Who taught: Jake
One of the big issues in Korea is education. Most parents are having a hard time and work hard to meet the cost that they spend on their children’s education. Even many of new married couples postpone to have a baby mostly because of the huge cost of education which will be incurred by having a child. Based on the CIA world factbook, South Korea ranked in 219th out of 223 countries in children per women rate (1.21). Are you curious about United States’ rank? It is 126th (2.05). Surprise, isn’t it?
Why there is that much cost? It is because of private education system. Almost all of the children go to at least two private institutes after their regular school hours to learn so many stuff, such as music instruments, languages, Taekwondo, etc. This situation is getting worse as they become teenagers. Parents need to hire private tutors for their children, mostly for mathematics, English, science, etc. Well, maybe you could say I would not do the same thing for my children? It is hard because if your children do not do the same thing with what other children do, they cannot make friends. Well, I think there is another reason. Parents do not want to fall behind what others do for their children. They would like to give their children at least the same opportunities that other children get.
There is an expression for this case in English. “Keep up with the Joneses!” Here…. the Joneses is an abstract word for representing the neighbors. For example, if your neighbors or friends bought a new luxurious German sedan like bimmer(BMW), then you feel like you should buy Mercedes. Well, if you actually bought a Mercedes for that reason, you are really keeping up with the Joneses. There is another similar expression that you can use. “Peer pressure!” I guess most parents feel peer pressure and, to keep up with the Joneses, spend a lot of money for their children’s education. Speaking of comparison of you and your neighbors, there is also very good one you can use. This expression is really common and you would hear this many times in America. I actually heard this expression today over lunch from my friends. “Grass is greener!” The full one is “the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence!” I guess you can get what it means by reading it. Yup, it means “for some reason, everything your neighbor has looks a lot better than what you have.” I know! We all do not want to admit it but it always sounds true. Even you have the same thing your friends have, you always feel like the ones your friends have better than yours. What a life! But, if we can learn how to be satisfied with what we have, we will be a lot more happier than now. Let’s pray, shall we? What? You do not want to pray. Hmm.. I really suggest you to go to church this Sunday.