The Words of the Inoue Family

Korean and Western Leaders

Anne Inoue
December 27, 1998

One day I was feeling unloved, put-upon and unappreciated in my mission. One afternoon in 1990, soon after Father's 70th birthday celebration, the ballet company was preparing a special performance for Dr. (Bo Hi) Pak, our highest central figure aside from True Parents and Hoon-Sook nim, and I encountered some confusion as to who was responsible to give the music tape to the sound technicians for the performance (this was supposed to be my job). The tape was missing, and I assumed someone else had given it to them, usurping my position. In protest, I disappeared for the rest of the day. I am sure there were a lot of other small difficulties leading up to this moment, but I can't remember what they were. [The tape wasn't really missing, it was in my cabinet behind another one and nobody had touched it. In its and my absence, they ended up doing the performance with one of the rehearsal cassette tapes instead of the reel to reel.]

The next day, I had the opportunity to meet with four different members of the hierarchy to hear their reactions to my inappropriate actions. The feedback I got was very interesting to me.

Two older western sisters told that I could be fired for this kind of dereliction of duty, that even though the performance the previous afternoon was for only one person, and therefore did not look that important, Dr. Pak was very a important person, and my desertion of my post at such a moment could easily be grounds for dismissal, and I should be sure that nothing similar happened again in the future.

Then I met with Mr. No Hi Pak, Dr. Pak's younger brother, who was our next in command under Dr. Pak at the time. He handed me a thick file of papers and said: This is the information about the tour that the Ballet Company is going to take to Italy in a few months. The staff in the office downstairs cannot take adequate care of this project because their English ability is insufficient. Can you please take over this project.

I was astonished.

And the other person I met was Hoon-Sook nim. She said, "We really have to find you a new place to live." I was living in a room with another family, who weren't really happy to have me there, because they had barely enough room as it is -- space is very tight in Seoul.

Again, I was astonished.

Not a word of scolding from either of the two Koreans involved (at least, I can't remember any). They both seemed to ready to assume that my action was taken out of a real and justifiable need to preserve myself, and responded in ways that reduced my need to invoke self-preservation, instead of threatening me and adding more reasons for me to feel the need to protect myself.

Of course, there are myriads of other backgrounds, attitudes and experiences influencing each individual situation, but I feel that for the Korean leaders, those who indicate the ability to take care of themselves (sometimes in spite of having to go against a direction to do it) are more easily trusted with further responsibilities.

Another thing I find very different here in Korea is that pastoral counseling, marriage counseling, etc. are largely absent in Korean society. It seems that these functions are filled entirely by the live-in grandparents in traditional Korean society, and it looks like the leadership of our church does not feel a pressing need to fulfill these functions much, at least not to the extent that I was accustomed to in the US church when I was there.

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