The Words of In Jin Moon from 2009
The following is a transcription of the speech from Rev. In Jin Moon to over 450 women from around the country who accepted an invitation to join her for lunch following the Lovin’ Life Ministries service on June 14, 2009. After an introduction from Rev. Kevin Thompson as well as her husband, Rev. In Jin Moon spoke to each woman with encouragement that each had the power to create world peace starting in their homes.
I must say in all honesty, it’s not easy for my husband to play the supporting role of being Number Two in the family. He has been a Chief Executive Officer and a Chairman of his own company for many years. So just as this is a new experience for me, to be put in charge of HSA-UWC, the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, it’s also a novel experience for my husband. I must really thank him for being a wonderful partner and for truly trying his best to be humble and supportive of what his wife is doing. I sometimes joke with him, saying, “How is Mr. In Jin Moon today?” And he so lovingly replies, “You were Mrs. James Park for a long time, so perhaps now it’s your turn.”
Women have come a long way, haven’t we? [Yes] Seeing the proclamation of the Pacific Rim Era and the time when our True Mother can truly stand on an equal footing with our True Father to play a leadership role in our movement, those of you who have been in the movement for some years know that it took a long time for our movement to make it that far. I believe we got that far because of your persistence, dedication, and devotion over the years.
I know that when my Father thinks of America and its providential role, he very much thinks about American women and all the women who came here from around the world to do great mission work for God. He’s always thinking about these mother figures in America, a nation that represents the elder son nation. For more than three decades, the Eve-nation of Japan has been supporting the American movement financially, spiritually, and emotionally. The Japanese have given up so much of themselves to the worldwide movement. At this time, when Father is asking America to step up to the plate and learn how to live, independent of the mother figure, it is a wonderful time for all the women here to come together and take a moment to reassess where we have been and think about where we want to go.
Being a mother and having raised five kids, I’m always somewhat reluctant when Reverend Thompson or my husband wants to share about my family with everybody. I feel like the job that I did, although necessary, was nothing out of the ordinary. In fact, many of you, had you been given the chance to be a home-schooling mother, you would have produced as phenomenal kids as I would have produced, and I’m absolutely confident about that. Having been given an incredible opportunity to be a mother and to spend time with my kids gives me cause to believe that the best investment that I can make in the future, not just for my own immediate family but for our movement, is to create great kids. I know that every woman in the audience knows that raising a family and learning how to grow together in love, with a husband are not simple things. These things are sometimes incredibly difficult and painful, but at the same time, they are incredibly illuminating if we manage to overcome the obstacles that are put upon us.
The American sisters over the years have literally been hanging on for their chance to shine. Based upon your loyalty and commitment to our Heavenly Father, you’ve just been so courageous, walking the road of faith and trying to be united with our True Parents, trying to be great moms over the years. This is the time when the mothers, daughters, and sisters of our movement have a chance to play leadership roles in many different areas.
As you know, one of the first things I did when I came to the Manhattan Center was to restructure and reorganize it. I let a lot of people go, and I brought in a lot of people. Because of some things that we’ve had to experience here at the Family Federation over the course of this last year, I was not able to accomplish as much as I would have liked. But because of our persistence and our commitment, and because of the support of our True Parents and our Heavenly Parent, here we are. We have a chance to make great changes, not just in our individual lives and families. We have a chance to make great changes in our movement and in America.
Many of you have been wondering, “When will my time come?” In those harsh years, my father gave the American sisters such a tough time because he knew you were hand-picked, were prepared. You were so beautiful, so educated, and had so much potential. Father could feel it, he could sense it, he knew it. That’s why he challenged you to choose yourself or God. Many times he said, “American women, pht, pht, pht.” When he spit on you, he spit on the daughters, too. Over the years, I watched you grow as I saw myself grow over the years.
My sisters and I, we were right there with you every step of the way. Whatever you were experiencing out in the field, you know what? The daughters and the sisters in the True Family were experiencing exactly the same things, back in East Garden. So it’s been a difficult process for a lot of us and sometimes a very painful one. I’ve always been a firm believer that it’s been my mother’s persistence and her tenacity that have helped her to never give up. She knew she was playing a part in the providential history of restoration, restoring the position of fallen Eve, claiming the position of true Eve, and, therefore, determining, the proper role of women in every aspect of life, but especially our life of faith.
I know that she shed many tears; the Kleenex company is near and dear to the hearts of women in the True Family. We’ve been its best clients. I’ve seen my mother quietly cry but never, ever complain. I never, ever saw her give up. That taught me that I have to be tenacious, just like her. My mother was tenacious not only because she was restoring the position of fallen Eve, but also because she was paving the way for her daughters to stand as confident daughters of God. And I feel that if I can do my part in continuing the way that my mother went, then I can pave the way for my daughter and my grand-daughters to have glorious and awesome lives, confident and proud lives as women and daughters of God.
