Friday, July 7, 2017

Hyunho Jung/p135 initial draft/Summer Session

A-3. Are there universal good manners? In other words, is there a core of good manners that polite people of all countries recognize? Or are good manners different for each individual culture?


Throughout human history, people cultivated many different cultures. Some of the cultures seem similar according to the distance of different civilization, but are mostly very different from one another. There are different styles of courtesy for each culture, too. People use different gestures and tools to pay respect, tribute, and condolences. Sometimes in some culture areas, how people show one's will can mean totally different or opposite in another culture. For example, if we make an Okay sign with our finger, it means three for Chinese and a swear word for Brazilian. And this is where misconceptions happen to each other. People who are not aware of other cultures may upset others even if showing a good will. In other words, it is a matter of style and appearances that conflicts occur, not the contents. In this respect, I believe universal good manners exist. Various it may seem, but the manner shares one idea inside.

Universal manners often can be seen to people who go overseas. When people travel abroad, one of the biggest reasons why they loved their trip and the country they visited is because of the warmhearted citizens at there. I have a personal example to support this. I once visited China when I was little. But I still remember the young lady at the Forbidden City, Beijing who showed her kindness to me. At the time when I have been there, it was in a middle of summertime and was very hot and humid. I was tired too much to sightsee all the travel spots at there. While I was exhausted and taking a rest by sitting on a bench, the lady next told me I look tired and let me grab some small fruits in her plastic bag. I took some apples and grapes and I ate it. I said the Chinese word Xiexie, which means thank you in Mandarin and the only word I know in Chinese at that time. Her face was like you are welcome. I was very grateful for her warm attitude and believed Chinese people are kind. Even though media say a lot of bad things about Chinese until these days, but I still believe their nature is not that bad.

This example shows there are manners that transcend cultural barrier that can move people who came from other culture areas. The woman in my case was nice to me and I could notice easily. It is not only just possible to have a courtesy for the people who have different cultural background, but also easy to do so if you have that will. It is because most of humans share all kinds of feelings that we know. Happiness, sadness, anger, anxiety, fear, and many other feelings are the things that every human has. In this respect, manners can be expressed to any person and make people moved. 

Hana Lee/chapter5/summer session

                         Each Day is a Miracle

       The Hindu religious leader, Mohandas K. Gandhi said, "Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony." This is an important quotation because it has a great meaning in it. This quote suggests to act upon what we say because this is the only way to be truly free.
      The experience that comes to my mind when I think about this quote is when I used to always complain to my mother how small our house was or how few clothes I had. I never thought about the struggles my parents faced, I was selfish and I was only concerned of my well-being without considering the sacrifices they were making to make my life comfortable. I had an unforgettable experience when I was very little with my family where we lost almost everything in the fire.
My mom used to own a water refilling station and a laundry shop and that was where we used to eat, sleep, and take showers. One afternoon, there was a fire in the salon next to where we lived. The firefighters came to the rescue. They told everyone in the salon to get out because they needed to put the fire out. For everybody's safety, they also wanted the people in our shops go outside because the walls were closed to the salon. The employees got their bags and ran outside. My Mom grabbed our hands and led us outside. We just ran outside leaving everything in the house. When they had put out the fire, our belongings were still there intact but they were all wet. The electrical circuits especially in the ceilings were all drenched in water and would take more than a month to dry completely before we can use them to run our machines safely. My mom needed to close down her business and we had to find a new place to live.

       I felt affected watching everything for this to happen to our family. I felt worried about so many things. I was worried about my mom's feelings because she had put a lot of time but everything just ended up getting destroyed. I was thinking if we could still continue going to school or stop for a while to meet our family's more urgent needs.
I began to understand what Gandhi meant. This experience made my thoughts and words into one. I learned that I should not just think about myself because there are other people who are having a harder time than I do. I also learned to be grateful for all the blessings I have in my life and that I should live it with a positive attitude.

Inessa Kim/ page 136 the last initial draft :(/ July 6 summer session

    The common three universal good manners, like gratitude, remorse and greeting make people communicate well with each other. I consider these manners are very important in every country and these three things that make everyone in this world civilized and mannerly people. 

  Greeting is an inherent part of communication and is the most important thing when you meet a person. Different countries have different ways to greet people, like waving hands, shaking hands, hugging, kissing or just saying a certain expression. However, the meaning of every greeting is the same: we greet people to show that we give an attention to people, pleased to see them, and wish them all the best. In many countries the expression word for greeting means wishing something good or asking about people's condition. For example, in Russia people say in a formal way "Zdravstvuyte", it means "I wish you a good health". It shows that people really care of a person they greet and they express it with a good intention. 

    When someone receives a gift or a help, they should be thankful for it and express in words or in behavior their gratitude. This is a good manner that is matter-of-course in the world. "Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions. The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more likely you will have even more to express gratitude for." said the American author Zig Ziglar. In other words, the more you show your gratitude towards people, the more likely they will do a favor to you next time. I agree that gratitude is the healthiest and significant emotion a person can have, and people who are thankful for just a little help they get from me, the more I want to help them.

