UPDATE : 2020.2.21 금 10:43

[Vol. 74] Ripley Syndrome

People who think they're the people that they want to be 박주은 기자l승인2015.10.23l수정2017.11.26 20:15






  Recently, some incidents happened related to Ripley Syndrome. Ripley Syndrome, simply speaking,  is a disease to believe virtual or imaginary reality instead of true reality that one lives in. Everybody might imagine, "If I was a person that I want to be, then..." And, we sometimes design imagination quite concretely, but most people don’t acknowledge it as if it is real. But Ripley, who had Ripley Syndrome, would say that is true. It doesn’t sound like a serious thing, but it has caused social problems. From now, look at some incidents and find the cause and solution.
  Last June a teenage girl made an issue by tampering with her academic background. At the beginning, she drew public attention, so many articles reported her with title of "Genius girl." Some people envied her achievement and some others were proud of her, expecting her to be a respectable person of/for Korea. Several days after, however, it was revealed that all the stories were fiction. Media outlets apologized to people about reporting the wrong facts. Her father further wrote an apology letter to the public, saying his daughter had a disease. Above this, SBS's News Story televised several stories of burglar who wanted to be a professor, a woman who wanted to have life of a prestigious college student and a man who insisted he was the chief of police for 7 years, but they were not.
  An expert said that the concept of a lie has a positive function that keeps social relations in check with others, but it applies just about light situations. Lies about personal characteristics like job, family, and academic achievements are dangerous because it could affect one's own identity negatively. Besides, if it becomes worse, it would destroy their perceived identity and make people suicidal. It is like The Boy Who Cried Wolf, but more serious. The boy of the fairy just lost his sheep and the trust of others in the end. In reality, although it is a disease, many people blamed him or her about their words. Sometimes blame is too fierce to endure.
  Then, before we find the solution of this, it is more important to figure out the cause. Many causes might be deeply related, but the main causes may be the social atmosphere emphasizing the result not the process. In some points, patients are victims of a performance-based society. And in the process, people around them also can be victims of their lie. It is ridiculous that everyone can be the victim of the syndrome, but there is no overt perpetrator. As a result we cannot help shifting most responsibility on society. However, changing the world is difficult, so then how can we treat them more fundamentally?
  Remember when you were in high school and your parents encouraged you even when you had bad grade? Well, perhaps consciously or unconsciously they might have been more pleased if you had better grade, but they still encouraged success. In this aspect, we could understand the "genius girl." She might have had a thirst of acknowledgement of others. As such, the cause of this incident is all of ours not only of one.
  As KNUE students we need to see it in the view of pre-teachers. What is education? It made students go the right way. It is more important to raise students into proper members of society than have good grades in tests. Then, how can we help them be a proper, well-rounded human? Although we can't fully care for every student, we can help them by changing how we treat them. The key solution is "compliments." There are two types of compliments: one for property and the other for endeavor. Compliment for property is also deemed as compliment for results. As you see in the name, “You are excellent because you had good presentation” is the example of this. On the other hand, compliment for endeavor is also called a compliment for process. “You tried hard to complete it!” In school and society, we heard more the former than the latter.
  We should keep finding solutions for Ripley-syndrome as the ones in charge of students’ future. INDIGO gives just one answer, hoping that you would find more methods to help them and lead them to a right way. They need to have bravery to face reality without delusion, or they can’t go beyond their fake world.

박주은 기자  95jeun@blue.knue.ac.kr
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