He has written ten books and about 250 articles. Every morning he goes to a temple and then exercises and bathes before going to his office. Thus, he always has a clean mind and fresh attitude. This man is Kim Hee-ok, an alumnus of Dongguk University (DU) and a vice minister of Justice. The Post met him to hear about his school life, Buddhism and job as a Justice minister..........................................................................................Ed.
He entered DU in 1968 and became the president of the freshmen class because he had the highest score among freshmen students. "I think that my skill of communicating with others was improved through being the freshmen class president. In order to represent students, I had to control and collect other opinion," said Mr. Kim.
He also studied hard. As a Law major he could study at the office of a Prof. Han Sang-bum in the Dept of Law, a former chief of Presidential Truth Commission on Suspicious Deaths. Under Prof. Han, he learned the importance of human rights and it influenced his job as prosecutor.
After graduating from DU, he went to Seoul National University to get a Master's degree in Mass Communication, but his study habits damaged his health. "Studying Mass Communications was very useful, but I ignored my health and got TB as well as a Master's degree. I was in hospital for one and half years. Through this experience he learned to take care of his health. Getting up early and meditating lead to a healthy body as well as a fresh mind and attitude," said Mr. Kim with smile.
Why did he choose DU when his high score could get him into any other university? "I came from Daegu, which is near Gyungju, the capital of the Silla dynasty. So the city has been influenced by Buddhism. My family used to go to Unmun Temple; so I grew up with Buddhism," said Mr. Kim. While at DU, he was happy to hear Buddhism lectures as The Diamond Sutra. When he needed a place to study for the judicial examination, the Rev. Ji Kwan, now executive director of the nation’s biggest Buddhist order, recommended a temple for studying.
Mr. Kim's relationship with Buddhism continued. When he lectured at the Judicial Research and Training Institute, he found that there was no Buddhism club. So he encouraged his juniors to organize a club and was its the first adviser.
"When I was a university student, my role model was Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, the leader of India's independence movement. I admired his non-violent methods. And when I came to DU, the living environment was much different from my hometown. Many seniors helped me adapt to school life, and I can't forget their warm-hearted help. It's time to share my help with my juniors. I want to be mentor with my juniors when I have a chance," he stressed.
Vice Minister Kim received both a Master's and a Doctorate from Dongguk. His affection for Dongguk is amazing. He advises us to find the mainstream in society and to have eyes to manage the world. To be like this person, you have to have a clean mind and be reflective everyday.
Seo Yong-geun firstname.lastname@example.org
<저작권자 © 동국포스트, 무단 전재 및 재배포 금지>