Having studied in both Korea and the U.S., we do not find much to admire about the Korean education system. For all its faults, the "liberal" American system cultivates initiative and ingenuity like no other, a fact which might explain why the U.S. still leads the world in technological and cultural innovation.
My conclusion is a simple one: to restore morality to our businesses we must start by recovering our ability to feel, namely ren. As Jonah Lehrer, a writer on psychology, points out, the worst criminal is not someone who lacks moral reasoning but someone who feels unmoved by others' suffering -- the very definition of a psychopath.
It is easy to understand Confucius' critique of too much raw nature. As he responded to the political chaos of the period in which he lived by suggesting the necessity of a return to the teachings of the ancient sages through learning, he also faced an opponent in those who sought to simply escape the turmoil of the age.
This morning, it occurs to me as I type these words that this too, strangely enough, is a kind of ritual, a kind of filial impulse to reconcile Mother's world and my own. The solemnity of the act -- my fingers gliding on the keyboard, my mind on things ethereal -- is something akin, at last, to my mother's morning prayers.