Posted : 2012-03-02 17:14
Updated : 2012-03-02 17:14

Power of number three

By Kim Jin-hyun

Three men are walking along a street. One is pointing to an object with his finger. Pedestrians don't respond to the man's action. Now, two men are pointing to the object. The pedestrians still don’t respond to their behavior. Then, the three men simultaneously point to the object. At this moment, most pedestrians around them are looking in the direction that the three men are pointing.

The three men's behavior creates energy and causes people to change to the situation, like a black hole.

What's the reason to respond only to the three men? I don't understand why exactly but the symbolism in mythology and religion shows the answer.

Our national foundation mythology comes from the legend of Hwanin, the lord of heaven, Hwanung, his son, and Dangun, the son of Hwanung.

In Christianity, God is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Hinduism has three gods such as Brahma (god of creation), Vishnu (god of maintenance) and Shiva (god of destruction).

Buddhism consists of the Buddha, his teachings, and the monk. Not only in Korea’s history but also in daily life, the number three is profusely embedded.

Many people say that the number three means harmony, unity or perfection. In other words, it may be called natural order or circulation. It also may mean truth or justice.

The democratic movement in North Africa and the Middle East called the Jasmine Revolution, Occupy Wall Street, the Seoul mayoral election last year and Kim Jin-suk's “Bus of Hope” are all examples of the common people’s outcries toward vested power groups which have trampled on their human rights, lives, and justice.

Moreover, multimedia like websites and smartphones have kindled a fire worldwide. The echo of justice has influenced many pepole to change their society. On that point, it's time for us to change and self-reform in order to adapt to a new era.

Nevertheless, old habits die hard. Numerous issues such as excessive conflict among conservative and progressive groups, regional issues, religion, scholastic ability, wealth gap and many other problems inhibit our way to reform.

I think everyone has a mind to judge which life is more desirable; a closed attitude prevents it. As we discard our egocentric manner, our lives will improve positively.

There are many small but valuable ways of practicing positive change: acting in an orderly manner on public transport or obeying traffic lights and keeping in the right lane; observing Internet etiquette for others; being open-minded for the region and country.

Based on a continuous practice of such seemingly trivial changes, the power of harmony and unity will be a powerful energizer. It will be an epicenter of positive change in society. We will have happier and more satisfied lives.

This year Korea will hold two big national elections for the 19th-term National Assembly and the 18th president. Especially, after the death of Kim Jong-il in North Korea, relations between the South and North are becoming more dangerous. The world economy is fluctuating continuously. Conflict between the haves and have-nots and ideological battles are getting worse.

Given this situation, we require great leaders with a vision of leadership that can overcome hardships and usher in a new era based upon the national consensus.

Will the energy like the power of the number three be able to show us a new dream in 2012?

The writer is an English teacher at Yeosu Girls’ High School in South Jeolla Province. His email address is
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