My Love From Another Star - Chun Song-yi (Jun Ji-hyun / Gianna Jun) on red carpet

“The human mind seems to work exactly this way:

Whenever one sees a person at a seemingly better position than himself, he does not think, ‘Ah, I too must go there.’

Instead, he contemplates, ‘Come down to this abyss. Come down and join me.’

Sorry, but I won’t go to the abyss you dwell in.

Lowering myself to live in a hell of jealousy and hatred—I won’t do that.

So stop gesturing for me to go down.”

Cheon Song-yi in My Love from the Star

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Otherworldly Propositions

My Love From Another Star - The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane

How enduring can beliefs that can never be substantiated by logical proofs be? Literature, dramas, romance, friendship and, indeed, many endeavors in life require us to take a leap of faith and put time or effort in activities that do not always promise definite paybacks. Still, American author Kate DiCamillo writes dreamily in her award-winning work The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane of “fill[ing yourself] with expectancy,” “[being] awash in hope,”  “wonder[ing] who will love you” and “whom you will love next,” even as one season fades into another and years roll by without sight of anyone who reciprocates your feelings.

There are various motivating forces other than reason that drive people to believe in something. These include emotional appeal of a theory, obligation (e.g. trusting the integrity of one’s parents out of a sense of filial piety), tradition (e.g. adhering to the religion of the family or community one is born in) and even a simple desire that something is true. An obvious retort would be that, aside from emotional appeal, what these conditions generate are not genuine beliefs—adherents support the “beliefs” either unthinkingly or in spite of their true opinions (e.g. an investor wishing that his favorite stock would land him a windfall and insisting it would even though he knew that market conditions were unfavorable). While this argument portends to be valid in many instances, holding it as a general truth may, however, belittle the human power to pull wool over our own eyes. Indeed, cognitive dissonance—the mental discomfort stemming from contradictory beliefs, actions and/or decisions—can threaten our concept of self so much that we engage in self-justification strategies to reconcile the differences, and one such strategy may be to persuade ourselves, subconsciously or otherwise, of the soundness of the beliefs we adopt for whatever factor.

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Another Superpower

Do Min-joon (Kim Soo-hyun) and Cheon Song-yi (Jeon Ji-hyun / Gianna Jun) discussing the meaning of superpower in 2013-2014 Korean fantasy drama My Love From the Star 별에서 온 그대

Song-yi: I’m freezing. Hey, can you perform that trick? You know, lighting up a fire with your palm, making objects you point at burst into flames?

Min-joon: That will cause a forest fire.

Song-yi: Oh, right. Do you know how to do it anyway?

Min-joon: I’m not Vectorman.

Song-yi: (Smirks) Ah, so you don’t. I’m terribly cold, though. Don’t you have a superpower that can warm me up a little?

Min-joon: (Wraps his arm around her)

Song-yi: (Smiles and leans against his shoulder)

Do Min-joon (Kim Soo-hyun) and Cheon Song-yi (Jeon Ji-hyun / Gianna Jun) discussing the meaning of superpower in 2013-2014 Korean fantasy drama My Love From the Star 별에서 온 그대

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