EDITING : 2024.4.22 월 18:51
The Gachon Herald
Between emotion and sesitivity
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Updated : 2020.01.21  17:55:16
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 Let’s suppose that you go to the movie with your friend. What do you think when you see your friend that are crying wiping her eyes with handkerchief like a main character in melodrama in the theater? I’m not sad about the movie, I am more interested in what food I’m gonna eat after watching it. What scene or what figure makes my friend’s grief burst. Is she next to me more emotional than me? Or more sensitive? “How can you live in this tough world with your (emotional or sensitive) mind?” What word do I choose?

 To express in broad scope, If your friend’s tears are result of psychological agitation in personal basis in view of your experience, it is emotional and it is sensitive when she feels tight and pain sympathizing with other person in social and interactive situation. Of course, we have to respect whatever this thing is because to express outward and reveal have a passion that can’t be hid. Therefore, we have to tell your friend “I respect for your abundant emotion/sensitivity”, not to tell “why are you crying?”.

 Plus, you should talk with her not only about the actor’s handsome drinking a cup of coffee, but also about what part she sympathized in the movie. That way makes your ‘movie sensitive’ grow at last.

 Emotion and sensitive are similar but there are some different parts. According to Kant, one of the most famous philosophers, sensitivity means desire or tendency that is opposed to intelligence. The ‘time’ and ‘space’ have a strong influence on forming this sensitivity. It is not just an intuition, it is to recognize various senses in spatial, visual dimension. The imagination makes sensitivity more enrich as sum of many things. It is typical of not only visible but invisible things intuitionally. In other words, sensitivity embraces emotion and imagination. And in order to get there, we are going to have to make a bond of sympathy about the object above all. When you read ‘AZALEAS’ from Kim So-wol, you should see through other people’s mind who don’t want to, but have to leave as well as this poem is sad story. Then you read it sensitively not emotionally. It is poetic sensibility that capture a will to overcome sadness from narrator’s attitude who says that she won’t cry and she will let him go willingly so if he wants to go, then just go. He leaves because he doesn’t want to see her, so she will not remember him. When you get this poetic sensibility, you can find you who sympathize with poetic narrator.


When you leave, tired of me,
I will be ready to let you go,
no complaints, whatsoever.

And I will carpet your way
with azaleas, armfuls,
from the familiar Yaksan hill.

May you enjoy light steps
on the flowers for your path
as you go ahead, if you like.

When you leave, tired of me,
I surely won't cry,
no tears, never.

 And then one day, when you bring ‘Spring day’, a song of BTS to mind, there are the words ‘please wait enduring the cold winter’. If you feel the sorrow of parting from family, others, or people who sacrificed socially as well as breakup with her lover of ‘Azaleas’, someday you read, in those lyrics of the song, this moment is to extend from emotion to sensibility. Even if you don’t have any direct experience about your family, others, or people who sacrificed socially, you can make your space of sympathize to understand and embrace their pain with your imagination only.

‘Spring day

The moring will come again.
Cause any darkness and any seasons can't be forever.
(looks like) Cherry blossoms are blooming~
This winter is ending.
I miss you. I miss you.
I miss you. I miss you.

if waiting more,
if spending more nights,
I will go to see you, see you.
I will go to pick you up, pick you up.
Past the frezing winter ends

Utill the spring comes again
Untill the flowers can bloom again
Please stay there little more, little more (a part of Spring Day of BTS)

 The sensibility that filled it in imagination is can not be visible, so it is nonliteral that is not expressed. Then, How much more complex and diverse areas of experience will emerge with adding nonliteral sensitivity to literal thing? In this region, there are pain and wound that I have not the heart to write words. And there are autonomous things that get out of pressure or control. Nonliteral things that come into my life space are different from personal emotions and different from disposition. Sensibility grows while being mixed with political and social context in the region. Why I have these feelings not the anger or revengeful thoughts while fighting with friend? Is there no solution? considering like these is the method to solve the situation with sensitivity not emotion. Furthermore, when you have socially oppositive collision or hostile emotion, for example nationalistic clash, racial discrimination, sexual discrimination, rich-poor gap… , sensitive impulse is need to invoke internally that be based on understanding and consideration about other person with every cognitive ability and imagination. When the sensibility ,based on sympathy, not on emotion without intelligence and introspection, with others are revealed, it is the moment that our selfish gene changes to altruistic gene.

 Of course, it is one of inevitable practical acts that feel passion and anger, sadness and fear in a personal dimension at the main agent of sensibility. But, furthermore, I think to discover the main agent of sensibility, which is complicatedly intertwined, is a method to continue community who live with. In the deepening of autumn, why don’t you fall into your own abyss as a sensitive subject?

▲ Dept of Liberal Arts College Professor Choi Sung Sil

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