[시사타임즈 = 이철원 본지 회장] An elementary school teacher I met during a local patrol said, "Some relief organizations ignore us by bringing in something that is not theirs, but someone else's.”I found that the activities of aid organizations and personnel in so many different countries were hurting the local people. I thought, 'If we do something good, we can help them, but if we do something wrong, we can get cursed.' In fact, personnel belonging to many countries and organizations have been helping typhoon victims here, which is worse than the battlefield, but if it hurts the hearts of the locals, the meaning of helping will fade.
People who help others benefit from satisfaction, joy, and recognition from those around them. On the other hand, the person being helped may be offended by the thought of being ignored. Therefore, those who help others enjoy the benefits of those helpers because there are others who are being helped. Therefore, he should be grateful to the person who offered him the opportunity to help.
If we say that we help the locals and are arrogant and hurt their feelings with rash words and actions, we will pretend to be grateful on the outside but will not sincerely appreciate our help on the inside. Therefore, we had to give up the superiority of “we are here to help”. We needed to act with the mindset that 'we who help are 'servants' and the people we help are‘masters’. As a commander, I frequently emphasized this to the troops and made them a part of their daily life. Considering the position of the residents who need this kind of help, I think with a change of position. This mindset became the foundation for successful mission performance.
Make friends quickly
There doesn't seem to be any particular reason to like or dislike someone. A good person is just a good feeling. But in order to get better, you have to be friendly first. If you share the same language or religion, you can easily make friends with strangers, especially foreigners. In Iraq and Afghanistan, Muslims within the US military served as cultural and linguistic interpreters and bridges with the local population. The U.S. military leadership acknowledged their role in conflict zones and worked hard to recruit Arab soldiers for successful operations, such as obtaining intelligence and easing the conflict between the U.S. military and its residents.
Even in the Philippines, where there are many Catholics, from the time of living on the first amphibious support ship, Catholics among the troops held Mass in the church where the roof was blown together with the local residents. Protestant believers also held Sunday worship services at local churches once or twice a month with the residents. Also, according to the custom of starting all events with prayer, a local priest or military pastor prayed with the residents during the event. The fact that the Korean military believed in the same religion as theirs was enough to give the locals confidence as a friend.
In addition, we intentionally mentioned similarities between Korea and the Philippines, such as “Filipinos have strong family-centered solidarity like Korea, respect adults, love dancing and singing, are compassionate and full of humanity.” Occasionally, residents ask, “What do you think of Filipinos?”When asked, “Bright and cheerful”, “Kind and sociable”, etc., gave positive expressions and compliments.
In addition,“Korea and the Philippines were both under Japanese colonial rule and have maintained a partnership since the 1950 Korean War as a blood alliance that fought against communism. Korean tourists visit the Philippines the most, and there are about 54,000 Filipino workers in Korea, accounting for the largest proportion among foreign workers.”We also emphasized that Korea and the Philippines have a very close relationship.
And the driver and interpreter who accompanied me were selected from universities in the Philippines who were good at Filipino (Tagalog) to interpret in the local language rather than English at official events.
In fact, Filipinos are simple and compassionate, so if you respect and acknowledge them, you can become good friends. In order to make friends with strangers like this, I have to be humble and considerate of others first.
“Winning the hearts of locals in a foreign land is as difficult as love between a man and a woman. And it seems to require sincerity.”
※ 이 기사는 시사타임즈의 공식입장이 아닌, 필자의 견해임을 밝힙니다.
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