


The books I have been reading this month:
  1. John Scalzi, Old Man’s War – Very interesting read. Actually it was much more engaging than the movie Avatar.
  2. Stephen Pollan, Die Broke – The book provides very interesting perspectives on wrapping up one’s life. The author is the father of Michael Pollan who wrote The Omnivore’s Dilemma
  3. 가와다 오사무, 가방은 손수건 위에 (국일미디어) – 일본의 보험 영업 사원으로 일하는 저자가 쓴 일종의 자서전 같은 건데 고객을 대하는 철저한 정신을 통해 많은 것을 배웠음.
  4. 김송호, 공학의 숲에서 경영을 논하다 (페이퍼로드) – 오래 알고 지내는 어느 회사 사장님이 꼭 읽어보라고 선물해 주신 책.
  5. 박경진, 나의 믿음은 오직 감사 (국민일보사) – 아버지께서 저자 출판기념회 겸 고희 잔치에서 받아오신 책. 어려서부터 고생으로 점철된 인생의 역정 가운데서도 깊이 있는 신앙의 삶을 살아온 저자의 자서전인데 무척 감명 깊게 읽었다.
  6. 이소무라 타케시, 이중세뇌 – 3월에 읽은 “행복의 조건“이란 책에서 45세에 흡연과 음주를 하고 있는 사람은 노년이 상대적으로 더욱 불행하더라 하는 연구 결과를 보고 담배를 아직도 피우는 주변의 45세 지인들에게 추천해 주고자 구해서 본 책. 과연 이 책을 읽으면 담배를 끊게 될지는 모르겠지만 재미있게 읽었음.
  7. 이승휘, 케냐의 유혹 – 케냐에 이주하여 5년째 여행사를 운영하는 저자의 생활 기록.

Books to read in May 2010:
  1. Richard H Thaler, Cass R Sunstein, Nudge
  2. Atul Gawande, The Checklist Manifesto – 지난 2월에 구해놓고 읽다 말았음. 다시 읽어야지
  3. 에너지 버스, 꿈꾸는 다락방 등도 읽고 싶음.
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The Cost of Energy

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Library in the Subway

I guess it was a couple of years ago when the staffs in Sinsa subway station in Seoul, Korea decided to put an open bookshelf in their halls. Apparently they expected the passengers using the subway station would borrow from the bookshelf and then return the books in time for the next person to keep enjoying the collections. At first, there were some books to begin with. Fast forward to what the bookshelf looks like now (photo above). Despite the earnest plea to return the books (as written on the notes), the books disappeared rather quickly. All you can see now are some piles of advertisement brochures. So, obviously the original plan to have a working open library has been a failure. Yet the subway office did not bother to do anything about this empty bookshelf. Neither did they think of removing the now defunct notes. Perhaps they decided to leave this in public display as an expression of their resentment or disillusion against the sorry state of civility exhibited by the library users. In spite of all the good intentions, some ideas are destined to fail by design or lack thereof. – – – * There is another case of subway station library which failed in even larger scale. ** Jae Woong Yoo’s critique on what’s wrong with the subway library.]]>

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번역의 탄생

유니게님의 글을 통해 알게 되어 최근에 읽기 시작한 이희재 저, 번역의 탄생 (부제: 한국어가 바로 서는 살아 있는 번역 강의). 무척 소중한 책이다. 이 책을 통해 우리말이 가진 묘미를 새롭게 발견하고 있다.]]>

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The Magician's Nephew

아내가 지역 도서관에서 빌려온 C. S. Lewis의 The Magician’s Nephew. 무엇보다 반가운 것은 책을 읽어주는 오디오북 CD가 같이 포함되어 있다는 것. 내용을 아주 실감나게 낭독해 주는 덕분에 듣고 있으면 이야기의 세계 속으로 몰입하게 된다. C. S. Lewis 작품은 인물의 생각을 표현하거나 상황을 묘사하는 문장에서 느껴지는 쫄깃쫄깃한 언어의 묘미가 일품이다. 어렵지 않은 단어를 절묘하게 조합해서 사람의 복잡한 심리나 미묘한 상황을 실감나게 표현해 내는 그의 문학성에 나는 여러 번 매료되었다. 이에 비해 그의 작품을 영화화했을 때는 그런 문학적 특징을 충분히 반영하지 못하는 어려움이 있다. 아이들에게 C. S. Lewis의 작품을 소개하려면 영화보다는 책을 권한다.]]>

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Bill Bryson's African Diary

아프리카 동부에 있는 케냐라는 나라에 대한 궁금증이 생겨 검색 중 알게 된 책. 약간 비꼬는 유머가 담긴 독특한 글쓰기로 널리 알려진 빌 브라이슨 (Bill Bryson)이 케냐에 다녀온 짧은 여행기인 “아프리카 다이어리“를 구해서 읽었다. (21세기 북스, 김소정 옮김) 오랫만에 킥킥거리면서 읽게되는 책이었다. 물론 케냐라는 나라가 처한 현실적인 어려움은 결코 가볍게 웃을 수 있는 상황이 아니었지만 빌 브라이슨의 글쓰는 방식이 원래 그런 걸 어떻게 할까? 하지만 그의 냉소적 유쾌함 덕분에 케냐를 보다 긍정적인 관점에서 볼 수 있었고 자칫 우울해지거나 심각해질 수 있는 상황 속에서 오히려 밝은 희망을 가질 수 있을 것 같은 기대감을 느끼게 되었다. 잡지에 특집 기사 정도로 실려도 될만큼 워낙 짧은 책이어서 무척 아쉬웠다. 이 다음에 읽을 책은 케냐에 가서 5년 동안 생활하면서 사파리 전문 여행사를 운영하는 이승휘씨의 “케냐의 유혹” (문학동네).]]>

