Eugene Cho

south korean president sets example

Impressive and encouraging news about the new South Korean president, Lee Myung Bak, and his decision to donate the entirety of his salary from his five year term to the poor and underprivileged.  He donated his salary during his term of mayor of Seoul from 2002-2004 to the children of streetcleaners and firefighters.

Skeptics, cynics, and critics may call his decision manipulative or simply a ploy for media attention but there’s more to the story.  He has gone on record during his recent presidential campaign that he would donate his entire personal fortunate of 30 billion million dollars to the poor.  President Lee has made his fortunes as a former CEO of a construction and engineering company.

This is an example of the redistribution of wealth that needs to take place around the world and I applaud President Lee for the example he is setting not only for Koreans but for the global community.  Here’s the article from CNN:

South Korea’s new president has pledged to donate his salary to the underprivileged.

South Korean leader Lee Myung-Bak says he would donate his salary to help the underprivileged.

Lee Myung-Bak made the pledge during an unscheduled meeting with reporters Sunday in the press room of his presidential office, the state news agency reported.

The president said he would donate his salary during his entire five-year term.

Lee is a former CEO of an engineering and construction company with a vast personal fortune. As mayor of Seoul from 2002 to 2004, Lee donated his salary to the children of street cleaners and firefighters.

“I promised to spend my whole salary earned as a public official on public welfare,” Lee told reporters. “My plan to donate the presidential salary to the underprivileged is an extension of that promise.”

The news agency did not say how much the president earns in a year.

During the election campaign, Lee, 66, vowed to donate his entire personal fortune of more than 30 billion won ($30.2 million) to the poor. He said at the time he would keep only a retirement house in Seoul.

Filed under: politics, ,

4 Responses

  1. Ben C says:

    It’s $30.2 million which is still fantastic at 100%

  2. me says:

    right. i read the 30 billion won.

  3. secondlady says:

    God bless your heart.

  4. […] art (2 photos). Shop and Eat Locally – A few how-to tips, since this can be easier said than done. South Korean President Sets Example – Joyful news. Street Art At Its Best #2 – Another street art photo. Very cute. Twelve Virtues of […]

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One Day’s Wages

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Collaboration.

col·lab·o·ra·tion
kəˌlabəˈrāSH(ə)n/
noun

the action of working with someone or a group of others  to produce or create something.

May we hold our logos, egos, and tribalism have their place. May we hold them loosely for they too shall pass. May we collaborate for the sake of the greater Kingdom of God ... which endures forever. As we honor Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., don't forget the God behind the man. The one true God who deposited this dream into MLK is still speaking to us today. Are we listening?

Be courageous. Be brave.

Being invited by the King Family to speak at the MLK worship service at Ebenezer Baptist Church in 2016 remains one of the most unexpected honors of my life. On the right is his daughter, Dr. Bernice King and his sister, Dr. Christine King Farris. Walking throughstreet markets in different parts of the world is the best. Soaking in the culture. Listening to the local language and music. Enjoying the amazing cuisine. Meeting new friends. Praying for the Gospel to penetrate. #ChiangRai Blessed be the local, indigenous leaders for it is they who live in the very communities they seek to love. For it is they who understand their context and culture...better than a Westerner ever will. For it is they who will continue to tenaciously pursue a better world with hope, justice and love when visitors like me leave.

Yes, blessed be the local, indigenous leaders. What an honor and privilege to celebrate with the on-the-ground local @thefreedomstory team to celebrate the recent opening of their Education and Resource Center for the local youth in Chiang Rai, Thailanf. This was made possible through a partnership and matching grant by @onedayswages and The Freedom Story.

While it was an honor to be there to cut the cord and say a few words, this is an example of collaboration. Much love to the Freedom Story team including their co-founders Tawee Donchai and @Rachel Goble, to their staff who live in the community, who understand their context and culture, and who tenaciously pursue a better world with hope, justice and love. And of course, much love to the students themselves for they each matter. Finally, to each person that donated to @onedayswages to make this grant possible.

May hundreds and even thousands of youth be impacted, encouraged, and mentored. May they capture a glimpse of God's love for them.

Photo: @benjaminedwards Part 2 on my wrestling with the complex issue of human trafficking. In part, documenting my trip to Thailand for @onedayswages...to listen, learn, and visit one of our partner orgs @thefreedomstory. More to come.

There's such painful and poignant irony in pursuing justice...unjustly. One way we do this is when we reduce people into projects...and thus, propagating the dangerous power dynamic of US as heroes and THEM as helpless and exclusively as victims. So dangerous.

Human trafficking is not just an issue. It’s ultimately, about people. Depending on the sources of statistics, there are anywhere from 29-40 million people in some form of forced labor and slavery, including sex trafficking.

And one thing I’ve learned, personally, is how easy it is easy to reduce people into projects which is why mutuality, reciprocity, and dignity are so vital. These are critical because God never intended people to be reduced into projects.

We forget this and we indirectly foster a culture and system of victimization or worse, the pornification of the poor or in this case, "the trafficked." And when you start dehumanizing the poor or trafficked, you have no genuine desire to build relationships with them. You believe or build stereotypes in broad strokes, singular, black and white narratives that have been told about them. You believe the lie that they have nothing to teach us and are incapable of contributing to the larger society.

Lord, break our hearts for the things that break your heart. Give us eyes to see others through your eyes. Give us humility so that we acknowledge our own need to learn and grow. (Photo via @thefreedomstory)

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