Imagine being in North Korea, and how sceptical would you be of what you witness every day? Is the Kim family’s rule the most powerful god on the planet? Is South Korea a bad place due to America’s evil? Is it possible that people will be grateful for this dictatorship?

It’s difficult to comprehend life in North Korea until you see Park Yeon-interview. She discussed her experience as a North Korean defector, and her book To Live described the horrible conditions in North Korea. You may already be aware that North Korea is a hellish place to live, but you wouldn’t be able to comprehend the dreadful condition solely based on facts and figures.

You have a completely different worldview living in the first world. You must realize that there is no electricity, no freedom of speech, and no press freedom. Instead, you need the compassion to feel the anguish and put yourself in the shoes of a North Korean.

Would you be sceptical of this parallel universe if you were born in this restricted environment? I sincerely hope not. Because if you do, things could get a lot worse. You may be sentenced to prison if you question why the Kim family regime deserved to be in power. Your family and you and future generations will be in a constant state of a concentration camp.

Assume you’re wondering what happened in China on the other side of the river. Why the light is constantly bright over there, but North Korea is always in dark? Someone like your neighbour or friends can report you to the secret police, and you are in trouble, especially if you secretly view TV shows or listen to music from other nations. You may end up in prison for many years.

If you are sceptical and consider how to sell products at a higher price to make a living, you may be violating the beliefs of a communist as you’re thinking like a capitalist. Because everything is state-owned, your act of selling is prohibited. Even if you go to the bathroom, the government owns your faeces, and you must contribute them as fertilizer.

If you were in that circumstance and were sceptical, you could try to flee. It would be a difficult decision to make, and life could be difficult as a result, but it is truthful. You might be surprised to learn that everything you’ve been told is a lie. Before Kim’s regime, there was a human revolution that spanned thousands of years of history. Many new ideas have emerged worldwide, including homosexual marriage, freedom, democracy, and even bank accounts. All of these words would never have been in your original lexicon.

We should remain sceptical even if we are lucky enough to live in a first-world country. Ask why, be willing to challenge anything that doesn’t seem right, listen to other people’s perspectives, and be open to new truths if the evidence supports them.

How would you know if the vaccine you’re getting is safe, for example? How would you know whether your philosophy is correct? How would you rank the accuracy of the post you read on social media instead of false news? You can fact check and search for the evidence if you are unsure about the accuracy of the material.

We must maintain an open mind; it is nearly impossible to know everything. I am happy to change my ways if someone can prove what I do and think is wrong because I am looking for the truth. And don’t be pleased with only knowing because we forget and end up doing the reverse as time goes. I need to put everything I’ve learnt into practice and put it to the test.

If you go to the circus and watch a performer swallows a sword. Do you believe that this is true? Can we also swallow the sword as the performer does? Do I believe that this act is true or just an imagination? There is a difference between reality and entertainment. We must tune our mindest according to the situation. When we bring our children to the circus, they like to enjoy the circus acts. But, we must also caution our children not to follow what they see, like swallowing the sword.

The North Korean regime would not survive if not because of Chinese communist party assistance, and the North Korean people’s lives would not suffer and die from famine. Many Chinese citizens outside of North Korea believe in everything taught in a distorted interpretation of history.

If they are sceptics, they may query how many people died during the Cultural Revolution due to Mao’s political mistakes. If they are unsure, they may doubt whether or not their government did the morally correct thing by supporting North Korea’s rule. If they are sceptics, they may wonder if an alternative political structure, such as democracy and the rule of law, is conceivable.

I’m not writing to argue about what’s right and wrong. I’m writing to emphasize how critical it is to leave room for scepticism. Before committing to a belief, we should teach the future generation to think critically, ask why, debate, and weigh the merits and disadvantages of each side. Under tyranny or dictatorship, no discussion of right and wrong is permitted. The decision of the authority must be correct. The winner has no choice but to re-write history. Is it possible to believe the history written in North Korea? How is that possible?

When there is a politically correct answer, there is less opportunity for scepticism. People in the Western world are afraid to address homosexual marriage, race equality, and people who cannot dispute the politically unacceptable answer. You’d be labelled racist if you didn’t. We should enable freedom of speech, even if it is a controversial viewpoint. At the very least, instead of oppressing people who speak up, let them inquire why.

We could be mistaken. Self-explanation can give voice to curious impulses that might otherwise go untapped. It all boils down to asking ourselves, “Why?” You want to learn more about life’s obstacles and how to deal with them effectively. Nobody can deceive you if you are sceptical.