Balance (COM 32)

in philosophy •  6 months ago


After the Lunar Thanksgiving (Choosuk) my son and I visited Pongwon temple and Ansan mountain in Seoul to get some fresh air. I recommend a long walk in the mountain for anyone and everyone. This is the only thing that keeps me sane here. A lot of stress goes on during the holidays. I teach fifth and sixth grade elementary school kids. I was shocked to come back to school to hear the news that a sixth grade elementary school girl committed suicide in a school nearby ours.

I'm not sure but I think the kids need more opportunity for open communication, especially with their parents. There is a lot of pressure on kids to perform. My own kids got a lot of stress from grandparents who say they worked the country out of poverty to bring them opportunities so don't waste them. My boys tell me that after school all of their friends go to learning academies until late in the evening. It's the same with the kids at the school I teach with. So many eat dinner alone and then come home late in the evening. Parents work hard to give them the things that they want but neglect the one thing the kids really need, parents. A big part of my absences in Steemit is that I need to be with my teenage boy now. He is multi-cultural and needs the western side of life as much as the eastern side.

Tiger moms

My wife is not the only Tiger mom in Korea. Kids learn more when they experience things first hand and that means failure as well. Tiger moms get involved in everything the kids are doing and make sure they succeed. We found on the mountain that tigers once marched on this land so they are no strangers to Korean history. It's just that now they have evolved to have two legs and a strong disposition towards academic success.


The best part of making it to any summit and looking down and seeing that the world is really nothing but a set of toys. The "huge" 123 story Lotte tower in the background is nothing but a blue Popsicle standing out in the background.


Coming to realize where you came from and where you are going takes some quiet time and reflection. Just letting every day pass and blend into another day gets me nothing but older. Reflection helps me to deal with what happens and move on.

Beauty in Muddy Waters

The water lily in the temple is the flower that grows from this muddy water. It just goes to show that the most beautiful things don't grow up from what consider to be pretty but from what is murky and muddy. Each day we learn life's lessons.

Open minded

I'm not Buddhist but there are a lot of life's lessons to be learned at the temple. They are my neighbors and if we are going to live together we need to learn from each other.

9 dragons

For clarity and enlightenment. These dragons are always there. My son pours them a drink when he passes by. Even when he was little he wasn't afraid of these dragons but curious and pretended to give them a drink saying that they were "thirsty."


So many lights twinkle in the autumn night sky but only one is the full moon symbolizing the blessings of harvest and thanksgiving for another year.

Stir Preying aftar all these yars

Mantis was here when we left for the Lunar Thanksgiving and he is still hanging around. It is starting to get cooler in the evening and I don't know how Mantis will survive. Maybe he will go in hibernation. Anyway... I'm sure I will see him again next summer.

Until next time,




All pictures here came from my dying cell phone. I nominate @buddha and @sidhartha to make an entry to Comedy open mic round 32. You can make up to five entries this round.

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As a kid I used to write letters to this mythological dragon of my region :)


I like that tyger dragon.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family, Christopher. Thanks for sharing the visit to the temple and mountain. There are many Buddhists monks (men & women) here on P.E.I.
I think you & your wife are an excellent parents to your boys. Just keep being involved in their lives and take these lovely trips out in the fresh air.
P.S. love seeing the little Mantis. ❤️


Thanks @redheadpei,

Mantis is still hanging in there. Enjoy your day.

south korea has one of the highest suicide rates it's quite sad 😐
it's probably the lack of economic opportunities that lead people to be so desperate and edgy..

btw that rock setup is absolutely crazy! i'm guessing it's one of those places where people stand infront and make a wish. the temple is very nice too. a great place to get away from the craziness of seoul and reflect 😎


The suicide issue is big and felt by everyone in Seoul. It seems to me that where there is hope, there is life. The standard of living wasn't better forty years ago, but they saw some hope to improve life. Today people lose hope because even after working hard and studying their butts off they still have nothing. Kids know this and they must feel like they are living in a trash compactor. It's hard to tell them to be happy in their situation and make the best of it. Some things do need to change on top.


Nice comparison. Kids are actually intuitive and they see no way out for the next 100 years. If i didnt speak eng i too wouldve said suicide is a legit option in seoul. At least i get to enjoy life online 😐

I do see a bit of hope with crypto and other disruptive technologies. Koreans dont innovate but they always follow the big waves. Once someone makes a positive change in america or china korea will follow.


I'm glad you are here and hope the best.

This is a good post with an appropriate title. We can all use more balance in life. I especially like the part about learning from our neighbours. Unless they are murderers or something like that.


I am moved by the way that you always come up with something good to say @profanereviews,

I sincerely appreciate your efforts in comedy open mic. I know how difficult it is to curate these posts.

As for your comment, we can learn from all of our freaky neighbors but we don't have to do everything they do. I mean like we don't have to have public displays of firing squads every time someone disagrees with us. There are other methods.

sir mineopoly! wow most kids study after school doing more classes until late in the evening? holy moly that's too much isn't it? I had no idea.
Sounds like a breeding dysfunction doesn't it?

I love your attitude about getting along!


Thanks for reading @janton,

This is the main reason I couldn't answer your question about whether I like teaching in American schools or Korean schools. I need to be here if nothing else then to be that American guy who anyone can talk to.

It is great knowing where you need to be and at the same time it kind of stinks because it's not easy. I am always comforted by the prophets. Ezekiel is one of my favorites. The people were so dense at the time that couldn't hear anything. He had to give them visual demonstrations.


sir mineopoly! so you are the only American around that is teaching in that part of Korea it sounds like. Wow ...well you are a great representitive for us over there and that sounds like a very important role!