Lessons learned from the King of Baking

Lessons learned from the King of Baking

I just finished watching “King of Baking, Kim Tak Goo” – a Korean drama about a man named Kim Tak Goo, who experienced major hardships in his life mostly because of the orchestrations of other people, but still maintained his zest for life and faith in good things.

Tak Goo was born out of wedlock. His mother was a governess in a rich family whose patriarch owned a popular bread and pastry business. He himself was a great baker. When the matriarch of the family failed to produce a son after several tries, the grandmother sort of thrown Tak Goo’s mother and the boss in each other’s company, thus came Kim Tak Goo. But of course the legal wife did not take it sitting down, and with the help of the husband’s conniving assistant who was secretly in-love with the wife, tried every trick there is to make Tak Goo and his mother’s life miserable.

One thing about the story’s protagonist is his joyful countenance. No matter what hardships or challenges thrown at him, he never lost his smile. Even during the most difficult times, he always has something to be happy about. And he shares that happiness to others like an unshakeable virus.

Another virtue of Kim Tak Goo is is unwavering faith that good things will come to those who wait. He was separated from his mother at the age of 12. He spent all the years that followed looking for her, never losing hope that one day they will see each other again.

But of course there comes a time when he gets angry at people who makes his life and of those people he loves difficult. Still, he reigns his anger and tries not to let it cloud his judgement.

The best thing about him is his being a great baker. He did not have any formal training, but he learned from observing and asking questions, and of course his magical nose helped a lot. Yes, by just using his nose and smelling things, he knows right away if a bread tastes good, and if the ingredients used were fresh or not. Even from a mile away. For the great baker, a bread is not just a bread. It is something you make with a happy and greatful heart thinking about the people who will eat it to alleviate their hunger and give them a good feeling.

I know Kim Tak Goo is just a fictitious character, but his virtues should be real for all of us. May we never lose hope that after shadows pass, good things will shine; never lose that joyful and grateful feeling for everything that happens to us; and that family and good friends should be treasured at all times.

Hanggang sa muli!