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`Treat people with the tenderness of spring breeze`
JANUARY 01, 2014 03:16  
Entering the new year, Dong-A Ilbo selected 밓eobinchunpung (接人春風), meaning treat others with the tenderness of spring breeze, as a maxim of the year. This is an aphorism from the Caigentan, a text on the conduct of life written by the Ming Dynasty scholar Hong Zicheng. It forms a pair with the phrase 밒mgichusang (臨己秋霜), meaning treat yourself with the strictness of autumn frosts.

Last year, we had to witness so many verbal blunders of public figures. People vented out blunt words and unrefined expressions toward those in the opposite position only because they had different thoughts. Like the joke that it is an affair when someone else cheats, but a romance when I do, farfetched arguments and interpretations of things at one뭩 own advantage ran over. Things were not that different outside the nation. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un often made provocative remarks toward South Korea, and nations in Northeast Asia fanned the flames of antagonism induced by the issue of historical distortion by making reckless comments damaging intraregional trust.

This year, we hope that people reflect at least once on the meaning of the old saying that goes 밫he most beautiful in the world is people, and the most beautiful thing that people have is words. Especially when the life is tough and overwhelming, we should be strict to ourselves and generous to others. 밎ood will toward men will be the most fitting expression we need now. Greeting the new year, we write down 밓eobinchunpung (接人春風) once again, wishing that this year a gentle spring breeze will blow to melt the strained relations among Korea, China and Japan induced by Japan뭩 rightward shift and China뭩 fight for hegemony.

In the meantime, daily newspaper Kyosusinmun, which has announced a maxim of the year since 2006, chose 밓eonmijaeo (轉迷開悟), a Buddhist sermon meaning to escape from agony and achieve enlightenment, as a maxim for the year 2014. The phrase is interchangeable with another Buddhist phrase 밓eonmiseongoh (轉迷開悟), which means to break from the confusion caused by agony, renew the mentality and find enlightenment.

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