June 14, 2019

Three Percent of Salt That Will Purify the World

Kim Suk-gyeong from Busan, Korea


Not long ago, we conducted a street cleanup in Junggwan-eup, Gijang, Busan. The day before we were supposed to do the cleanup, it started to rain at night, and it didn’t stop until the next morning. We were worried about the bad weather, but thankfully the rain stopped at 9 a.m. and the sun started to shine.

The cleanup started and we joyfully cleaned the trash hidden between buildings and the areas that sanitation workers couldn’t reach, and also cleared weeds that covered the trees and the waste in the sewers. We moved in perfect order with the tools in our hands such as mops, tongs, and trash bags as if we were one body. I was reminded of the advertising copy that says, “I know even though you don’t say anything.”

That day, so much trash was collected. Our clothes and shoes got dirty, but the trees covered with many weeds were able to breathe again and a new road appeared where it was blocked by trash. Looking around the cleaned area, town officials admired, “We can even sleep here.”

One member who participated in the street cleanup for the first time said, “One picture is worth a thousand words,” being moved by our genuine volunteer service. He said he was proud that he did it together. A shop owner around our designated cleanup area offered us ice cream out of gratitude, more than we all could eat.

I reflected on the meaning of sharing and serving, seeing our volunteers enjoy the sweet ice cream happily. Just as the little three percent of salt purifies the sea, our little volunteer service here and there plays the role of salt that purifies the world. Today too, the bright smiles of our brothers and sisters looked beautiful after having done the great work.