The Artistic Balance Between the Battlefield & Ballet

For my third blog entry, I'm happy to talk about a unique example of the benefits of Science & Arts that I was able to personally observe while being thousands of miles away from home.

During my first visit to the beautiful country of South Korea, I was amazed by a non-violent civil demonstration. With the recent political unrest of national protests driven by millions of Koreans, I was surprised at how peaceful and disciplined the protesters were. For example, I observed an organized demonstration with a high level of discipline and patriotism which resulted in protesters CLEANING the streets after the demonstration concluded. Think about that! Now that's a rear sight if you compare it to other countries and cities across the world.

Although that sight was an eye opener, there was something else that astonished me. I was more amazed at South Koreans unique approach to handling stress. With a highly competitive and intensified educational system coupled with increased military aggression from North Korea, the tension and stress level for South Koreans military students have been astronomical. It's hard to imagine a more stressful job than guarding a border with North Korea (Democratic People's Republic of Korea) post the historic Korean War in the 1950s. If you were in their shoes, how would you try to handle that level of stress?

One group of military students came up with a creative recommendation of trading combat boots for a different pair of shoes. The solution suggested was the enrollment of ballet classes within the military barracks to reduce stress. What a surprising suggestion which has proven to be a positive and creative out-of-the-box idea! This is an amazing example of balancing science & arts both figuratively and literally to solve a social problem. 

Take a look at this amazing story below!