The Words of Ariana Shin-Sun Moon (Park – daughter of In Jin Moon)

Leadership Is Most Effective When It's Not Seen

September 12, 2010
Lovin' Life Ministries

Good morning, brothers and sisters. Last night I was chatting with my mom over coffee. I had just come from Harvard, where I'm studying in my senior year. She asked me to share a message with you today. So here I am, and I must say that I'm quite disappointed that there's no teleprompter. I'm going to have to subject all of you to listening to what's on my mind currently, so please bear with me.

For those of you who are new to our community, my name is Ariana Shin-sun Moon. I'm the daughter of our senior pastor. I lead the Lovin' Life Ministries ballroom dance ministry, which takes place after service. About two weeks ago I had the opportunity to travel to South America with my mother, where she gave a tour and met with many of the members in Paraguay, Uruguay, and Argentina. When she asked me if I wanted to go, I just looked at her and said, "South America: That's the land of salsa and tango. Even if I have to sneak myself into your suitcase, I'm going to come." We had a wonderful time there. The members received us incredibly warmly. A lot of the Second Generation are extremely beautiful, and their hearts are very open.

I'm going to take this opportunity today to talk about 9/11. As you know, yesterday was a historic day. The day 9/11 is a painful moment in American history because thousands of lives were lost in the name of hate. This should be a good opportunity for us to look back and reflect on how important true love really is in the bigger picture of the world. One thing we must remember is that we are One Family Under God. What is it that unites us? It's the fact that we believe that God is our common parent. There are no divisions. We have to be able to transcend the boundaries between religion, race, economic status, and different traditions. We can transcend those divisions through loving the world as our brothers and sisters.

As many of you know, one issue is being debated very strongly today. It's in the Harvard Crimson newspaper every day. The issue concerns the mosque that is proposed to be built near Ground Zero. I'm sure many if you have heard about that. Many people are petitioning that an Islamic community center should be built there, and that has met with heavy protest. Also you must be aware of the inflammatory remarks of Rev. Terry Jones in Gainesville, Florida. That's pretty horrible, right?

What we want to remember at times like these is to stand against religious intolerance. We cannot accept an act as horrific as burning a sacred text, the Koran. We have to uphold the Constitution upon which this country was founded, a constitution that upholds religious freedom. This is what we have to be able to embrace.

But how are we going to do that? As Second Generation, we have to remember we belong to a generation my mom has called Generation Peace. What does that mean? My mother took the word peace and created an acronym for my brothers and me so we could remember exactly what Generation Peace stands for. The letter P stands for Parent. We have to remember that we have one common parent, our Heavenly Parent. The letter E stands for Eternal. No matter what we do, we are God's eternal sons and daughters. The letter A stands for Altruism. We have to be able to live for the sake of others. I'm sure you've heard that phrase many times, right? The letter C stands for Compassion. We have to be caring. We have to be able to love one another. We have to look beyond our own needs and look to the needs of our brothers and sisters.

Finally, the last letter, E, stands for Excellence. What sort of excellence is that? It's both internal and external excellence. We want to be accomplished sons and daughters of God. What does that mean? It doesn't only mean being top of your class. It means being top of your class while still maintaining a heart of attendance toward the older generation and living as a good model for the generation that will come after us.

I'd like to share a poem that I came across during my studies. I'm an English major, so I read a lot of poems. It was written by W. H. Auden, a British poet. It's a famous poem and very beautiful poetry. He wrote "September 1, 1939." September 1, 1939, was the day that Germany invaded Poland, which started World War II. This is a historic date in world history.

For me this poem ties back to September 11th because even the title itself, "September 1," is very similar to September 11. The poem also is set in Manhattan, which is where 9/11 happened. I'm going to share part of this poem, a later stanza in the poem.

For the error bred in the bone
Of each woman and each man
Craves what it cannot have,
Not universal love
But to be loved alone.

This had a profound impact for me. What Auden is saying is that what we love most when we're selfish is not for everyone to be loved but for us to be loved, and only us to be loved. Auden addresses the error bred in the bone, the general problem of selfishness that he sees in the world of his time. That is very applicable to our world, our time.

Selfishness is a problem these days. We want to give love, but we also want to receive love in return, don't we? If we want only to receive, to me that's analogous to the religious fanaticism that led to 9/11. When you're fanatic about something religiously, then you have the tendency to think, "I am better than you. What I believe is better than what you believe in. I am part of the chosen race, whereas you are not." It creates division. It puts one person on a pedestal and the other below that person.

