40 Years in America

2000 Blessing of Single People

In the end, responsibility fell on the membership to mobilize single people for Blessing 2000. For those who responded, this necessitated at least two new shifts in consciousness. First, members had to shift their focus from previously-married couples to young people. Second, they needed to shift their focus from pre-Blessing activity to finding and preparing persons for matchings.

These shifts were not easy or simple. At the same time, the level of commitment expected of participants had been raised to a level approaching that of full-time members. Apart from this, the movement provided no clear guidelines.

As before, members were expected to accomplish the goal on their own. Under these circumstances, the necessary shifts in consciousness did not occur all at once. Early in the campaign, many members shifted their focus to young people. However, they were not able to shift their consciousness from pre-Blessing activities to finding and preparing people for matching. As a consequence, they proceeded in ways only slightly different than before. During the spring and summer, members targeted school graduations, movie theatres, ball parks, beaches, fairs and other places where young people congregated, passing out "Pure Love Pledge Cards" and candy. This was only a slight variation from previous pre-Blessing work, targeting as it did, a different audience and offering a slightly different message. The Pure Love Pledge sought the following commitments from young people:

To refrain from all sexual relationships before marriage;
To respect and honor the ideal of purity in myself and others;
To learn how to practice pure love as a child, friend, spouse, and parent;
To dedicate myself to absolute fidelity within marriage;
To encourage others to do the same.

These were admirable sentiments. However, it was impossible to determine how many young people were responding simply by calculating the total of cards and candies distributed. In addition there was a major chasm to be bridged between accepting and affirming the Pure Love Pledge and agreeing to a matching.

By late summer 1999, it was apparent that the movement needed a breakthrough. On previous occasions, Rev. Moon had called the movementís leadership together for intense encounters in mostly isolated locales. Before Blessings í98 and í99, he called the movementís leadership to forty-day trainings in the interior of Brazil. He did something similar before Blessing 2000. However, rather than call leaders to an isolated setting, he instituted a forty-day "Japan- America Leadership Exchange." Some fifty-two leaders from both countries traded places for a monthís time, and then both groups went together to Korea for the final ten days. Immersion within an alien culture was a spiritual condition and wilderness course of a different type. The intention was that the U.S., as a representative of the world, inherit the dedication and heart exemplified in the lands of the movementís origin.

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