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Friday,June 21,2019
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Taking It SlowYoung People Are Choosing Quality of Life Over High Salaries
KBS had introduced a young-couple's life on the air. They were competent people who graduated from top universities. They also had worked at major companies which most young people wanted to enter. Now, they live in a secluded mountainous district alone, growing poultry and dyeing fabric with natural materials. While watching their peaceful life on TV, I kept asking myself, "Why don't they struggle to earn much money and become rich?"
  This couple's is an extreme case of "Downshift." Downshift means ending a busy life for a slower one, like shifting from a higher gear to a lower gear. People who live slowly are called the "downshift tribe." They value their slow present life and tend to avoid that new and developed ways what can help people to save time. So, knitting and making Gochujang popular with them.
  Downshifting has been popular among Europeans. For a as downshifting entered Korea, people in their twenties and thirties showed lot of interest in it. According to a recent poll of young workers by an employment agency, 45.3% of 570 young workers preferred paid sabbatical vacations. And 41.9% said their priority was better quality to their lives rather than high salary. A lot of experts said that the downshift trend will become part of the main-stream culture. Rising employee demands for more free time causes companies to adopt the 5-day work.
  Kim Dong-shik, a cultural columnist, explained the cause, "Downshift is a response to the workholic syndrome. Workers in their twenties and thirties are not satisfied with their inner lives. They are willing to accept a lower salary if they can have non free time. In the era of industrialization, riches and high social standing were regarded as the route to happiness. Now people see themselves as their own standard of happiness. It is the new way of evaluating one's mental health." He added that well-being is about physical health while downshift is about mental health.
  "By dwelling in the present moment, I know this is a wonderful moment," said Thich Nhat Hanh, a famous Vietnamese monk. There's nothing wrong with  competing with colleagues and developing your ability. But the most important thing is realizing what you want to do now. We tend to live for the future not for the present. Downshift lets us know that an essential condition of happiness is realizing what you really want to do in life.

Kim Hyun-ah  kimyang@dongguk.edu

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