When Father first created the Women’s Federation for World Peace I was its most enthusiastic supporter behind the scenes. I watched in awe as my mother took the podium day after day, visiting different countries, finally seeing her claim her true position and giving me a vision of what I can do and of what all of the women in this audience can be. And as incredible as is the kind of work that my mother has done, I feel that her greatest victory over the years has been keeping the family together, despite the difficulties and obstacles.
I know that when the Women’s Federation was launched we did a lot of great projects in different parts of the world -- fundraising, sending aid, the moving bridge ceremonies -- these are all beautiful things. But over the years we were so intent on doing goodwill outside of our home that many of us did not pay attention to the goodwill that needed to be done inside the home. As a mother myself, I know for a fact that I am only effective as a leader if I continue to be an effective mother. So as important as my new position is I know that my primary position is to continue raising my children, finish home schooling them, and make sure they are not just spiritually and physically healthy but also emotionally healthy.
Many of the mothers in our movement have used church work to perhaps shunt their responsibility to the husband, who themselves were not at home. A lot of the Second Generation grew up alone. Many of them spent the majority of their time with people other than their family members. I’m a firm believer that you pretty much become who you are depending on the kind of people you surround yourself with. That’s why the fertile soil of the family, is so important.
So a lot of your youth grew up on their own, and they began to explore different things. When I look around, I see pockets of different types of blessed children. We have some who are very dedicated, and then we have some who are in a state of indecision, and we have some who have decided to go their own way. As a mother, that probably has got to be the most painful group to look at.
If we as mothers put ourselves out there to save the world but at the same time are not in a position to save our own children, then what good are we? If we are losing our children as fast as we are bringing new people in, what good are we?
In this incredible time when our Heavenly Parent is urging the women to play a new type of role, to be leaders, it is a good idea to reassess, recheck, and look within to see if we are really solid inside. What you think and what you say pretty much determine the kind of children you’re going to have. Every child is different. All children will go through different stages in their life and will have their own path, but when they’re in a family that is loving, communicative, and supportive, regardless of what they are going through, they will work it out together with such a family and go on to become incredible human beings. Some children might need a little more time than others, but they will get there in this type of environment.
But I’ve seen another kind of family in which the mother and father are not communicative. There are no discussions around the dinner table; in fact everybody eats separately. In some cases, you have couples who have been blessed for a long time basically acting like two strangers in the home. Sometimes the children see so much fighting that they just don’t know what to do and they start to rebel. When I met these types of families as I traveled across America, an interesting conversation that I had with a good friend of mine came to mind. This person has worked with delinquents, young people who killed their parents, who kill whomever they want on the street, who have robbed people’s houses, who rape, maim, and murder people. His job as a social worker is to work with these kids.
Something that he said to me surprised me. The common perception when we think about delinquents is that they come from broken homes with divorced parents. Well he told me something that was really quite shocking. He said that the most extreme and most violent delinquents tend to come from families that are still intact, meaning that there is still a mother and a father in the home living together with the children. But when you look into that household, you see that the father and the mother are always screaming at each other. There is so much verbal abuse between the spouses that it spills out in frustration toward the children. And year after year, if raised in a family like this, the children have nowhere to go and do not understand how to express themselves emotionally and spiritually. They are hurting so much inside but they don’t know how to constructively channel the anger within, so it shows up in violence.
When my friend told this to me, I had to think about it for a while. The common understanding in our society is that it’s only when the parents break up, and the children feel lost because they have become orphans overnight, that children become violent. But the fact is that a great many criminals become extremely violent in an intact family. Many times when I went around the country and met with different Second Generation, I came to know that a lot of them who are struggling and who are in a very violent state of mind tend to come from intact families, where the mother and father are still together, but because they don’t know how to constructively channel their anger, it comes out in a really vicious way.
There’s an old proverb in Asia that is repeated over and over again through the generations that says, when you kill a person you’re causing them physical harm, you’re taking away a life, but when you verbally abuse somebody, you are killing the soul. The words that are spoken within a family setting between the spouses and in the parent and child relationship are what determines what kind soul the child is going to have. When children hear negative words like, ‘I wanna kill you because you are so…, “I’m gonna throw this at you; get out of my life,” negativity permeates the household. When you say these kinds of words over and over and you’re speaking these words because you are thinking these words, the minute you start saying them, you start acting on them.
As mothers, have you noticed that when kids go through the process of adolescence, sometimes they want to try out something cool and new? Sometimes the children will take it a little further and try different degrees of being defiant. They want to act a little bit cool and say “no” to the parents in a bit of a defiant manner. They want to try out, “What’s the matter with you?” just to see how you would react. We need to react properly and say “What are you talking about? That kind of language is unacceptable in my home. In this home you will respect God; you will respect your grandparents. You will respect me.” As long as the parents very clearly state the rules of the household, the children will test them from time to time but rarely surpass them.
