Embrace the World

Setting a goal in life is similar to planting a tree. If you plant a
jujube tree in the front yard of your home, you will have jujubes
in your home. If you plant apple trees on the hill behind your
home, then they will produce apples. Think carefully about your choice
of goals and where you intend to plant them. Depending on the goal
you choose and where you plant it, you can become a jujube tree in
Seoul or an apple tree in Africa. Or you can become a palm tree in the
South Pacific. The goal you plant will bear fruit in the future. Think
carefully where the best place is to plant your goal so that it will bear
the best fruit.
When you are setting your goal, be sure to consider the entire
world. Consider Africa, which continues to suffer from poverty and
disease. Consider Israel and Palestine, where people continue to aim
their weapons at each other and fight over matters of religion. Consider
Afghanistan, where people barely keep themselves alive by raising
poppy plants used to make harmful drugs. Consider the United States,
which has thrown the world’s economy into a pit with its extreme greed
and selfishness. Consider Indonesia, which suffers from continued
earthquakes and tidal waves. Imagine yourself in the context of those
countries, and think which country and which situation would be most
appropriate for you. It may be that you are best suited to India, where
a new religious conflict may erupt. Or it could be Rwanda, which languishes
in drought and hunger.
In setting a goal, students shouldn’t be so foolish as to decide that
because a country is small, like Korea, it isn’t worthy of your goals. Depending
on what you do, there is no limit to how large a small country
can become. Its national boundaries could even disappear. Whether you
do good work on the large continent of Africa or in the small country
of Korea, your goal should not be restricted by size. Your goals should
be about where your talents can have the most impact. So you should
think of the world as your stage as you decide what you want to do in
life. If you do, you will likely find many more things to do than what you
were originally dreaming about. You have only one life to live, so use
it to do something that the world needs. You cannot reach the hidden
treasure on an island without adventure. Please think beyond your own
country, and think of the world as your stage in setting your goal.
During the 1980s, I sent many Korean university students to Japan
and the United States. I wanted them to leave Korea, where teargas
canisters were exploding almost daily, and let them see a wider world
with greater variety. The frog that lives at the bottom of a well does not
realize that there is a bigger world outside the well.
I was thinking globally before that word even entered the Korean
language. The reason I went to Japan to study was to see a wider world.
The reason I planned to work for the Manchuria Electric Company
in Hailar, China, and learn the Chinese, Russian, and Mongolian languages,
even before Korea was liberated, was to enable me to live as a
global citizen. Even now I travel by plane to many places in the world.
If I were to visit a different country every day, it would take more
than six months to visit all of them. People live in many countries, and
they all live in different circumstances. There are places where there is
no water to cook rice with, while other places have too much water.
Some places have no electricity, while some countries are not able to
consume all the electricity that they produce. There are many examples
of how something is lacking in one place but overabundant in another.
The problem is there are not enough people focused on equalizing the
The same is true with raw materials. Some countries have an abundance
of coal and iron ore stacked in piles. They don’t even need to dig
into the earth. All they need to do is shovel the coal and iron ore from
piles that are easily accessed. Korea, however, has a critical shortage of
coal and iron ore reserves. To dig out anthracite coal we need to risk our
lives to go thousands of feet underground.
Likewise with technology. Africa has many places where bananas
grow naturally in abundance, and they could keep people from starving.
But there is a lack of technology and lack of access to productive
land, so not enough banana plantations are created. Korea’s climate is
not suited for growing bananas, and yet we grow bananas. This technology
in Korea could be very helpful in solving the problem of poverty in
Africa. It is similar to the way that South Korean technology for planting
corn has helped relieve starvation in North Korea.
The phrase global leader is now in vogue in Korea. People say they
want to become fluent in English and become global leaders. Becoming
a global leader, however, is not a matter of a person’s fluency in English.
The ability to communicate in English is nothing more than a tool. A
true global leader is someone who is able to embrace the world in his
own bosom. A person who has no interest in the problems of the world
cannot become a global leader, no matter how well he might communicate
in English.
To be a global leader a person must think of the world’s problems
as his own and have the pioneering spirit that is needed for
finding difficult solutions. A person who is attached to a secure
and fixed income, or dreams of having a pension after retirement
and a comfortable family life, cannot be a global leader. To become
a global leader a person must consider the whole world to
be his country and all humanity to be his brothers and sisters and
not be overly concerned that he does not know what the future
may hold for him.
What are siblings? Why did God give us siblings? Siblings symbolize
human beings around the world. The experience of loving
our brothers and sisters in the family teaches us how to love our fellow
countrymen and love humanity. Our love for our own siblings
expands in this way. The family whose members love each other is a
model of how humanity can live together in harmony. Love among
siblings means that one sibling is willing to go hungry, if necessary,
so that his brother or sister can eat. A global leader is someone who
loves humanity as he loves his own family.
It has been awhile since we first heard the phrase global village.
Yet the earth has always been a single community. If a person’s goal
in life is to graduate from a university, get a job with a company that
will pay him a high salary, and lead a secure life, then that person
will have the success of a puppy. But if he dedicates his life to helping
refugees in Africa, he will have the success of a lion. The course that
is chosen depends on the heart of the individual.
Even at the age of ninety, I continue to travel around the world. I
refuse to rest from my mission. The world is like a living organism in
that it is always changing. New problems are always arising. I go to the
dark corners of the world where these problems exist. These are not the
places with beautiful views or comfortable amenities, but I feel happy
in places that are dark, difficult, and lonely because that is where I’m
fulfilling my mission, my purpose, my goals.
My hope is that Korea will produce global leaders in the true sense.
I hope to see more political leaders who will lead the United Nations to
fulfill its purpose and more diplomatic leaders who will stop the fighting
in areas of conflict. I hope to see someone like Mother Teresa who
will take care of those wandering and dying on the streets. I hope to see
peace leaders who will take on my mission of pioneering new solutions
from the land and sea.
The starting point is to have a dream and a goal. Please have an
adventurous and pioneering spirit. Dream dreams that others dare not
imagine. Set goals for yourselves that have meaning, and become global
leaders who will bring benefit to humankind.


