Monday, 5 April 2010


Kibun means internal harmony, a state close to nirvana in my amatour understanding.

Kibun is in the group, in bilateral relationships, in the company, in the lab. This  means an optimal harmony of everyone in the group.

Two years ago my uncle was asked to become a deputy president of one of the chebols. Prepared for the conversation according to the best Harvard school he went for two weeks long orientation program. One day there was a conversation with his would-be boss, the owner of the chebol, and my uncle proposed to fire 1/3 of the employees after detailed analysis of the company's efficiency and results.

No wonder that the owner said a very big no due to two reasons. One is "Kibun" - a company is your mother, your father, your grandma, your everything. Your employer hopes you will spend the lifetime tied up to your desk and climbing up the ledder. Firing off one third of the staff is not what you suppose to do. The other more to-the-ground reason is that kicking so many people off work would cause mass protests and strikes and such "cat's music" would injure company's image.

I had a lab seminar once, when I got involved in discussion about individualism and collectivism with my labmates. I don't remember what did we have disagreement about anymore, but I remember that I bought coffee for the guy who was my biggest opponent and this way subconsciously I have set the "Kibun" back on in the lab.

This is really a pity that such devotion to common harmony and happiness is not that much respected and performed there where happiness is needed the most - nuclear small family of husband and wife. Luckily this is changing now and changing rapidly.

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