OWL Magazine Korea

Kim Nan-do: “You Must Be Shaken a Thousand Times to Become an Adult.”

These days, we no longer live in an era where comfort and healing are provided indiscriminately, but there was a period in the 2010s when Korean society placed great emphasis on “healing” and “comfort.” Rather than offering practical assistance to young people, there was a time when society merely offered verbal consolation. However, as this era progressed, the concept of simply offering “comfort” became outdated, as it was not ultimately linked to improving structural societal issues or followed by relevant policies.

Professor Kim Nan-do was at the forefront of this “comfort” culture. With the publication of his book “Because You’re Hurt, You’re Young” at the end of 2010, he gained widespread sympathy from society and subsequently gained fame.

“A Book Comforting Adults: You Must Be Shaken a Thousand Times to Become an Adult.”

Following the success of “Because You’re Hurt, You’re Young,” a book titled “You Must Be Shaken a Thousand Times to Become an Adult” was released to comfort adults, rather than young people.

The content of this book is quite similar to “Because You’re Hurt, You’re Young.” It garnered popularity for its comforting messages tailored to adults, delivered in Professor Kim Nan-do’s characteristic gentle style.

“Encountering the Book before Graduating from College”

The author encountered this book just after graduating from college. It was a time when they had to prepare for employment, albeit without certainty about what they wanted to do or how they would live in the future.

Fortunately, they began working for a government agency after graduation, but they still lacked confidence about their future. During this confusing time, they found solace in reading various books, and this book was one of them.

“Stories of Bamboo and Bamboo Shoots”

While “Because You’re Hurt, You’re Young” provided comfort by introducing the concept of the life clock, this book offers comfort through the metaphor of bamboo.

Bamboo does not show any significant growth for the first five years after sprouting, but then, suddenly, it grows rapidly, sometimes reaching heights of nearly 25 meters. Like bamboo, our lives may seem stagnant for years, but with perseverance and preparation, we can leap forward when the time is right.

“The Thing Adults Should Be Most Wary of Is Early Success.”

Although not directly mentioned in the book, there was a comforting message for those in their twenties who may feel left behind in terms of success. It was: “What men should be most wary of is achieving success at an early age.”

While early success may seem desirable, it also carries significant risks. Through their own experiences, the author came to understand the meaning behind this message.

“Adults Also Waver and Worry.”

As Professor Kim Nan-do concludes, adults also waver and worry. However, while they may still experience uncertainty and challenges, the author, now in their late thirties, feels less overwhelmed by anxiety. They believe that as long as they live according to their plans and aspirations, they will eventually lead a better life.

Despite this newfound confidence, they still admire the comfort Professor Kim Nan-do offered and conclude their reflection with respect.

“You Must Be Shaken a Thousand Times to Become an Adult.”