Message for the young people - Find Your Purpose, Change Your Life

When we meet someone new, we are always curious about
who he or she is. God has the same curiosity about each
human being. He is especially curious about young people,
and it brings Him great joy when He gets to know them intimately. Why
is this? It is because our youth is the most important and most beautiful
period of our lives. This period should be a time of tranquility as one
prepares for the future. The process of growing to maturity is a building
block that opens the way to a new era.
It is difficult to find young people today who are passionate about
their lives. We find so many young people who, with no goal or purpose
for their life, are just wandering around. All great leaders in history had
a definite sense of purpose in life from the time they were children.
From childhood they nurtured that purpose held within their hearts
and exerted great energy to achieve it. Whether they were sleeping or
playing with their friends, every youthful action of these great leaders
was geared toward preparing for the stage that they would stand on in
the future. Is that how you are living your life?
We were all created to be great men and women. God did not send
us into this world without purpose. When God created us He invested
His complete love into each person. So we were all created for greatness.
Because God exists, we can accomplish anything.
I became a completely different person when I began to love God.
I loved humanity more than myself and was more concerned with the
problems of others than the problems of my family. I loved everything
that God created. I deeply loved the trees on the hills and the fish in the
waters. My spiritual senses developed so I could discern God’s handiwork
in all things of creation.
As I was changing my heart to conform to God’s love, I also strengthened
my body so that I could fulfill my mission. I wanted to be ready to
go anywhere, anytime that God called on me. I played soccer and did
boxing, some traditional Korean martial arts, and wonhwado, a form of
martial arts that I developed. In wonhwado the athlete moves his body
in a smooth circular motion, almost as in a dance. It is based on the
principle that greater power comes from circular motion than moving
in a straight line.
Even now I begin each day with stretching exercises for my muscles
and joints and a breathing exercise that I developed. Sometimes when I
am traveling around the world on speaking tours, I may not have time
for these exercises in the morning. Still I will find the time, sometimes
while sitting on the toilet. I never miss a day of exercise. When I was
young, thirty minutes a day was plenty, but now that I am older I have
increased it to an hour a day.
In 2008 I was involved in a helicopter crash. The helicopter was suddenly
surrounded by black rain clouds and in an instant crashed onto a
mountainside. The helicopter rolled over, and I was left hanging upside
down by my seatbelt. Instinctively I tightly grabbed the arm rests on
both sides of my seat. If I had not been so diligent in my exercises, I
think I would have broken my hip the instant that I was suspended
upside down. The body is the container to hold a healthy spirit. It is
important for us to be diligent about training our bodies.
Few students go to school because they like to study. They usually
go because their parents tell them to, not because they look forward to
studying. As students continue to study, however, they gradually learn
to enjoy it. From that point they will start to study on their own and
find their own path. This self-developed interest in learning is a sign of
Parents cannot wait until their children mature enough to study on
their own. They tell them, “You have to study. Please make up your
mind to study,” and put pressure on them. Parents do this because they
know that children need to study in order to prepare for the future.
They worry that if their children don’t study at the proper age level, they
will face the future unprepared.
There is, however, something more important than studying to prepare
for the future. Before unconditionally focusing entirely on studies,
young people must realize what they want to do in life. They must make
a determination to use their talents to help the world rather than just
serve themselves. Many young people today seem to be studying just
for its own sake. Unless you have a purpose in life, your studies will lack
the passion needed for happiness.
Once I came across a Korean student working hard on his English schoolwork.
I asked him, “Why are you working so hard to learn English?”
He answered, “To get into a university.”
What could be more foolish? Getting into a university is not a purpose.
A university is a place to go to study particular subjects in the
course of pursuing a larger objective. It cannot be the objective itself.
Also, do not define your life goal in terms of how much money you
want to make. I have never received a salary, but I managed to eat and
stay alive. Money is a means to do something, not the goal. Before you
make money, have a plan for spending it. Money gained without a prior
objective will soon be wasted.
Your choice of occupation should not be based on just your talents
and interests. Whether you become a fire fighter, a farmer, or a soccer
player is up to you. But what I am referring to transcends your occupation.
What kind of life will you lead as a soccer player? How will you live
as a farmer? What is your objective in life?
To set your objective is to give meaning to the life you will lead.
If you are going to be a farmer, then you should set your objective to
test new agricultural methods, develop better species of crops, and help
eradicate world hunger. If you are going to be a soccer player, then set
a meaningful objective such as to heighten your country’s image in
the world or to establish soccer camps that will nurture the dreams of
economically deprived children.
To become a world-class soccer player takes incredible work. If you
do not have a definite purpose in your heart, you will not be able to
endure the difficult training required to reach the top. Only if you have
an objective will you have the power to maintain your course and live a
life that is a cut above those around you.


More Than Giving Bread, Teaching How to Make Bread

To solve the problem of hunger we must have a heart that is willing
to plant seeds. Seeds are planted and wait unseen under the
soil until they are able to germinate and break through their
outer cover. Similarly, it is better to teach a person how to plant and
harvest wheat and then turn it into bread than it is to give a piece of
bread to a person who is about to die. The former may be more difficult
and not result in as much public recognition, but it is the only way to
arrive at a fundamental and sustainable solution to world hunger. We
need to begin now to study the climate, the soil, and the character of the
people in areas that suffer from hunger.
In Africa, there is a species of tree called manchuka. The people in
Congo feed the leaves of this tree, which are high in nutrition, to their
cattle to fatten them up before taking them to market. They also pound
the leaves of this tree on a stone mill, add some oil, and fry them in batter.
It may be a good idea to plant many manchuka trees and make powder
out of the entire tree after throwing out the root, which is poisonous.
The powder can be used to make bread. Also, Jerusalem artichokes,
which resemble sweet potatoes, grow very quickly once they are planted
in the soil. The amount that can be harvested is three times greater than
that of other famine relief crops. Planting a lot of Jerusalem artichokes
is another way to contribute to resolving the hunger problem.
In Jardim, a large earthworm is used in farming, and this makes the
soil quite fertile. This earthworm exists only in Campana, but perhaps
we can study its ecology and use it to help agriculture in other areas.
Koreans are working in the Mato Grosso region to study silkworms.
If the cultivation of silkworms is successful there, it will be possible to
make silk cheaply and sell it to buy food.
There is no quick fix to the problem of world hunger. People in each
country have different tastes for food and different customs, and the
plants and animals are different. The important point is concern for
our neighbors. We first need to develop the heart that, when we are eating
enough to fill our own stomachs, we think of others who are going
hungry and consider how we can help them. True peace will not come
as long as humanity does not solve the problem of hunger. If the person
next to me is about to die of hunger, peace is a mere luxury.
It is as important to teach the skills needed to become self-sufficient
in producing food as it is to distribute food directly to those in need.
To teach such skills, we need to build schools in remote areas to combat
illiteracy. Technical schools will need to be established in order to give
people the ability to support themselves. The Westerners who conquered
Africa and South America did not provide technology to the
people who were already there. They only used the people as laborers
as they sought to dig up and take away the resources that were buried
in the ground. They did not teach the people how to farm or how to
operate a factory. This was not right. Our church has, from the early
stage of our foreign mission work, established schools in places such as
Zaire for teaching agriculture and industrial technology.
Another problem faced by people suffering from hunger is that
they cannot afford proper medical treatment when they become ill. On
the other side of the world, developed countries are seeing an overuse
of drugs, but people who are hungry often die because they cannot
afford simple medicine for diarrhea or a cold. Therefore, as we work
to eradicate hunger we must also provide medical support. We must
establish clinics and care for those who suffer from chronic illness.
I created New Hope Farms in Brazil’s Jardim region as a model to
show how humanity can live together in peace. We tilled a wide expanse
of land to make farmland, and there is a cattle ranch in the higher elevations.
New Hope Farms is in Brazil, but it does not belong only to the
people of Brazil. Anyone who is hungry can go to New Hope Farms,
work, and be fed. Some two thousand people from all races and from all
over the world can always eat and sleep there. We will establish schools
all the way from elementary school to university. People will be taught
how to farm and how to raise cattle. We will also teach how to plant and
raise trees and how to catch, process, and sell fish. We do not have only
a farm. We use the numerous lakes in the vicinity of the river to create
fish farms and fishing grounds.
Paraguay’s Chaco region occupies 60 percent of that country’s territory,
but it has been a neglected land. The Chaco region was formed
when the sea rose to cover the land, and even now you get salty water
gushing up when you dig into the ground. I was in my seventies when
I first went to Paraguay. The lives of the people living in this longneglected
land were impoverished beyond words. It caused me great
pain in my heart to see them. I sincerely wanted to help them, but they
were not prepared to accept me, a person of a different skin color who
spoke a different language. I did not give up, however.
I traveled the Paraguay River for three months, eating and sleeping
with people from the area. At more than seventy years of age, I was taking
on a task that people said was impossible. I taught the people I met
what I know about fishing, and they taught me their language. We were
on the boat like this together for three months and became friends.
Once they began to open their hearts, I talked to them again and
again about why the world must become one. At first their reaction was
indifferent. Year by year, though, the people of Chaco began to change.
After ten years, they changed so much that they held a global peace
festival with great enthusiasm.
Resolving the food situation does not mean that peace will follow
immediately. After the hunger issue has been resolved, it is important
to carry out educational programs on peace and love. I have built many
schools in places such as Jardim and Chaco. At first people didn’t send
their children to school but instead had them help raise their cattle.
We worked hard to convince them that the children and young people
needed an education. As a result, we now have many students. We built
a light industrial factory where they could produce items using simple
technologies, and the students became more interested in attending
school so they could work in the factory.
We are all responsible for the people around the world who die of
hunger. We need to take action to help them. We need to feel a clear
sense of responsibility and find a way that they can be fed and saved.
People who live well should come down to a slightly lower position and
raise up those who live poorly, to bring about a world where all people
live well.


