It is amazing how the simple things in life can mean so much to a person and bring them the purest of joys. This past week has been really stressful and busy, but during the times of great stress I have also discovered great moments of joy. There are the on-going joys like the support and love of my family and friends. Then there are the little joys that occur unexpectantly and last only briefly, but bring you the purest of joys that help to carry you through the day.
I have had several such joys over the past week and a couple of them had one thing in common: they were because of South Koreans.
I had my second tutoring session on Wednesday with my South Korean pupil. I am going to help her with her English writing and all around English skills. I am volunteering with the Literacy Council of Waukesha County and they matched me with Sujeong. She is new to the USA, but is married to an American man that she met in Seoul. Spending time with her brings so much happiness to my life. Her caring nature, eagerness and generosity in turn make me feel wonderful. On Wednesday, she made me chamchi kimbap and it was so delicious. Her friend, Yoon, also came for lunch. It was such an enjoyable lunch for me to be able to talk about Seoul with these two very kind people. Just thinking about it now makes me feel so happy.
The other little joy that occurred this week because of a South Korean friend just happened a few minutes ago. A former student of mine, Gyoung Dong just wrote me an e-mail telling me of his recent recognition for his poetry. He also sent me photos of his family. It is a great honor to be told of his literary success. He also shared some very kind words with me.
These simple human elements of our lives are really the best. They have extra meaning for me when I feel overwhelmed by stress. I do find the most joy in my life from human relationships and my relationship with nature.
The past two years has taught me something so important. And that is how wonderful Korean people are. I think that they have to be the most caring and generous of any nationality I have ever met. Their culture and approach to life is very different from Americans' in many ways, but there are many similarities too. The aspect that I like the most is how they welcome people into their lives so openly and will give of themselves so readily.
I feel so blessed tonight because of all my friends, who are from so many backgrounds and live in so many places, and for the unconditional love and support from them and my wonderful family.
Thank you all who have been there for me recently during my week of stress.
"Patience and perserverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish."
--John Quincy Adams