There are two ingredients for the recipe of conflict. The first is, as I just said, regarding yourself as something more than the other, more than everyone around you. The second ingredient is, in turn, dehumanizing that other part. How do we dehumanize? We dehumanize out of ignorance because we don't have the ability to appreciate other cultures, other religions.

What I believe Auden is trying to say is we have to be able to transcend that selfishness. We are all of equal value. We are all sons and daughters of God. We have equal value in God's eyes. We all have a divinity within us. That does not make any one of us better than any other one, in this room here or in this world.

During my time in South America I came across the phrase "Te amo," which means "I love you." "Te" means "you," and "amo" means "I love." This phrase, "Te amo," represents love between two people: the first-person singular "I" and the second-person singular "you." What was interesting to me is, thinking in English, if you put those two words together, the first word you see is team. To me, when I'm standing with our brothers and sisters in Paraguay, in Uruguay, or in Argentina, this "te mo" is reminding me that, whatever our cultural differences, our linguistic differences, if we learn to love each other as brothers and sisters, we are always going to be part of the same team, always in the same family under God.

I'm going to draw us back to Auden's poem. There's a powerful line near the end. It says, "We must love one another or die." This is a powerful poem because it has the implication of death. Auden was talking about skyscrapers and technology earlier in the poem. He was saying that in this day and age we have the ability to blow our planet up. We created this technology, so we have the power to create and to destroy life. We must love one another or die.

He was saying that if we are not centered on God, then what is going to prevent us from using this technology on people that we perceive not as brothers and sisters but as our enemies? We have to remember that we have an important responsibility. With all this technology, we have to make sure that we do not come to believe in simple domination. We have to love everyone as our brothers and sisters. We have to love everyone as part of our family because we have one parent, and that is God.

In the poem Auden continues,

Defenseless under the night
Our world in stupor lies…

Our world is defenseless under the night, and it's lying in a stupor. He was describing a world that is not centered on the belief that God is our heavenly parent. It is a world in a stupor because that world does not realize its own preciousness. We have to realize we belong to one family -- only in that way will we be able to transcend religious, economic, and other traditional sorts of barriers.

This is a very dark sort of picture, but Auden closes with a glimmer of hope. He says,

Defenseless under the night
Our world in stupor lies;
Yet, dotted everywhere,
Ironic points of light
Flash out wherever the Just
Exchange their message:
May I, composed like them …
Show an affirming flame.

Now what is this affirming flame? He gives us a very stark picture of a world in stupor, but then he says there's light, there's hope. To me this flame represents our faith in God: our faith in God as our Heavenly Parent, and our belief that we all belong to one family under God. Faith is very powerful, and we have to be able to realize that. By understanding that we have this precious, affirming flame, we have to identify that precious affirming flame in each and every one of our brothers and sisters, recognize the divinity in all of them, and accept them as our own.

I'd like to return now to a little bit about South America. During our time there my mother hand-picked several Second Generation who accompanied us, and together we taught ballroom dancing to the young people and parents there. They seemed to have a very good time. We met a tango dancer there who had recently joined our movement. He's a champion in Argentine tango. He was looking to come to the United States and be part of our community here.

I'd like to share one thing about my mentality when I first went to South America. My mother had asked me to teach a ballroom workshop in Uruguay, Paraguay, and Argentina. Naturally my answer was, "Of course. I would love to do that." But I went with perhaps too strong a mentality that I was going to be the teacher and the members there would be the students, participants in my class. But I realized that I was the one who actually learned a lesson.

Sometimes we Second Generation are so gung-ho about teaching our peers what we know -- perhaps teaching our friends the ballroom steps that we know. But sometimes we approach teaching overly enthusiastically, almost with a trailblazing attitude of, "Let me teach you a thing or two. I am the teacher. You are the student." That was my mentality when I first went to South America.

What I realized is that it's not about leadership in the sense that leadership is brandishing authority. It's not always yelling in someone's face. Leadership can be subtle. And more importantly, leadership means service. As a leader, you have to serve your country, your community, your family, and your siblings. This is what I learned through the hearts of the people in Uruguay, Paraguay, and Argentina. We weren't even speaking the same language. We had a translator, so there was always that barrier. But it was very easy for me to understand the language of their heart, their compassion, because that's a universal language.

One thing about leadership I learned from teaching ballroom dancing is something I want to share with you today. When I first started teaching ballroom dance about a year ago, I was very nervous. I had never taught a class before. The class started off well, and I think people were having fun. It got very noisy very quickly. I noticed that I was shouting. I had a microphone, but I still had to shout to be heard.

