One day, I happened to see Korean female athletes crying together right after being awarded a silver medal in the Olympic Games on TV. A foreign friend of mine sitting beside me congratulated me on their ranking second. Still to me, they were crying not because they were so happy about their ranking second but because they missed a gold medal and might even feel guilty. They might have strong pressure throughout all the games just to be award a gold medal. That is, they probably knew from the beginning they would not be praised for awarding a silver medal or a bronze medal no matter how much efforts they had made in the games. It is not easy to watch this kind of scene as the same people.
In my opinion, we Koreans are very stingy with praising others.
People are less likely to speak well of others. I think we may be used to criticizing, blaming or denouncing others rather than speaking well of others, or encouraging a person before being aware. Moreover, we have a tendency just to take the final results into consideration, not the efforts during the process of doing something.
In reality, praising seems to have the unbelievable power to make a person make it without giving up. The same is in human relationship.
When I was a second-year student in middle school, I was sometimes scolded by my homeroom teacher for different opinions from other students. But one day he approached me to speak well of me and even praised me with heart-felt words for what I did. Then I could feel myself closer to him. The same thing occurred to me during my military service. My platoon leader used to criticize or scold platoon members for the ways they are doing. But one day I was called to his office. Then he seemed to be serious in recognizing my strong merits and abilities shown at my work. Then I found myself getting much closer to him. In both cases, I realized that praising to others can often change the human relationship.
Though we are not used to praising others, we should be able to speak well of others as often as possible. This is especially important and helpful when we are in trouble. I believe that praising brings about a win-win effect to both sides.
From now on, I will try to praise others around me as much as possible.