The Pyeongchang winter Olympic Games have begun.
The Olympic Games, which is supposed to be pure competitions of athletes and the symbol of peace, have never been so politicized. It was rather frustrating to watch the opening ceremony because of the awkward attitudes of leaders from several countries.
No smile because it is supposed to be an enemy, be absent because you are malcontent, no respect for athletes because you don’t like the country they are representing, ignore because you don’t know what to do, no talk because you simply don’t like them… It reminds me of all the innocent bullies at elementary school, but that is what they are doing as “diplomacy”.
“Our friendship is over!” was my favorite word when I learned that my “BFF” was hanging out with someone else. I stopped talking with her as a revenge. I tried to make her jealous by making new “BFF” to show off. Doesn’t it sound like a simplification of what is happening in the current foreign diplomatic world?
Of course, my knowledge is limited and my experience in diplomacy is zero, I acknowledge the complicated factors that drive each country to behave in certain way and the subtlety of international relations is beyond my ability to handle, but it seems to me that sometimes the diplomacy is getting way too childish in that they become a battle of ego.
Maybe it’s important to show tolerance, flexibility and comprehension (just like how “adults” solve problems) in diplomacy as well.
A tale from Aesop, The North Wind and the Sun, is a great example. Nudging by kindness and patience is always a better solution than coercing by force and violence.
I might sound too optimistic here, but at least that’s what someone from outside of political world should do, offering other perspectives and different values…