Solution to Poverty and Hunger

If you are never hungry, you cannot know God. The times when you
are hungry are opportunities to be nearest to God. When you are
hungry and are able to look humbly at each approaching person as
if he were a close family member who wants to help him, then you are
more likely to be fed. In such situations, it is important to maintain a
sympathetic heart of goodness.
Hunger is not an issue relegated to less-developed areas of the world.
Even in the United States, which enjoys one of the highest standards
of living in the world, there are people who are undernourished and
hungry. When I went to the United States, one of my first projects was
to purchase trucks to be used for the distribution of food to the poor.
The situation in impoverished countries is unspeakably worse. When
I look at the world situation, I feel that securing sufficient food supplies
is the most pressing problem. Solving the food crisis cannot be put off for
even a moment. Even now, some twenty thousand people around the world
die of hunger-related causes every day. We cannot afford to be apathetic just
because we and our immediate families are not facing hunger.
Simply distributing food supplies by itself will not resolve hunger,
though. A more fundamental approach to the problem is needed. I
am considering two fundamental and concrete methods. The first is to
provide ample supplies of food at low cost, and the second is to share
technology that people can use to overcome hunger on their own.
The issue of food will present humankind with a very serious crisis
in the future. We cannot build a world of peace without first resolving
the food issue. Sufficient food supplies for all the world’s population
cannot be produced on the limited amount of land area that is currently
available. We must look to the oceans for a solution. The oceans hold
the key to solving the food crisis of the future. This is the reason I have
been pioneering the oceans for the past several decades.
In Alaska, pollack smaller than fifteen inches long are used for fertilizer.
They would make wonderful food, but people don’t know how to
prepare them so they use them just for fertilizer. As recently as twenty
or thirty years ago, we could ask Westerners to give us the tail of an ox
and they would let us have it for free. Koreans are very fond of food
prepared with the bones or the intestines of cows, but some Westerners
do not know that these are edible.
The same is true with fish. About 20 percent of the world’s fish catch
is thrown out. Whenever I see this, I think of the people who are dying
of hunger, and I feel pain. Fish is a much more reliable source of protein
than beef. How wonderful it would be if we made fish cakes or fish
sausages to give to people in impoverished lands!
Once this thought came to me, I started projects to process and store
large volumes of fish. It does not do any good to catch large amounts of
fish if you cannot handle them properly after the catch. Even the best
fish cannot be kept well for more than eight months. Even if they are
frozen and placed in refrigeration, air gets in through cracks in the ice,
and water escapes. You could pour water on the fish and freeze them
again, but by then the best flavor is already gone and the fish might as
well be thrown out.
We gathered fish that were being thrown out and researched how to
turn it into fish powder. We sought to do something that even advanced
countries like France and Germany have not done. Fish turned into
powder could be transported and stored easily, even in hot and humid
climates. Fish powder is 98-percent protein, among the very highest
protein content of all food products. For this reason it can be used to
save people from dying of hunger. Fish powder could also be used to
make bread. We are still searching for ways to make it available to impoverished
countries around the world.
The oceans contain limitless food supplies, but the best method for
saving humanity from the food crisis is fish farming. I foresee that there
will be buildings, similar to the skyscrapers we see in our cities today,
devoted to fish farming. By using water pipe systems, we can farm fish
in tall buildings or even on the tops of mountains. With fish farming we
can produce more than enough food to feed all the world’s people.
The ocean is a blessing bequeathed to us by God. When I go out on
the ocean, I am completely absorbed in fishing. I have caught all kinds
of fish in different countries. One reason I fish is so I can teach people
who don’t know how to fish. In South America I spent several months
showing local people my fishing methods. I took in tangled fishnets myself
and spent three or four hours showing them how to untangle them.
To secure adequate supplies of food at a low cost, humankind will
need to develop the ocean. This and the great grasslands that are still
in their prehistoric state are our final storehouses of wealth. This task,
though, will not be easy. It will require us to go to places that are so
hot and humid that moving around and working hard with a strong
sense of dedication become very difficult. Developing the grasslands in
tropical regions cannot be done without a love for humankind that is
passionate and dedicated.
Jardim, in Brazil, is just such a place. It is a quite difficult place to
live. The weather is hot, and bugs that have not even been named yet
are continuously biting. I lived in that place and made friends with all
its various creatures. I walked around barefooted, feeling the red soil
of Jardim beneath my feet, looking just like a peasant farmer. When I
was at the river catching fish, I looked like the local fishermen. It is only
when the local people look at you and say, “You really are a farmer,”
or “You really are a fisherman,” that you are qualified to receive their
knowledge and share your own knowledge with them. It is not something
that can be done by someone who needs to sleep eight hours a
night in a clean and comfortable bed, eat three square meals a day, and
take naps under a shady tree.
When we were developing a project in Paraguay, a group of our
members and I were living in a small hut in Olimpo. There was only one
toilet, and each morning we had to take turns using it. I would get up
each morning at three o’clock, do some exercises, and then go fishing.
Because of this, the members who were with me went through some
very difficult times. It was usual for them to be cutting bait early in the
morning before they were completely awake.
When we took the boat out, we had to cross through a number of
other properties in order to reach the mooring site. Unlocking the gates
to these properties in pitch darkness was difficult. One morning when
the members were fumbling with a lock, unable to open it, I yelled at
them, “What are you doing?!” I shouted so loudly and fiercely that I
surprised even myself, so I am sure it must have been difficult for them.
But I feel that I cannot afford to waste so much as a single second. I
don’t have any time to be idly standing around. I can clearly see a list of
all the things I must accomplish before there can be a world of peace, so
my heart is always in a hurry.
When I fished there on the river before dawn, the mosquitoes would
swarm like a dark cloud. Their stingers were so sharp they would pierce
right through a pair of jeans. In the predawn darkness we could not see the
floats on our fishing lines, so we had to attach white plastic bags to them. I
could not wait for the sun to come up. I was in too much of a hurry.
I still miss Jardim. I miss everything about it. When I close my
eyes, I can still feel the heat of the Jardim air pressing against my face.
The minor inconveniences to my body were nothing. Bodily suffering
passes quickly. What is important is that this place can one day play
a significant role in serving the world. Being in Jardim brought great
happiness to my heart.


