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Reviewed by Edith Wairimu for Readers' Favorite
Moo Jung Cho’s second installment, Easier to See Jeong (Love) Leaving than Arriving, collects one hundred Korean proverbs and essays and offers practical advice on social, cultural, and political matters. The proverbs encourage creativity and hard work, for example in the phrase "a mediocre carpenter complains about tools." Others, such as the proverb "quitting is worse than never starting," and "a tiger appears at the fun party in a valley," praise persistence and vigilance. The proverbs also offer wise counsel on family relationships and leadership. The assorted essays examine various themes, historical, economic, and political issues to explain the proverbs. Recent and past American and South Korean political and social events are included as well as debates on climate change, Word War II events, and global issues that expound on the lessons we can learn from sage wisdom.
The proverbs and essays in Easier to See Jeong (Love) Leaving than Arriving are often humorous. Some of my favorites included "no one can go to the bathroom or heaven’s gate on your behalf" and "my cousin buys land, I have a bellyache." But more importantly, they can be applied in any social or political setting. The advice they offer is also applicable in everyday life when dealing with challenges and relating to others. Author Moo Jung Cho also shares his own compelling experiences in relation to the proverbs. Having left Korea in the 1960s, his perspective about his native country and the United States expands the work and is useful in explaining and personalizing the content. The essays also explore Korean culture and cuisine. Any reader, regardless of their background, will enjoy exploring and learning from the pages of Easier to See Jeong (Love) Leaving than Arriving by Moo Jung Cho.