The way my Philosophy of Life was established.

Though it was mere simple mistake to get into Seoul National University to major the Electrical Engineering, I still didní»t like the Electrical Engineering and could not forget about the Communication Engineering. I was agonized over transferring my major. I could have just apply to be transferred to the Communication Engineering Dept. but, somehow, I hesitated too much. I even worried that the Electrical Engineering professors would pick on me if they knew that I would try to transfer. For months, I was so anxious about this trivial matter.

My concern grew and grew until I questioned myself why I was so obsessed about becoming a Communication Engineering researcher. Furthermore, the question developed into profound philosophical questions like why men exist? What is the purpose of life?

Most people must have had this kind of questions about his/her life a few times at least in a life time. However, it was so serious for me that I could not even sleep many nights and this was the time when I started smoking, though I did not smoke even when I was in the army and exchanged my cigarettes supplied by army for cookies. I spent my whole sophomore year thinking about this problem. 

Hoping religion might give me a solution to this problem, I took a correspondence course of Christianity and attended several Sunday class of father Hyung-Joon Yoon who was known as the dominant father in the catholic church. In a class, while mentioning about a haunted house, he said, í░Even though you have never seen ghost, since so many people are talking about ghosts, you cannot deny the existence of ghosts just because you have never seen. There will be no smoke if there is no fire.í▒ He was convincing of audience that God does exist even though you have never seen him. So what? Is he saying Ghost and God are the same thing? It just didní»t make sense to me and I had to give up. I just could not differentiate between religion and superstition. I was confused between ghosts and God. I could not find any evidence of Godí»s existence from other than the bible which was written more than 2,000 years ago when men were all superstitious and did not know anything about science. All we could find from the bible is superstitious miracle stories which must be manipulated just because it could not be otherwise explained at the time by the people who didní»t have any scientific knowledge at all. Now, I had to give up thinking about religion and kept contemplating the questions.

After contemplating for a year, I finally came to a conclusion. Though the wises, such as Socrates, Jesus or Buddha, who were much smarter than me with much higher IQ than me perhaps, must also have done their best to answer the same question and thought they had answers, none of them was real answer accepted by more than 1/3 of the world population however, and these answers caused some conflicts among most of the population in the world. Therefore, I could not agree on any one of them and it would be no use for me to stay up so many nights to answer to this question any more. Enough is enough. Letí»s get out of here. So be it.

I could not find any purpose for my life. I happened to be born caused by a natural reproduction of my parents. I did not remember that I asked for it. What would it make difference to me other than for the honor of my children between I was a #2 Einstein or beggar in the street, once I die? Letí»s leave my life to its fate. After I die, what would it matter to me? I doní»t believe in a life after death or the existence of spirits. Ashes to ashes, dust to dustíŽ What a profound idea I came to realize.

Then I thought about how I should live my life. I had no idea about the purpose of my life. However, though I was born without any reason, I had neither reason to kill myself nor courage to do it. Therefore, I would have no choice but to live as far as I am alive. Finally, I got the idea that I would live my life by the motto of í░ENJOY TODAYí▒, if I have to live any way and, as the future is always unknown to everyone, it would be just nothing but the waist of time and effort even I worry about tomorrow.  My wish or final goal of my life was, right before I die, if I could still have ability to review my life for a moment and come to the conclusion that I enjoyed whole my life every day as much as allowed to me under the circumstances without hurting anyone, I would be fully satisfied and happy.

Because of this kind of philosophy of life, I had no desire of riches, honor or ambition and there was no reason to exaggerate or conceal any thing but could live enjoyable optimistic every day of my life. I could enjoy my life at work too. I did everything that I liked to do without hesitation as I did not chase wealth, promotion nor fame. I did not work hard to be a successful rich guy. I expressed my opinions freely always and I think it has rather brought me more success on my job. Since a business of my own would be too risky, hard, and undesirable for me, I never tried to open one. During my whole life, I wanted to be a safe and easy salaried man rather than president of a company. Even at the Samsung, where all other directors work 12 hours a day, seven days a week, I never went to work on Sunday nor spent more than 8 Ę÷ hours a day at the office on weekdays.

When I married, I made three promises to Jane. First, since I had no desire to be rich or famous, if she wanted to be a wife of rich and famous high level guy, it would be better to give up me. However, instead, we would never be too poor to worry about food. Second, there would be no other woman for me. Third, within 10 years, I would take her on a trip to a foreign country. (It was practically impossible to get a passport for normal citizens of Korea at the time.) I took my wife to United States 11 years after the marriage. Except this, I kept all of my promises.

In 1968, even though I did not drink, I was stricken with hepatitis. At surgery, as soon as they injected anesthesia into my vein, I fell in a deep sleep and woke up to find the surgery was already done. I could not feel anything while the surgeons were cutting all kind of places of my body perhaps. I realized that death may be something like this. Once a man dies, there would be no such kind of things as consciousness, spirit nor another life after death. Actually, I have experienced my short death with no dreaming, no thought and completely no experiences.

Since that time, I was not afraid to die. People keep talking about elongation, the dignity, and sacredness of life. However, a life is just a part of a process to me. Suppose there is a paradise where you were sent for a year of vacation but you had to come back in 10 months while you had a very happy wonderful life there, would you squirm in sorrow and refuse to return? Human life must be something like this vacation and it would not be a big deal to make it little shorter. You just enjoy it while you can, whether it be 10 or 6 months, and just come back when you have to. Moreover, human life is not just full of happiness but combined with so many sorrows, hardship and unhappiness and there is no need to be squirming around to live longer.

Because of this philosophy of life, it doesní»t matter how long I would live to me. Instead, I will rather do to enjoy my life doing everything I like to do, such as, eating junk food, smoking cigarettes, drinking several cups of coffee a day and enjoying egg yolks, though they are all told to be very harmful for my health and longer life. Also, I do not eat any so called healthy food if it doesn't taste good to me. However, I am still healthy enough to play golf for a few days straight. I guess my optimism is taking care of me better than any other tonics. (I insist that mental health is much more important than physical health which, of course, all the medical doctors would not dare to agree with.)

Come to think about it, the reason why I could come up with such a philosophy of life was because my father stopped me from applying to the Communication Engineering Dept. of Engineering College. However, I have no grudge on him but I think I was rather luckier to have had this kind of life,

and my goal is still...   Enjoy Today !!

People keep saying that we should live with a valuable achievement of life. However, I do not understand what is a valuable achievement of life means. If someone insists me to define the valuable achievement of life, I would say enjoying everyday itself is my most valuable achievement.