I was raising my voice, but the fact that I was raising my voice only made everyone else want to raise their voices when they were talking to the others, so it just got louder and louder. One thing I've learned is that it's actually more effective in a classroom setting where the kids are really excited and rowdy -- which is wonderful -- it's more effective if you do not shout. It's effective if you talk softer than normal. Then you catch the corner of people's attention and they notice, "She's talking. I wonder what she's saying. Maybe it's something important." They'll stop talking, and they'll listen.

This was a very important lesson about leadership for me. Leadership is not shouting louder and louder. Leadership can be very subtle, and sometimes it's the most effective when it's not seen. It's not something you brandish or have to wave around for everyone to see. Sometimes leadership, like in Lovin' Life, is all the people working backstage to make all of this happen. That's leadership too, but it's all unseen. All you see is the beautiful hall here. We have to be able to appreciate the investment that all of these unseen leaders have put into this major production.

Speaking on behalf of our Generation Peace, I want to ask all of you brothers and sisters to step up and really strive to create a world that will be better for our children. Don't we all want to be grandparents (maybe not right away!) and understand that our children have been left a very safe, beautiful world? We have to step up. We can't only just think about doing something good. We have to think and then do it.

The Lovin' Life band sang beautifully John Lennon's song asking the world to imagine a place where there is no violence, no discrimination; where there is only a world of peace, of one family under God. With our True Parents here, physically, spiritually, emotionally with us, we can do more than just imagine such a world. We can get that world. We can take it from our imagination, and we have the power to make it a reality, brothers and sisters.

Thank you very much for bearing with me this morning. This is my privilege and honor to be speaking and sharing this message with you. Thank you very much. Have a great weekend, and I'll see you at the ballroom at 1:00 o'clock. Thank you, everyone.


September 1, 1939

W.H. Auden

I sit in one of the dives
On Fifty-second Street
Uncertain and afraid
As the clever hopes expire
Of a low dishonest decade:
Waves of anger and fear
Circulate over the bright
And darkened lands of the earth,
Obsessing our private lives;
The unmentionable odour of death
Offends the September night.

Accurate scholarship can
Unearth the whole offence
From Luther until now
That has driven a culture mad,
Find what occurred at Linz,
What huge imago made
A psychopathic god:
I and the public know
What all schoolchildren learn,
Those to whom evil is done
Do evil in return.

Exiled Thucydides knew
All that a speech can say
About Democracy,
And what dictators do,
The elderly rubbish they talk
To an apathetic grave;
Analysed all in his book,
The enlightenment driven away,
The habit-forming pain,
Mismanagement and grief:
We must suffer them all again.

Into this neutral air
Where blind skyscrapers use
Their full height to proclaim
The strength of Collective Man,
Each language pours its vain
Competitive excuse:
But who can live for long
In an euphoric dream;
Out of the mirror they stare,
Imperialism's face
And the international wrong.

Faces along the bar
Cling to their average day:
The lights must never go out,
The music must always play,
All the conventions conspire
To make this fort assume
The furniture of home;
Lest we should see where we are,
Lost in a haunted wood,
Children afraid of the night
Who have never been happy or good.

The windiest militant trash
Important Persons shout
Is not so crude as our wish:
What mad Nijinsky wrote
About Diaghilev
Is true of the normal heart;
For the error bred in the bone
Of each woman and each man
Craves what it cannot have,
Not universal love
But to be loved alone.

From the conservative dark
Into the ethical life
The dense commuters come,
Repeating their morning vow;
'I will be true to the wife,
I'll concentrate more on my work,'
And helpless governors wake
To resume their compulsory game:
Who can release them now,
Who can reach the dead,
Who can speak for the dumb?

All I have is a voice
To undo the folded lie,
The romantic lie in the brain
Of the sensual man-in-the-street
And the lie of Authority
Whose buildings grope the sky:
There is no such thing as the State
And no one exists alone;
Hunger allows no choice
To the citizen or the police;
We must love one another or die.

Defenseless under the night
Our world in stupor lies;
Yet, dotted everywhere,
Ironic points of light
Flash out wherever the Just
Exchange their messages:
May I, composed like them
Of Eros and of dust,
Beleaguered by the same
Negation and despair,
Show an affirming flame.


John Lennon

Imagine there's no Heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace

You may say that I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world

You may say that I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
hope someday you'll join us
And the world will live as one  

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