A Single Dandelion Is More Precious Than Gold

The three greatest challenges of modern society are solving pollution
problems, creating a consciousness for protecting the
environment, and increasing food production. If any one of
these is neglected, humanity will become extinct. The earth has already
been damaged extensively. Endless greed for material possessions has
brought about serious air and water pollution that is destroying nature,
including the ozone layer that protects us. If present trends continue,
humanity will find itself destroyed by the traps of material civilization.
For the past twenty years, I have been working to sustain and preserve
Brazil’s Pantanal region. The Pantanal—a region that lies in Brazil,
Bolivia, and Paraguay—is the world’s largest wetlands area. It is listed
with UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. I am carrying on a global environmental
movement to preserve the living creatures of the Pantanal in
the pristine state in which God created them.
The Pantanal—where the sea, land, animals, and plants live in
harmony—is a magnificent place. Simple words such as beautiful and
fantastic cannot begin to describe its value. Photos of the area taken
from the sky are so beautiful that a collection of these photos is one of
the best-selling photo collections in the world. It is humanity’s treasure
trove, where rare species such as the white-throated capuchin, the red
howler monkey, macaw, jaguar, anaconda, ostrich, and caiman live.
The flora and fauna of the Pantanal and the Amazon basin exist as
they did at the time of Creation. The Pantanal is Edenic. Human beings
have destroyed a great many beings that God created. Too many species
of plants and animals have become extinct because of human greed. In
the Pantanal, though, the original forms that God created still remain.
I am working to establish a bird atrium and an insect preserve in the
Pantanal to save these unique species from extinction.
In addition to being a habitat for many plants and animals, the Pantanal
is also an important source of oxygen for the earth. It is the “lungs
of the world” and “nature’s sponge,” producing more oxygen than any
other area. It is also a storehouse of greenhouse gases. The Pantanal is
changing rapidly, however, due to industrial development. If the Amazon
region, which provides such a large amount of oxygen for the earth,
is destroyed, the future of humanity will be dismal.
Some thirty-six hundred species of fish live in the Pantanal. One is
a gold-colored fish called the dorado, which usually weighs more than
forty pounds. When a dorado first took my hook, it felt like my body
was being sucked into the river. As I was reeling in the line with all my
strength, it jumped out of the water several times. After several jumps it
still had plenty of strength left to fight. It was so strong it seemed more
like a bear or a tiger than a fish.
The lakes in the Pantanal are always clean. No matter what is put
into the water, it quickly becomes clean again. The water is cleansed
quickly because there are so many different species of fish living there.
Each species feeds on something different. Living together in a complex
system, they devour anything that dirties the water. Their act of feeding
has the function of keeping the water pure. Fish are very different from
human beings. The fish don’t live for their own sake. They live to clean
their environment and make it better.
The back of a water hyacinth’s leaf in the Pantanal wetlands is black
with bugs. If the bugs were to remain there, the hyacinth would not
be able to live, but there are fish that eat those bugs off the leaves. So
the bugs live, the hyacinth lives, and the fish live. This is what nature is
like. No creature lives for itself. Instead, they live for each other. Nature
teaches us this tremendous lesson.
No matter how many fish there are in the Pantanal, if people are
given the freedom to fish there, the population is bound to decrease. To
protect the fish we need to develop fish farms. Because the fish in the
Pantanal are so precious, we need to develop many fish farms. Similar
facilities to protect insects, birds, and mammals are also needed. Raising
insects will help increase the bird population. The Pantanal provides a
perfect environment for all these creatures, and by focusing on how to
increase their population humankind can continue to enjoy them for
centuries to come.
It is not just fish that are plentiful in the Pantanal. The riverbanks have
pineapples, banana trees, and mango trees. Rice grows so well there that it
is possible to have three harvests a year, even without irrigated fields. That’s
how rich the soil is. Crops such as beans and corn can be grown just by
spreading the seeds over the ground. Very little human labor is needed.
Once while traveling down the Paraguay River on a boat, we stopped
at a house sitting near the bank. The farmer who lived there realized that
we were hungry, so he went into his field and dug up a sweet potato. It was
the size of a watermelon! He told us that as long as he leaves the root in the
ground it will continue to produce potatoes for several years. To think
that potatoes can be harvested without annual planting left me with a
strong desire to take them to countries where food is lacking.
People who advocate developing wetlands stress the economic
benefits of such development. The Pantanal, however, provides plenty
of economic benefit just as a wetland. The area has virgin forests of
ebony pine, and the wood is hard with high density. Natives claim that
a person could drive a spike into one of these trees and it would still
live more than a hundred years. These trees are used to produce ebony,
which does not rot and is said to last longer than iron. These trees are
so large that a man cannot put his arms around them. Imagine what
it looks like to have forests filled with such precious trees. I had some
seedlings of these trees planted on four hundred hectares of land in the
Pantanal. The trees our members planted have made the Pantanal even
more beautiful.
It is human selfishness that is destroying nature. Human competition
for the shortest route to economic success is the reason that the
earth’s environment has been damaged. We cannot allow the earth to be
damaged any further. Religious people must lead the way in the effort
to save nature. Nature is God’s creation and His gift to humankind. We
must work quickly to awaken people to the preciousness of nature and
the urgent need to restore it to the rich and free state it enjoyed at the
time of Creation.
Because it has become widely known that the Pantanal is a treasure
trove, a struggle over its future has begun. The place that we should be
protecting is about to become a battlefield for greedy humans. For the
past ten years, I have been taking leaders from countries around the
world to the Pantanal and sponsoring discussions on how to protect
this region and the rest of the world’s environment. I am gathering the
world’s environmental experts and scholars in order to encourage them
to take an interest in preserving the Pantanal. I am working to stop
the Pantanal from being destroyed by the merciless material desires of
human beings.
As the environmental issues grow more serious, many environmental
groups have sprung up. The best environmental movement, however,
is the one that spreads love. People take care of things that belong to
people they love. They do not, however, take care of or love the natural
environment that God created. God gave this environment to humanity.
It was His will that we use the environment to obtain food, to have
it in abundance, and to experience the joy of living in the beauty of
nature. Nature is not something to be used once and thrown away. Our
descendants for many generations to come must be able to rely on it
just as we have.
The shortcut to protecting nature is to develop a heart that loves
nature. We must be able to shed a tear at the sight of even a blade of
grass that we see as we walk along the road. We must be able to grab
hold of a tree and weep. We must understand that God’s breath is hidden
inside a single boulder or a single gust of wind. To care for and love
the environment is to love God. We must be able to see each creature
created by God as an object of our love. With our spiritual eyes opened
we could see that a single dandelion by the roadside is more valuable
than the gold crowns of kings.


