Who is Your Leader?

Wow, if you want to read a mind-boggling book, pick up Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea, by Barbara Demick. The tome speaks of extraterrestrial courage and stamina in the midst of dark ages thinking. Barbara Demick offers a stark view of North Korea,  a country and society largely unknown to the rest of the world.

The Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea has been a Communist regime since 1945, and is a sheer clear example of totalitarianism in a modern world. The well-researched story line follows a hand full of people who escaped North Korea.

The book shows the power of propaganda, and the subtly of human reasoning assuming it is divine. It is a case of falsehood claiming to be truth. Ironically, I can see traces of this oppressive framework within countries that vend freedom of expression.

Freedom of expression isn’t generally associated with the freedom to express restriction, starvation, conformity, or pain. Freedom of expression means we want freely to express life, creativity, joy, and wellbeing.

In North Korea, past leaders, Kim II-sun and Kim Jong-il, and present day leader, Kim Jong-un, hold to ideals that cause isolation, disconnect, and fear. Is this any different from a disease invading our body? Do we accept the command of a disease, in the same way the people of North Korea accept the demands of their leader?

North Koreans are told they have it better than everyone else in the world. The way of communism is superior. They are superior.

I ponder, have I heard this “superior” crack before, from within the fields of science or religion?

Escaping North Korea was not an easy task. Moreover, the escapees had to learn to adapt to a fast-paced society full of modern inventions and novel ideas. Many loved it and would never return to their homeland. Others felt the new world was so dramatically different, that they held a preference to return to North Korea.

The human psyche is indeed an enigma, an alien of sorts. Therefore, it is no wonder I feel a draw to study spirituality.


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