“Colonel Sanders traveled around the U.S. to sell his chicken recipe when he was 65 years old. He was rejected 1008 times, but every time he was rejected, he said, “Again.” Finally, in his 1009th trial, he made KFC.”
Jay Kim gave a lecture on ‘why aren’t there any heroes around us?’ at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology on November 13. In his lecture, he talked about real heroes of our time, what people should learn from them, and the social conditions that foster those heroes.
He listed American heroes such as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John F. Kennedy, and Abraham Lincoln, and raised a question about the universality of their status as heroes. He said, “There are many cases like Jefferson’s where the heroic image has been broken after a revealed mistake,” and “Lincoln’s image as a hero is relative in the sense that he is recognized as a hero only by some part of the people”.
He pointed out that after Yi Sun-sin, there were “no real heroes recognized by more than 80 % of the people in Korea, and there are only unverified heroes.”
He claimed that the requirements of a hero should be considered in relation to the characteristics of our time, and emphasized that a hero should have a wide viewpoint instead of that of a specialist in one area.
As the characteristics of our time, he picked: English as an international language, imagination rather than experience, short message, positive thinking, etc.
He expressed the need for the spirit of challenge as Colonel Sanders had and the importance of putting in efforts for the future.
In addition, he used Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan as examples to show a difference in leadership. He claimed, “Carter is regarded as the most incapable president of the U.S. He could not draw a big picture, which wore on those around him. On the other hand, Reagan showed great leadership and knew how to use the right people in the right places.”
He emphasized a social atmosphere that could foster leaders, saying that peace “should be maintained by conversation and cooperation instead of power,” and “young people should be given opportunities to work and communicate.”