What Was He Thinking?
I am all for looking at situations from a different perspective. In our busy lives, its dangerously easy to convince ourselves that we are always right, or to automatically take the side of a friend without understanding the whole situation.
In fact, it’s exceptionally hard in this day and age to get the whole story about anything, what with different news sources reporting only one side of a story due to some political or social agenda. How are we supposed to know the truth about anything?
For popular YouTube star Louis Cole, his government-guided trip through North Korea was supposed to be an eye-opening experience that would teach him about the culture and customs of the world’s most mysterious country. It was admirable of him to embark on the trip, hoping to show his followers sides of the country they’d never seen before, because who doesn’t love a fresh perspective?
Sadly, his trip culminated in a project that blindly ignored the realities of the authoritarian government and oppressed citizens who are forced into labor camps and murdered daily.
Here’s where Cole went wrong.
“I do know what’s going on out there.”
Cole’s intentions were only pure, and admirably magnanimous.
“This entire trip had been about trying to connect with people & show love,” he tweeted. And his message rings true: We can’t always accept the point of view we’re given because there is always more to the story.
Another tweet quotes Isaac Newton in saying “We build too many walls and not enough bridges.” Perhaps this message best sums up why Cole went to North Korea in the first place, or why he spends his life traveling the globe and vlogging about his adventures.
And by looking through his social media and YouTube channel, you truly understand what an open-hearted, welcoming person Louis Cole seems to be. He cites that some of his favorite places on the planet are Cape Town and Rio de Janeiro, which he explains have some of the largest wealth disparity in the world. By going to these places, meeting with its poorest people, and having a mutual exchange with them, Cole knows he can spread love and give them the value they deserve. At the end of the day, you can’t argue that Cole’s intentions seem good, or that he believed he was helping the best way he knew how.
Surfin’ in the DPR…K.
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Unfortunately, North Korea truly is a whole different world.
The world’s most mysterious nation remains such because it’s closed, authoritarian government has no other way to keep the terrifying reality of life there from the outside world, or conversely to keep its citizens from learning about how good life beyond its borders can be.
Cole specifically set out to “focus on positive things in the country and combat the purely negative image we see in the Media,” but the best way he felt he could do that, apparently, was by making a bizarre music video from the surf camp he attended while in North Korea, entitled “Surfin’ in the DPRK.”
Watch it above!