YOU MAY have dreamed about having a different life that is different from the one you are living now. This could be because you are dissatisfied with your life, or the society you belong to does not fit you. By imagining what you want to be in another life, you will come to know what is lacking in your life and what you sincerely long for. If you could have another life, what would you want to be?
Kim Sun-hyo (Soph., Dept. of Child & Family Studies)
I have difficulty adapting to this competitive and fast-changing world. I don’t think we do what we really want. We just follow others, without taking the time to think about why we are doing it. So if I could have another life, I want to be a turtle. Turtles are really slow, but they live long, comfortable lives and do whatever they want. Also, since long ago, they were considered to be sacred creatures. That’s why I feel attracted to them.
Kang Tae-wook (Soph., Dept. of Communication)
I want to be a knight from medieval times when loyalty, romance and noblesse oblige were important values and upheld, especially by noblemen. I think these idealistic values have disappeared, so I want to be born in a time when these values were highly regarded. Also, knights are attractive in that they devoted their lives for the country and the people. Most importantly, they were popular among females!
Kim Jin-hee (Sr., Dept of Sociology)
I saw a picture of a farmer working in a field in a museum in Europe. Looking at it, I felt really comforted, as if I had been a farmer in my former life. Also, I love nature, which is lacking in Seoul. So I want to be a 17th Century tenant farmer if I could. Unlike landlords, tenants worked on a fixed plot of land and got a fixed income without making complex decisions. I also want to have all my family with me and live happily together like many farmers.
Steven Lee (Sr., Dept. of Urban Planning & Engin.)
I want to be a modern Robin Hood who helps others improve their lives. I’ve always been eager to give hope to the helpless. I know that if I support those in need, they will survive. I want to be the one to leads a volunteer effort to help them. For the time being, however, I have my own work, which makes it difficult to devote my entire life to helping others. That’s why I would like to be that kind of hero in another life.
Yang Se-hee (Fresh., University College. of Human Ecology)
Looking at my long list of dreams, it is impossible to be everything at once. Although I chose to be a musical actress, if I could have another life, I really want to be the President. I love the political arena and I have the essential factors to be a popular politician: a decent face and great leadership. I dream of another life not due to dissatisfaction with my present life but to experience more things. I love my life now!
Yoon Hong-sik (Representative of Hongik School, Author of *Wisdom of Mindfulness*)
Whether or not people think life after death exists, we should balance our thoughts. If we wish for another life too seriously, our present life will have no meaning, like Tibetans who pray every day for the coming life. But if we only believe in the present life, we won’t worry about the possibility of being punished in a future life and we might live in an arrogant way. Ultimately all things are for us to be happy in the present and appreciate our lives.
* Hongik School is a school that teaches mindfulness and meditation. For more information, visit www.hihd.co.kr.