Great Opportunity in the Oceanic Era

The oceans can become a central point for bringing the world
together. To take ownership over the oceans we must be trained
to live on it with the same ease as we live on land. When I train
people to fish, I send ten small boats out with one large boat. When the
boats leave port, the small boats are towed by the large boat. Once they
are out on the open sea, however, the small boats are responsible for
themselves. They must know the direction of the wind, what is on the
ocean floor, and what route the fish are taking. They must learn all this
on their own.
I like to use the phrase Alaska spirit. This refers to getting up at five
o’clock in the morning, going out to sea, and not returning until well
after midnight. The person stays out on the ocean until he catches the
daily allowance. One cannot become a true fisherman unless he learns
how to endure this way.
Catching fish is not a pleasure cruise. No matter how many fish may
be in the ocean, they are not going to just jump into the boat. It takes
specialized knowledge and much experience. A person must know how
to mend a net and how to tie an anchor rope. Once a person receives
intense training to become a fisherman, he can go anywhere in the
world and become a leader of people. Learning to be a fisherman is
good leadership training.
Dominance at sea will require ships, including submarines, that can
go anywhere in the world. Korea is already the largest shipbuilding
country in the world. It has the ability to become a great sea power.
What it needs now is more people willing to go out to sea. We are the
descendants of Chang Bo Go, a wealthy man of the ninth century who
ran an international maritime trading business and was called “Ocean
King.” We have a long tradition of going out to sea on ships, fighting the
waves, and winning battles.
People fear the waves. When waves catch the wind, they become
swells. The formation of waves and swells is needed for oxygen to be
mixed into the ocean. If the ocean is calm for an extended period, without
wind or waves, it begins to die. When we realize the value of waves,
they are no longer something to be feared. Even if a strong wind blows and
the waves become fearsome, we understand that this is the way to help the
fish live. Then the waves become part of the attraction of the sea.
A hundred feet below the surface of the ocean there are no waves. If
we were to take a submarine to the bottom of the ocean it would be so
cool that there would be no need for air conditioners. The fish choose
the depth that has the temperature that is right for them and then perform
wonderful dances as they swim in schools in their favorite waters.
Similar to our Little Angels dance troupe with their fans, the fish have
their colorful outfits and gently wave their fins. It is a beautiful and
peaceful environment that they live in. The world, too, will soon be as
peaceful as this.
The fact that an oceanic era is coming means that Korea will soon
have the opportunity to change the world. People who live in peninsular
countries have had to contend with invasions from both land and sea
throughout history. To survive they had to be brave and develop a steely
national character. It is not by coincidence that civilization developed
in peninsular countries such as Greece and Italy. Civilization could
blossom in these countries because they had the enterprising and
tough, adventurous spirit needed to spread their influence across both
continents and seas.
Have you heard about the Black Stream? In the East it is known as
the Kuroshio. This is a current in the Pacific that travels four thousand
miles a year, based on the gravitational pull of the moon. It is an oceanic
gyre that revolves all the way around the Pacific Ocean. To describe it
simply as “tremendous” is not sufficient. All the oceans of the world
move by the same power that moves the Black Stream. If these currents
did not exist, the oceans would not move and would die. Just as even
the largest and mightiest rivers eventually must flow into the sea, so also
even the largest oceans must move in accordance with currents like the
Black Stream. The Korean people must become like the Black Stream
and cause the flow of their peace-loving culture to influence the whole
world. We must become a source of strength in the world, the place
where all of life’s forces come together in a peaceful concentration.
I have visited Korea’s southern coast many times in an effort to find
the place that could become the center of a Pacific civilization, and I
believe that Yeosu and Sooncheon are suited to the task. The sea off
the coast of Yeosu is tranquil, clear, and mirrorlike. It is where Admiral
Yi Soon Shin dealt the Japanese a heavy defeat in the late 1600s, and it
is also where he died in battle. Yeosu has a great history of sea battles,
and it is also the point where the Youngnam and Honam regions meet.
It is at the end of the foothills of Mount Jiri, where leftists and rightists
fought each other following the Korean War. In this sense, it is a land
imbued with the pain of our people. Sooncheon Bay, famous for its reed
beds, has a beautiful and world-famous ria coast. Out on the sea there,
with its clear waters that shimmer in the sunlight, we can catch many
different types of fish. Abalone and brown seaweed grow in the tranquil
waters of the bay. The large tidal flats are filled with cockles and other
types of shellfish and small octopus. I have been out on the seas in that
area and also climbed the mountains, and it is clear that this is a beautiful
land that has everything necessary for the coming Pacific age.
I am now developing Korea’s southern coast, with the focus on
Yeosu. As a part of the preparations for this, I have been to Geomun
Island and other islands in the area and lived there for several
months. I consider people who live there, farming and fishing for
the past several decades, to be my teachers. I ate and slept in humble
inns as I studied everything in detail. I didn’t just study books. I
went everywhere, using my eyes and feet to check everything.
As a result, I now know what kinds of fish can be found in what
area of the ocean, what kind of net needs to be used to catch them,
what kinds of trees grow in the mountains, and which home on
the island has an old man living alone after having suffered a
The day I finished my studies of the southern coast I took the village
mayor, who had been helping me, on an airplane to Alaska. He
had taught me everything he knew, so I wanted to return the favor
by teaching him what I knew about Alaska. I went fishing with him
in Alaska and told him about the different kinds of fish and how
they can be caught. Even if I know only a little about something,
I don’t feel comfortable unless I share it with others.
Very soon after I began developing Yeosu, it was chosen as the venue
for an international maritime exposition to be held in 2012. Together
with the Olympic Games and the World Cup, international expositions
are among the three largest festivals on a global scale. During the six
months that Expo 2012 is held in Yeosu, 154 member countries of the
International Exhibitions Bureau (BIE) will operate various exhibits.
This will focus the world’s attention on Yeosu, and the technology and
culture of developed countries will flow into Yeosu. Have you ever
looked up at a summer sky and seen clouds blowing by at an amazing
speed? Once clouds catch the wind, they move quickly over mountains
and oceans. Now is not the time to be hesitating. In a way similar to
those clouds, heavenly fortune will be blowing the world toward Yeosu
and the Korean peninsula.
I plan to connect all the islands along the southern coast with bridges
and build condominiums where boat-loving people from around the
world can come and stay. These will not be condominiums just for play.
Americans, Germans, Japanese, Brazilians, and Africans will come.
They may go out on different boats to catch fish, but I will have them
stay in the same condominiums to show that humanity is one family.
The oceanic era will also be an era of outer space. The time is coming
when aeronautic technology will be an absolute necessity. It will be
too late for Korea to prepare its space industry if it doesn’t start now.
I am preparing an aeronautic industrial park in Gimpo, in Kyounggi
Province. I plan to produce world-famous Sikorsky helicopters. Soon
the day will come when helicopters bearing the Taeguk mark of Korea
will fly the seas and skies all over the world.