    Nobody can call themselves good mannered if they do not apologize to people when they hurt someone or make someone feel awkward. Feeling sorry and apologizing for making mistakes is a good manner in every country, and not only for people. Even my dog apologizes when he makes mistakes and upset people, he lowers his head, whines and gives his paw to a person he apologizes. He shows that he does not want to hurt or upset a person and he will be a good mannered boy next time.
    In conclusion, the core of good manners, such as being thankful, feeling sorry and greeting people are recognizable for polite people of all countries in the world. And these qualities make people of different countries and different cultures be simillar, be civilized humans.

Tsay Miri/ ch.5, p.136/ summer56

"Happiness is what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony" (Mohandas K. Gandhy, Hindu religious leader and social reformer).

I think the meaning of this saying is difficult to identify at first. However, if we figure it out it may become a golden rule of our lives. In my opinion, Mohandas K.Ghandi wanted to say by this that it is important not to lie to yourself, so that your actions would be coherent with your thoughts. For example, imagine that you decided to go on diet for 2 weeks and lose some weight. You are full of determination and  gave yourself a word that you won't give up. But then after a few days you had a "cheat meal" because you craved for some carbons. You might have thought that a few carbons won't harm but after eating them guilt starts pervading your whole being. Why?  Because you just deceived yourself .You know that you shouldn't have done it because you promised not to. Your actions didn't follow your thoughts and harmony was destroyed, so now you have an internal conflict.

It is not difficult to define whether you live in harmony or not. Are you doing something sneaky when nobody can see you? Do you claim things that you don't believe just because you want to be perceived as someone else? If you answered "yes", probably there are some inconsistencies in your life. Even if it is just a small thing like example that I provided above it is necessary to work on it. The smaller incongruities are probably no more than small cracks in a foundation. But you wouldn't buy a house with cracks in foundation. Things and actions that do not coexist in harmony confuse us and lead to a very negative consequences.

Nevertheless, life is complicated and sometimes we have no choice but to lie to ourselves and to others for better purpose. Good example can be manners and politeness. I think that there are universal good manners that all encourage white lie to some extent. We lie to others because we don't want to hurt other people's feelings. But it is not that easy to define the boundaries of the white lie. Sometimes we think that we deceive because we want to protect the person from unpleasant truth, but is it always the case? I think that many times people just afraid of the consequences for themselves and reaction of others if they know the truth. As far as I am concerned I believe that white lie is acceptable when we truly care for others. Only that way we can maintain more or less stable harmony within ourselves and others.

In my short essay I wanted to provide a personal perspective on the saying of M.K. Ghandy. I want to conclude that we should always make efforts to become a better people for ourselves and others. It is important to know when you can tell white lie and when you should act coherently with your thoughts. That way you will be able to change yourself and influence others for better lives.  

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Kim, Jusung / p135 Ch5 Pt5 A-1 / 2017 Summer Session Prose & Paragraphs

A Universal Courtesy?

             Culture is an interesting thing because it changes all the time. Cultures are often considered an old thoughts or customs, but some of them are surprisingly new when we search the origin of it. For example, a traditional kimchi used to be a salted white cabbage, not the red kimchi we know today. Likewise, tradition and culture is not an old, fixed rule but something fluent and changing. A biblical saying, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you," is widely accepted today in the world. Western and Confucius society had been separated for a long time and believed in different norms. In Korea, we have golden rules similar and different from western countries as well. However, as culture and tradition change, golden rules change as well to be more similar to one another.

             Jesus' teaching in Luke chapter six verse thirty-one tells us to treat other people as you want to be treated. In Korea, there is a similar saying, "Nice words for Nice words." Also, there also is a Chinese Confucius four character idiom, "역지사지(易地思之)," which means "Think in the other's shoes," widely used in Korea. It is surprising to find similar ideas from different cultures. These ideas differ in small parts, but have a same way because they all tell people to consider others for the sake of them and themselves.

             In Korea, age is something big when it comes to treating each other. We use honorifics to each other when we meet a stranger or order person. Even though someone is just a year older than you, you will have to use a respect form of speech. Because of Korean's way of counting age, you sometimes have to use honorific even though the counterpart is only a month older. However, culture always changes as mentioned before, so this norm is loosening nowadays. If someone gets any closer to another, they tend to use informal speech soon.

             Although the golden rule faded, it is still widely accepted to respect the stranger. For example, people will be offended if a stranger just starts speaking without using respective form. The degree of change differs from regions also. People in country towns will be much more conservative and slow to change than people in major cities. For instance, people are different in Seoul from my hometown which is a small town near the west coast. I tend to say hello to all the elders I meet in the street back in my town, but I never do so in Seoul unless I know the person.