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Aging Well

Aging Well on Amazon Kindle. Harvard Medical School followed the lives of many individuals for more than 50 years under the Study of Adult Development program and tried to find out what made someone have happier, healthier, and meaningful life. This book is about the result of that research, written by the director of the program. In the first chapter of the book, there is a story about Anthony Pirelli who was described by a psychiatrist who studied him as follows:

Unaggressive, sensitive and fearful of parental disapproval…. This is a very mild appearing boy. Wants to make a good impression. Does what he thinks is expected of him, never is quite at ease. Plainly quite insecure in a social way. On the whole, he is so conventional that it is very hard to get any true opinion that is his own. He is quite inhibited in action, never joined in any vigorous athletics but has numerous quiet hobbies of his own such as stamp collecting and ship model building. We do get the impression that he is quite sensitive and has aesthetic tastes.
The description seemed to fit me, too. So, I am already fully intrigued to find out rest of the story as the study follows his life for the next 50 years. You can read an excerpt (Chapter 1) of the book at eNotAlone.com.]]>

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Family History

Kyu-Man Jung’s Family, ca. 1940

There are many cousins, nieces, and nephews of mine who live outside Korea and they often wonder about their family roots. I thought that there should at least be one family historian who would keep the stories in one place so that a cohesive body of family history can be maintained. I decided to take up the responsibility. What is interesting about a family history is that sometimes the information from different sources do not match. I can only do my best to collect stories from my relatives and accept those information as is. Of course, those stories can be revised when more reliable sources surface over time. This is going to be a long story and I would be writing in small increments over some period of time. Many of the stories are based on the recorded note provided by my uncle Jae who now lives in Los Angeles.
Great Great Grandfathers According to a record, the name of my great great grandfather was Hwa-Young Jung (정화영 鄭和永) (Another record says that his name was Soo-Sung Jung (정수성, 鄭秀性). It could be that in the old days people used two names. Or, it could be a mistake. I need to find out.) My great great grandmother’s name was Won-Tae Eun (은원태 殷遠泰). Based on what few records I have, they had at least three sons. One of them was In-Back Jung (정인백 鄭寅伯, married to Hyun-Rye Kim 김현례 金顯禮) and another was In-Key (정인기 鄭寅耆, married to Shin-Seok Han, 한신석 韓信錫). The record tells that In-Key was the third-born. Two Great Grandfathers There was no son between In-Back and his wife. In the old Korean tradition, when the elder son of a family does not have a boy, then it was required of the younger brother to give up his boy to the elder brother so that the family lineage can be maintained. Because of this situation, the son of the younger brother In-Key was adopted by the elder brother In-Baek. Some years later when In-Back passed away, the son was adopted back to his biological father. The son who was adopted back and forth was my grandfather. Thus, technically, I have two great grandfathers. I would call one the “elder” great grandfather and the other one “true” great grandfather. Somewhat complicated situation but that was how it was back then. An important thing happens to my “elder” great grandfather In-Back at around 1894 when he moved way up north to Seoul (which was called by the name of Han-Yang then) from his hometown of Kumi (which is located in southeastern part of Korean peninsula). It is rumored that he had to move to Seoul because he was in some way involved in a civil revolt that took place then and that he had to flee the police. Whatever the reason, he was in his 20s and, in Seoul, he met Horace Grant Underwood, a Christian missionary who came to Korea from US in 1885. Under the teachings of Rev. Underwood, he became a Christian. Several years later, he came back to his hometown Kumi where his family and relatives started a small gathering for worship service in 1901. The first members included his brother In-Key and his cousin In-Myung (정인명 鄭寅明). The gathering grew to be a church as more people joined the worship service. The church continued to grow for more than 100 years and it exists now as Kumi Sangmo Church. About My “True” Great Grandparents My great grandfather, In-Key Jung, was born in May 24, 1884. He got married to Shin-Seok Han in September 25, 1904. (Photo left) They had a son and five daughters. Great grandfather passed away on March 26, 1967 at the age of 84. My Grandfather, Kyu-man Jung Kyu-man Jung was born on June 11, 1911 to In-Key Jung and Shin-Seok Han. His birth name was Bok-Soo Jung (鄭福壽) He had four sisters and no brother. As said before, he was adopted by his uncle and then adopted back to his biological father. He got married to Young-Sook Kim in 1927 when he was 17 years old. He studied oriental medicine and, in 1943, move to Daegu, a much larger city than Kumi where he grew up. He opened up his own oriental medicine shop there. My grandparents had eight children. Two of them died early, one of them by disease and another one by a tragic accident which involved serious burn by boiling liquid. (There are two slightly different versions of story about this accident but I guess we can skip the sad details here.) Photo of My Grandparents, Kyu-Man Jung and Young-Sook Kim My grandparents were known to many mostly for their faith and obedience to God which involved generous giving and hospitality. Their stories, especially of my grandfather’s, have been widely told and retold within Christian circles for a while in the older days. As it often happens with the folklores, some of those stories about my grandfather seem to be somewhat exaggerated or fabricated so I think I’d better not reproduce them here unless more reliable sources are found. In any event, they lived a life of deep devotion to God. I think that is the most significant thing we remember about them. My grandfather passed away on June 24, 1969 at the age of 58 due to diabetes. to be continued]]>