- 1 -
There are many risk factors in the life of Seung-Hui Cho that contributed to the
tragic outcome of his life and death.
Although we have led extremely different lives, and
we have turned out to be very, very different people, there are also a few similarities in
the risk factors we experienced in our pasts.
The difference between me and Cho,
however, is that for the few risk factors we do share, I was fortunate enough to have in
my life many resilience factors to help overcome these adversities.
Cho also had
resilience factors, but these resilience factors were fare weaker, and they were not enough
to help him overcome the many risk factors he faced in his short life.
The first risk factors present Seung-Hui Cho’s early childhood undoubtedly
played a role in Cho’s identity, and helped shape his temperament, family relations, and
ultimately the course of his life.
Cho was born in South Korea on January 18, 1984.
lived in a basement there with his family until he was 8 years old.
His father was a
bookstore owner, and his family was relatively poor.
Even in early childhood, it is clear
that Cho has many risk factors which may have contributed in a substantial way to the
rest of his life.
Cho’s family was poor, a major risk factor.
It seems as if their living
conditions were far from ideal, and with bad living conditions come many other risk
factors as well, such as health problems and strained family relations.
Also, being raised
at a young age in the Korean culture, for Cho, turned out to be a risk factor.
am not extremely familiar with Korean culture, I do know that they are very strict, very
reserved, extremely focused on academics (some would call them uptight), and far less
permissive of anything they view as immoral.
These cultural differences are evident not
only in Cho’s childhood, but also in his college life, and even in his final videotapes that
he made prior to the massacre at Virginia Tech.