             The way people treat each other is changing especially in the cities where people are more changeable and progressive than people in the country. Seoul citizen's way of life is becoming more individualized recently which means they are more westernized. Korea's culture or thoughts used to be a collectivism. They used to value the society more than themselves. For example, Koreans gathered gold when the economic crisis broke out in 1997 to help the country rise again. Therefore, the culture or golden rules are different in Korea from western countries where Christian beliefs are mostly taken as a golden rule, but it is now changing and resembling each other as it is twenty-first century right now.

Dong Heui Kim/Page 135 First Draft/Summer Writing

Compare your culture's golden rule to the Biblical one: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

Every culture has a distinct ethical belief which contributes in shaping the nation and people for centuries. Ethical rules exist for humans' moral sense and social order. It can share similar ideas among cultures but are can be quite different due to the historical influence that has taken place in certain culture. Jesus left his words to his sermons, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." This became a golden rule and is a common principle shared world widely. Also, Korea has its own golden rule known as, 'Elders first(장유유서)' which is constantly becoming problematic.

    Biblical golden rule is from Jesus and he taught people to treat others in a way they want to be treated. Even though this is Christian principle, all the other religions conform to it because they acknowledge the importance and change it will bring. By showing kindness to someone without any expectation, the person will return it back. Very simple, but not a common thing one can notice. However, it gives a fair sense of equality since it can be applied to anyone. This starts all the universal manner or etiquettes to show courtesy towards people. That is why most westerners happen to be polite in terms of greetings and gratitude, being careful not to offend anyone.

    Confucianism is deeply rooted down in Korean history and has influenced majorities in people and cultural norms. This created the idea of Elders first and has become one of the most crucial principle Koreans have to keep in mind. It basically means there are social order and rule between young and old. Youngster must always respect the elders and have courtesy towards them. It was fine at the beginning but the meaning of it gradually changed time after time. Old people take the authority and manners for granted and condemn young people who do not seem to behave well. It is not only some, but the societal atmosphere is demanding sacrifice and respect from the young. For instance, my friend, Ji Hyo, was on her way to meet her boyfriend. She wore a blue dress she bought with me before and got on a bus. Then an old man who was sitting beside her began to criticize her fashion, starting with words like, 'Kids these days are not ashamed of their looks! Girls especially, they never know how cheap they look with short bottoms..." He was talking to himself but loud enough to make Ji Hyo mad. She told the man he does not have any right to say those things, but the man cut her words and shouted how rude it is to talk back to the elder. Everyone in the bus looked at them and the guy kept saying my friend is not educated enough and young people should always listen and never talk back to old people because they are more wise and have more life experiences. Ji Hyo could not say anything as no one tried to help her so she got out of the bus. Referring to this event, absolute respect our society requires from the young is completely wrong.

    Golden rules can benefit society and human as a whole but possibly has side effects. It is meant to arrange social conflicts and is indispensable in cultures. Rules just have to be managed in a degree just in case it brings about other relevant problems like the one mentioned above in Korea's case. I am sure that the Principle of elders first has started off with good intent; it just went too far in one way.


Kim Chaeha/Ch.5 first draft/summer 56


3. Think back to the discussion on page125 about universal manners. Answer these questions in your essay: Are there universal good manners? In other words, is there a core of good manners that polite people of all countries recognize? Or are good manners different for each individual culture?


Are There Universal Good Manners?

             Every country in the world has its own manners and most people try to keep the good manners. Although some manners are limited to certain cultures, there sure are manners that are applied universally. I want to introduce three general manners that all responsible citizens know.

             First, we greet each other whenever we meet someone. I think this is the most common manner in the world. Every country has different styles of greeting but to say hello is a common fact. I can see people always greet each other whether they see first time or again. This is not only natural in our country but also in other countries. I have been to the Philippines, Japan, and Germany and people in all these countries greeted me even though they did not know me. At then, I thought that greeting someone is a thing that we first learn and becomes one of human's basic manners.

             Second, we tend to appreciate anything we get. People say thank you from small things like having some candies to big things like receiving help in emergency. We also give thanks when we get services. For example, in restaurants or in beauty salons, I say thank you all the time when servers bring me foods or a hairstylist cut my hair. They provide us invisible forms of help and we feel grateful for them. Whether the aids are material or not, people find it in their heart to appreciate what they receive.

             Finally, it is about table manners. We all humans eat and there are things to be done with people who eat together. Smacking one's lips, blowing one's nose, or burping at the table can make the others unpleasant. One day, I went to a fine restaurant with my family and was having an enjoyable meal until I heard an irritating snap sound at regular intervals. The sound was made by an old man who had a neat appearance and ended when he finished eating. We learn table manners as well as greeting manners from kindergarten. It means that when we are having a meal with other people, it is important to behave gently.

             In conclusion, I listed greeting, appreciating, and eating properly as three universal manners. Although there is a difference to some extent between country and country, it is equally common in regard to respecting others. Therefore, we should not forget others have the same rights as us and be polite to other people anywhere and at any time.