Etymology孝 (효) [hyo] – filial piety
情 (정) [jeong] – emotions, feelings
Hyojeong can be translated as “respectful heart.” However, the meaning embedded in this word is much deeper and broader than just a sense of duty to be a respectful child. It means that our heart is filled with the desire to make our parents truly happy.
“Hyo” means “respect for parents.” However, the word “respect” does not convey the full meaning. Hyo means respect motivated by love; reverence is not forced, but joyful and voluntary, which gives your life the deepest meaning. It is clear that it embraces both sincere respect and love for one’s parents. Hyo is a beautiful Korean tradition that is the basis of life. That is, “Hyojeong” is about the beautiful love, care and deep heart of parents and children.
“Hyo” also means “to be effective”, which is why some people interpret it that way. The term “hyojong” implies dedication of the whole soul, so the meaning of “being effective” is not misleading.
The dutiful son ponders what he can do for his parents and does it no matter what. A respectful child has a spirit of service and is welcomed everywhere. Such a child always fulfills God’s desires. This is why the hyojeong spirit is actually majestic, because if a person is endowed with such a spirit, he strives to serve others rather than himself.