Master of the Seas and the Future of the World

History has shown that the country that controls the seas
will become a world leader. Consider Britain. It was once
invaded by the Vikings from Norway and Sweden. In the
sixteenth century, soon after she was crowned, Queen Elizabeth I realized that if Britain didn’t have control of the sea it could lose everything. She strengthened her country’s maritime policy, and through her dedicated effort Britain became a powerful maritime country. She mobilized capital and technology to have strong ships built, manned the ships with brave sailors, and sent them out to sea. They did not know what was waiting for them beyond the seas, but they risked their lives to go. As a result, Britain, a small island nation in the Atlantic, came to possess colonies on all the continents and oceans and built an empire.
Western civilization centering on Britain saw tremendous development in science and technology. With the aid of the compass, British ships journeyed to many different places in the world. The country’s highly developed material knowledge and technology gave it abilities with which it sought to conquer the entire world. Korea, and most of the rest of the East, has taken a different approach.
The Eastern world does not discard the spirit in the pursuit of the material.
If there is a conflict between the material and the spiritual, the East
would rather discard the material. So generally speaking, life in the East
has been more difficult than in the West because it is less materially
developed. In the West, however, spirit will not be dominated by the
material forever. As a totally materialistic civilization brings degradation,
the opportunity presents itself to learn from the more spiritually
oriented East.
Civilization developed from Egypt to Greece and Rome to Britain
and the United States and is now moving toward the Pacific region
surrounding the Korean peninsula. The era of a Pacific civilization is
opening, bringing together Western science and Eastern spirituality.
The leaders in this new era will be nations like Korea and its Asian
neighbors. It is not by mere coincidence that Korea and Japan have been
able to rise to international prominence in a short time. This development
was a historical inevitability pointing to the Asian era.
The United States and Russia, however, will not stand by and
watch as our country rises to a leadership role in the world. It is
possible that there could be a major conflict involving the United
States, Japan, Russia, and China in the vicinity of Korea. We must
prepare for this contingency in two ways.
First, we must create a strong bond between Japan and the
United States and link this to Russia and China so as to protect
Korea. How can we do this? With a philosophy and a heart that
create oneness. The only philosophy that can prevent wars between
religions and open a path to a peaceful world is one that
proclaims that humanity is one, transcendent of race, nationality,
and religion. To protect itself from the dangers of war, Korea
must plant a philosophy of oneness in the world.
The second thing we must do is prepare ourselves for the new oceanic
era. The Pacific era is at hand. Anyone who cannot rule the ocean cannot
become a leader in the Pacific age. If heavenly fortune comes and
we are not prepared, we cannot take advantage of the opportunity. If we
know that an oceanic era is about to begin and Korea wants to be the
leader of that era, then Korea must make the necessary preparations.
There are more resources than fish in the ocean. A greater treasure
is its ability to provide energy. As crude oil reserves decrease, a sense
of crisis over sources of energy is growing day by day. If the world runs
out of oil, human civilization will immediately find itself in the dark.
There is an effort to develop alternative energy from corn, but this does
not seem realistic when there is not enough food being distributed to
feed the world’s population as it is. The true alternative energy source
is the ocean. Energy from the hydrogen in the sea represents the future
of humanity.
Two-thirds of the earth’s surface is water. This means that two-thirds
of the raw materials that humanity needs for the future are contained in
the ocean. A new future for humanity cannot be accomplished without
the ocean’s resources. Developed countries are already extracting oil
and natural gas from the ocean and selling it at high prices. The world
has only begun to discover the resources in the ocean. The day is at
hand when humanity will find itself dependent on the ocean.
The oceanic era will not begin without human effort. We must first
go out into the oceans. We must go out on boats and fight the waves.
Without such courage we cannot prepare ourselves for the oceanic age.
The country that conquers the oceans will become a dominant power
in the world and find the world eager to study its culture and language.
Korea must become the champion steward of the Pacific Ocean. It must
understand the will of the Creator and manage His resources well.


