Posted March. 07, 2017 07:05,
Updated March. 07, 2017 07:12
“How beautiful it is to see the back of/ someone who knows well/ when to leave.” It is the first few lines of “The Falling Flower,” one of the most famous poems of Lee Hyung-ki who died in 2005. I recall I recited only the lines without knowing the entire poem when I was young. Everyone would have promised that he or she would leave without hesitation when it is time to leave. As you grow older and regret more and get obsessed with more, you will learn that nothing is harder than to leave at the right time nicely.
Former Justice Minister Kang Kum-sil said in her farewell message, “Goodbye is leaving without saying words that we really want to say.” Many high-level officials such as ministers and deputy ministers leave their job without completing their project as they wished, which is often unveiled in their farewell message. “I would appreciate you could remember that I was a hardworking and nice person.” This is a part of the farewell message of former Prime Minister Kim Hwang-sik. His simple message was ironically noteworthy as it included neither resentments nor requests.
Son Yeon-jae, a star rhythmic gymnast, said in a press conference announcing her retirement on Saturday, “I want to be a soft but firm person and a whole person though not splendid.” It is surprising that a 20-something can say such a nice retirement message. The remarks are expected to be the one by a person who has pushed the envelope and endured a lot with so much patience since young. Maturity is not a matter of age.
High-level officials and athletes will release numerous farewell or retirement messages. It is clear that they would not simply about saying thank you to their staff, fans, and family and that they would do what they can do how trivial it might be. The Discourses of the Confucius includes a phrase meaning, “I fear younger people. How can you think that they in the future would be worse than we are today?” It is said that the Confucius said this thinking of his best student Yanyuan who was 30 years younger than him. There is no reason to give up on the idea that there will be touching and decent retirement messages.