Cultural Projects Express God’s Creativity

In 1988, Seoul hosted the Summer Olympics. I saw this as a potential
festival of peace in my own backyard and had many of our
members from around the world come to Seoul for the event. The
members helped guide the international athletes and officials, cheered
the athletes, served them food, and presented them with mementos
of their visit to Korea. Since China and the Soviet Union were both
participants in the Games, I saw it as an event that could critically alter
the Cold War era. Seeing the Olympic Games as a festival of peace gave
it the potential to create harmony between the communist bloc and
the free world. On the day of the opening ceremony I sat in the general
seating area of Jamsil Main Stadium and watched with great joy.
After the Olympics, I carried on the energy of the Games by founding
the Ilhwa Chunma professional soccer team. The Ilhwa team has
won several championships and built up a strong fan base. We have
since founded the soccer teams Clube Atlético Sorocaba and Centro Esportivo
Nova Esperança (CENE) in Brazil, the home of samba football,
and continue to operate them today. The reason I chose to create soccer
teams is that I enjoy the sport. I have enjoyed sports since I was young,
and for a time I did some boxing and some traditional martial arts. Soccer,
however, is the one sport that I continue to enjoy into my old age. In
my school days I used to run around the schoolyard diligently kicking
the ball, but now I enjoy watching it. When the World Cup was held in
Seoul, I had three television sets set up side by side so that I could watch
all the games. I never missed a game that Korea played.
Soccer is a microcosm of life. No matter how well I might dribble the
ball down the field, if someone from the opposing team who is faster
and more skilled comes along and steals the ball away from me, then
in an instant everything I did until then is for nothing. Also, even if
I might dribble all the way down the field and take a shot at the goal,
if the ball hits the goalpost and bounces back, that’s the end. It’s up to
me to dribble the ball, but it takes more than one person to get the ball
into the goal. I need a teammate like Ji Sung Park, who will assist me at
the critical moment, or someone like Young Pyo Lee, who will adroitly
draw the other team away from me.
The most important person on the team is the manager, who watches
over the entire team from the sidelines. The manager doesn’t run or
score goals, but his power is greater than that of all the players put
together. Similar to a manager who sees things that the players cannot
see and gives signals, God sees things that we cannot see and gives us
signs. If the players follow the manager’s signs well, they will almost
always win. But if the manager sends signs and foolish players either
don’t understand them or ignore them and play according to their own
thinking, the team can only lose.
Soccer is a sport where competition takes place and someone wins or
loses, but it also has the potential for significantly influencing countries
and increasing their cooperation toward peace. I was told that twice as
many people watched the World Cup as watched the Olympics. This
provides an idea of how many people around the world love soccer.
Therefore, just like the Olympics, it has the power to become a force for
harmony between countries, races, religions, and cultures. I see soccer
and peace among countries as potentially powerful partners.
Pelé, who was appointed as Brazil’s Extraordinary Minister for Sport
in 1995, once visited Korea and spent time in the Hannam Dong neighborhood
of Seoul. People remember him as the greatest soccer player
in the world, but the Pelé I met was a peace activist. He wanted to bring
world peace through soccer. When I met him, he laughed as he told
me the story of a game in Africa. He said, “I once played in Gabon in
Africa, but the country was at war then. How do you think we were able
play in a place where bombs were exploding all around? Thankfully,
there was a cease-fire during the time that we played. That’s when I
realized deeply that football was more than just a sport where we kick
a ball around. Football is a means shared by all people in the world
for creating world peace. After that, I decided that I had to carry out a
movement for world peace through football.”
I was so impressed with Pelé in that moment that I firmly grasped his
hand. We live in a competitive society where there is a great deal of stress.
Stress creates tension in our lives and takes away our peace of mind. When
stress accumulates, people can become irritated and sometimes fight each
other. Sports and the arts are examples of things that help us to lower our
levels of stress. These things help us to vent our pent-up urges and bring
humanity together. The reason for my devotion to soccer teams, symphony
orchestras, and ballet companies is that these activities are a means to bring
world peace. Pelé understands this kind of thinking.
Finding ourselves in agreement, Pelé and I created a new competition
of international dimensions called Peace Cup, and tournaments
have been held every two years since 2003. We brought famous soccer
teams from around the world to Korea. A corresponding women’s
tournament called the Peace Queen Cup is held in alternate years. In
the summer of 2009 we held the first men’s tournament outside Korea.
The 2009 competition was held in Spain’s Andalusia region. All profits
from the tournaments are used to support soccer events for children
and youth in developing countries. In particular, we use soccer to help
children with physical disabilities keep their dreams alive.
Working with the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees,
the U.N. refugee agency, we held a soccer tournament for young people
in Liberia. This is a country where fifteen years of tribal warfare has
left its people exhausted. It receives special protection from the United
Nations because of its precipitous drop in population. The children of
this war-torn country gathered together to play soccer and sing songs
of peace. In the process of kicking the ball around, they were learning
skills of teamwork and fair play that are necessary for bringing harmony
between tribes.
The Peace Cup organization also has a goal of building a peace
stadium in the Israel–Palestine–Jordan region, as close as possible to
the Israel–Palestine border. The stadium would be freely available to
all as a peace-building venture. We want to bring famous coaches from
Europe and start a soccer academy for the children in the region. The
adults may want to point guns at each other, but the children will want
to come to the soccer stadium and kick the ball around. People say it is
unrealistic and shake their heads, but we will do this. Already a member
of the Israeli cabinet has said the stadium should be built in the Israeli
area, and a member of the Palestinian cabinet says it should be in the
Palestinian area. I am determined, however, to build it in a way that
connects the two sides. I am not one to be pressured into giving up my
dreams. I have a bullheaded strength of will that I use to pursue dreams
that will lead to a world of peace.
The creation of our ballet company is a perfect example of the same
strength of will. People said it couldn’t be done. We established the Universal
Ballet in 1984. Today more people in Korea are enjoying ballet
than ever before. When we first created our ballet company, Korea was
like a barren wasteland as far as ballet was concerned. Korea now even
has its own world-renowned ballerinas.
Every time I watch ballet, I feel that this must be what art in the
Heavenly Kingdom is like. When a ballerina stands on her toes and
holds her head toward the heavens, this stance strikes me as a perfect
pose for the way we should hold God in awe. It has the look of ardent
desire. In ballet, human beings can use the beautiful body given to them
by God to express their love for Him. It is the highest form of art.
The Universal Ballet began by performing Swan Lake and the Nutcracker
Suite. It has added Don Quixote, Giselle, and its own original
creations Shim Chung and The Love of Chunhyang. It has developed
to the point of being internationally acclaimed. The Universal Ballet
receives invitations from the world’s most famous venues. Its dancers
are credited with adding a uniquely Korean beauty to the energetic
moves of Western ballet. They are praised for the way they harmonize
Eastern and Western styles in their performances. The Universal Ballet
has an academy in Washington, D.C. I also created the New York City
Symphony Orchestra and the New Hope Singers.
The arts enable humankind to reflect the high ideals embodied in
God’s own creative work. God poured His entire heart into human beings
and the world He created, just as artists invest their entire being
into their works. The Book of Genesis makes it seem as though things
came into being simply by God speaking a word, but that is absolutely
not how it was. God invested all His energy into creating the waters and
the land. In the same way, the movements of the ballerinas onstage are
fruits of the creative process that require total investment.
The same thing can be said about soccer. A successful soccer team
will invest its full energies into a ninety-minute game. In making a
single run for the goal, a player will invest every bit of energy that he
can call up, as if his life depended on it. This is similar to what God went
through as He created the world. To pour out everything we have, to
offer ourselves up completely for the sake of one moment in time—this
is how greatness is achieved and how humankind comes to resemble


The Ultimate Purpose of Twenty-first-Century Religion

The twentieth century was a time of tremendous change.
More happened in that hundred-year period than during
the past two thousand years. It was the century when there
were two world wars and when communism rose to great strength
and then disappeared. It was also the century when humanity turned
its back on God and buried itself in material things. What about
the twenty-first century, then? Some say that advances in science have
proven that many religious beliefs are mere superstition and irrelevant
to the modern world. I contend, however, that the role of religion will
always be relevant as long as the spiritual aspect of human beings remains
a reality and a world of peace has not been established.
What is the purpose of religion? It is to bring about God’s
ideal world. The reason religions evangelize is because they
desire to increase the number of citizens under God’s sovereignty.
If everyone were to live under God’s sovereignty, we
would have a world of peace where there would be no war
or division. The ultimate destination of the path followed by
religions should be peace.
God created this world out of a desire for love and peace. If we create
division by insisting that our own religion is the only path to salvation,
we go against God’s desire. God wants everyone in the world to
work hard for peace, reconciliation, and coexistence. If people say
that coming to church creates division in their family, then I do not
hesitate to tell them that they should put their family first. Religion
is only a means to bring about God’s perfect world; it is not an end
in itself.
Humankind’s destiny is to bring together all the points of view that
are now divided against each other. The philosophy that will lead humanity
in the future must be able to bring together all religions and
philosophies. The days have ended when one country stands at the
forefront and leads humanity. The era of nationalism has also ended.
If we continue the era of people congregating together only by religion
or race, then humanity cannot avoid a repetition of war. The age
of peace absolutely cannot come unless we transcend cultural customs
and traditions. No ideology, philosophy, or religion that has influenced
humanity in the past is capable of bringing about the peace and unification
that is needed for the future. We need a new ideology and philosophy
that goes beyond Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam. For my entire
life, I have called on people until my voice is hoarse to transcend their
religious factions and even their religions.
There are more than two hundred countries in the world, and each has
its own national borders. A border separates one country from another,
but countries separated by borders cannot endure eternally. Only religion
can overcome national borders. However, religions that should be bringing
people together have instead divided themselves into many factions that
are busy fighting each other. They have fallen into a selfish thought process
that puts their religion or faction first. They are oblivious to the fact that the
world has changed and a new era of selflessness has dawned.
It will not be easy to tear down the religious walls that have stood
for thousands of years, but these walls must come down if we are to
advance into a world of peace. Religions and their factions must stop
their meaningless fighting, find a middle ground for their differing
opinions, and develop concrete ways to advance the world of peace.
For humanity to be happy in the future, material affluence alone will
not be sufficient. It is urgent that the struggles of modern ideologies,
cultures, and races be overcome through interreligious understanding
and spiritual harmony.
All my life I have made the following appeals to the wide variety of
religious people I have met around the world: First, respect the traditions
of other religions and do everything you can to prevent conflict
and discord among religions. Second, all religious communities should
cooperate with each other to serve the world. Third, the leaders of all
religions should work together to develop a structure that will let us
accomplish our mutual mission of establishing world peace.
The right eye is there for the left eye, and the left for the sake of the
right. The two eyes together exist for the sake of the whole body. The
same can be said for every other part of the body. Nothing exists for its
own sake. Religion, too, does not exist for its own sake but for the sake
of love and peace. Once world peace is accomplished, there will be no
further need for religion. The ultimate purpose of religion is to bring
about the reality of a human community filled with love and peace. This
is God’s Will.
It is not easy to create an environment where people’s hearts are filled
with a craving for peace. Continuous education is the only solution.
This is the reason that I devote myself to projects in the field of education.
We founded the Sunhwa Arts School even before our church had
developed enough to stand on its own.
A school is a holy place where truth is taught. What are the most
important truths that should be taught in school? The first is to know
God and recognize His existence in the world around us. The second is
to know the fundamental origin of human beings, our responsibilities,
and how to fulfill our responsibilities for the sake of the world. The third
is to realize the purpose for the existence of human beings and to then
create an ideal world for that existence. These things can be understood
only after they have been taught with sincerity and dedication over a
long period.
Education today is focused on creating a winner-take-all society
where those who finish first are rewarded with a monopoly on happiness.
This is not the right way to educate children. Education must be
a means for creating a world where all humanity can live well together.
The philosophies and methods of education that have dominated us until
now must be changed to ones that let us advance toward humanity’s
common goals. If the United States were to educate only for the sake of
the United States, and Britain only for sake of Britain, then humanity’s
future would be dark.
Educators must not teach how to live selfishly but instead impart the
wisdom needed to resolve the myriad social problems we face today.
The role of religious scholars is even more important. Religious scholars
do not need to be teaching complex theories and the superiority of their
own religions. Instead, they need to give their students the wisdom
to love humanity and build a world of peace. They need to teach the
principle of selflessness. We cannot expect a future of happiness for
humanity if scholars do not take the lead in teaching our descendants
the principles of peace. Humanity is one brotherhood and sisterhood,
and the world is one family.
The most important wisdom needed by humankind comes from
knowing God’s heart and His ideal. For this reason, the role of religion
continues to be important, especially in the twenty-first century, when
science and technology seem to be replacing the role of religion in
understanding how the universe operates. Religions around the world
must understand the destination of the human journey and immediately
cease all major and minor struggles. They should not be fighting for the
purpose of protecting their own honor. Religions must pool their wisdom
and combine their energies and work diligently to build the ideal
world. They must forget the past struggles filled with hatred and work
out peaceful solutions. No matter how much we have done for world
peace, there is always more to be done. Religious people, whose mission
is to lead humanity into the ideal world, must not forget for a moment
that truly their only mission is to be apostles of peace.


From Suffering and Tears to Peace and Love

There is deep meaning in the tragic history that the Korean
people have experienced up to this point. Korea has suffered
a great deal because it is destined to become the foundation
from which world peace will emerge. Because it has endured suffering
and difficulty for such a long time, Korea can now become the central
nation from which God brings peace to the world. Even though Koreans
have experienced countless hardships, we have never made anyone our
enemy or hated anyone. Several of our neighbors have caused difficulty
for us, but we have never made them our irreconcilable enemies.
The Korean people have developed a culture of heart that enables us
to forgive our enemies. It takes mastery over oneself to love and accept
an enemy. The ability to love one’s enemy comes only after an individual
is victorious over his own internal conflicts.
People who are persecuted are the closest to God. To understand
God’s heart, one must experience His tearful heart. Even a person
who normally would not shed tears will do so if he loses his family
and his country. He would desperately plead with God in tears. Suffering
difficulties causes one to have a heart that sheds tears and cries,
but it is through this type of heart that one can receive God’s blessing.
God comes to a heart that is soaked with tears. Korea has become a land
of heavenly fortune because so many tears have been shed within the
hearts of its people.
Korean people honor their ancestors. No matter how hungry we may
be, we will never sell the land where our ancestors are buried in order
to buy food. Historically we have maintained a way of thinking that
respects Heaven. We are a modern, civilized nation that still honors the
world of the spirit. When we accepted Buddhism and Confucianism,
they gave rise to a beautiful religious culture. More recently Christian
and Muslim traditions have begun to thrive here as well. All these
religions live without conflict within Korea. They blend together and
coexist peacefully. What is it that has made us such a unique people?
From ancient times we have always had religious minds, and our
hearts have always been open to receive the word of God. In addition,
Koreans have always placed a high priority on education and
excellence. As a result the Korean language and the Hangeul alphabet
are considered treasures handed down by Heaven. Our language
is rich with adjectives and adverbs that can be used to express the
human heart.
I love the Hangeul alphabet that we use. I am very fond of the term
Hunminjeongeum, the original name of the Hangeul alphabet. It means
“correct sounds for the instruction of the people.” It has such a beautiful
meaning. The excellence of Hangeul has survived for centuries and
continues to contribute beauty to human communication, even in this
digital age. To me it is truly amazing that through a simple combination
of consonants and vowels humans can communicate and even imitate
For the past thirty years, I have been telling the members of our
church in other countries to prepare for the future by learning Korean.
Recently, the term hallyu, or “Korean wave,” was coined in China by
journalists to describe the rapid spread of Korean popular culture
throughout Asia. The popularity of Korean pop music, TV dramas, and
movies has generated a large increase in the number of people learning
the Korean language. There are now many people in Japan, Mongolia,
Vietnam, and even Africa who can speak Korean. This is certainly not a
coincidence. The soul dwells within language. The reason the Japanese
tried so hard to eliminate the Korean language during their forced occupation
was to destroy the soul of the Korean people. The fact that
many people around the world now speak Korean means that the heart
and soul of the Korean people are thriving in today’s world. It is because
of heavenly fortune that Korea’s cultural influence continues to grow.
The Korean people never want to burden others. When I was in America,
I saw the stubborn character of Korean people. The United States is a country
that has many types of social safety nets, but Koreans almost never want to take
advantage of these. Rather than relying on the support of the government, they
find ways to earn money in order to raise their children and take care of their older
parents. This is how Koreans show self-reliance. I also see this in the missionaries
that we have sent across the world. They don’t fear going to a country they know
little about. This is true not only for missionaries but also for businessmen. Once
they are given a mission, no matter where that mission may take them in the
world, they drop everything and go. They are not indecisive or reluctant.
Koreans have such an enterprising spirit that they can go anywhere in
the world and live a productive life. Our suffering history has taught us
that no obstacle is too great. We have learned to face the worst kinds of
situations and overcome them.
When there is a neighborhood celebration, people compete for the
best spot to view the celebration. This is a very self-centered kind of
behavior. The person who quietly sits down in the worst seat will be the
leader of the coming age. Anyone who worries first about putting food
in his own mouth will be a failure in the coming age. Even if we are
going to eat only one spoonful, we must think of others first. If we are
to receive the heavenly fortune that is coming to the Korean peninsula,
then we must be aware in the deepest part of our hearts that “others” are
more valuable than “myself.”
In the past, everything we loved was taken away from us. During
Japan’s forced occupation, our country was taken away. Our country
was split in two, and we were forcibly separated from our loving parents
and siblings. So Korea became a land of tears. Now, however, we must
cry for the world. From now on, rather than shedding tears for ourselves,
we must shed tears more sincerely and more desperately for the
sake of the world. This is what we must do on the Korean peninsula if
we want to continue to receive heavenly fortune. When we do this, the
heavenly fortune on the Korean peninsula will then spread out to the
world. Korean people have a great opportunity to be at the center of an
era of world peace.


Petition to governments of all countries to accept Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon chosen by God as messiah! | causes.com

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