But here in the West I feel that many mothers and fathers are so busy trying to be their children’s friend that they forget to be their parents. Our children will be the first ones to tell us, “I don’t want you as a friend, Mom. I want you as a mom.” Meaning, “Mom, can I sometimes use you as an excuse when my friends are trying to pull me out to a party but I don’t want to go? Can I use you as an excuse and say, ‘This is the rule of the house. This is my mom’s rule, I can’t go.” And the mother would of course, gladly say, “Yes, of course. Do that.” And in that way, the child’s friends can also respect the rules of the house.
The interesting thing about the power of the spoken word is that you can think a lot of things, but, once something is spoken, it has a power in and of itself. When you start saying negative things -- maybe you want to hang out with the cool crowd at school and maybe these cool crowds are the ones that always complain about the parents. I’ve known some kids who complain about their parents to make a friend because they become friends in their commiseration of each other’s situation. So they start complaining, “Oh, my mother is this, my mother is that. Can you believe it?” “Oh, yeah, my mother is like that, too.” And then they become the best of friends but not the most constructive because they become friends on the basis of negativity. Once they start spewing out these powerful words in a negative way, the attitude of children changes, their behavior, their body language, changes. When we are busy trying to be our children’s friend, then we stop being the disciplinarian. We stop being the conscience because we want our children to love us so much that we’re actually leaving our position to commiserate together with them.
Many times the child starts gaining more authority in terms of expressing something negative. By the time you arrive at a relationship in which your child is literally yelling at you, it’s a little bit too late. And then something drastic has to occur before that family’s sanctity can be maintained and reclaimed.
I know all of you want to do great work for the world and America and are so eager to ride this new band-wagon of change that’s sweeping us. I know a lot of you are smart and capable and can contribute much, but at the same time, we have to be wary not to leave our positions as mothers because that’s an ongoing job for the rest of our life. Again, think of the kind of words that we speak to our spouse. If I were to say to my husband, “Yo, get me some coffee,” that would totally change the environment in my household. And if my husband said, “Hey, get my laundry,” that would totally change the atmosphere in my family. But if my husband says, “Yobo (Honey), I have to leave in a couple of hours for a trip. Do you think you could have the laundry ready for me?” Then I will say, “Yes of course. It will be ready.” Children are always observing our simple dialogue and conversation, so I always emphasize natural witnessing when I’m talking to members all across the country.
One of my favorite guitarists, Jimmy Hendrix, said something that was quite profound. He said, “Knowledge speaks; wisdom listens.” My addendum to that would be, “Knowledge speaks; wisdom listens; children observe.” The things that children observe and take in with their five sensory perceptions are the kinds of things that feed their soul that feed the inner quality of how they feel about who they are, what they belong to, what kind of people they want to be. In our household, words are very precious.
One of the things that my outside friends notice when they come to my household is that although we’re very free with our children and love doing things with them, there is a very clear understanding that adults must be respected, parents must be respected, and guests must be respected and honored. Respect for the elderly is something that just has to be. This is very clear and has to be maintained. And these are the kinds of things that outside people are kind of surprised at. But its’ really nothing to be surprised about, really.
I think many of us may have felt that we weren’t good enough to be mothers to sinless children. I know that a lot of my friends sometimes make the mistake of thinking that sinless children will grow up miraculously into sinless adults without our help; we need to just bow down before them, and they’re just going to be magnificent. Well, anyone who has children knows that that’s not the case. Sometimes the sinless children take more care because they tend to be more sensitive, more tuned in to the vibe, or the feelings, or the unspoken language of the universe. That’s why the words that are spoken in the home are so powerful to these young eyes, young ears, and young minds.
When a wife complains to the children about the father, “Why is your father like this? Why is he always late?”, then what ends up happening is, by the sheer power of the mother’s words, the mother ends up dividing the children in half. The child is the product of the father and the mother; when the mother is verbally complaining about the father, it cuts the child in half. And the same thing happens when a father complains about the mother: “Oh, when I got matched to your mother, she was beautiful. What happened to her? Why did she let herself go?” When a child hears this, again, it’s cutting the child in half.
There is a wonderful story from the Korean version of Aesop’s Fables, a collection of many cultural stories that have been passed down orally over generations and were finally put in book form in the latter part of the 20th century. The story is about a beautiful princess. She was so wonderful but when she started to cry, no one could stop her from crying. Many tried giving her candy, or giving her gifts, or coaxing her to stop crying, but once the princess started crying, she would not stop until she literally cried herself to sleep.
The king, in his effort to try to reconcile with this traumatic situation, said, “Daughter, you need to stop crying. If you don’t stop crying, I’m going to marry you to the village idiot, the village fool.” The fool’s name was Ondol. Pah-bo means stupid and Ondol was his name, so he was Pah-bo Ondol, Stupid Ondol.
So every time the king would say, “If you don’t stop crying I’m going to marry you to Pah-bo Ondol,” the princess would stop.
When the princess finally turned the tender age of sixteen, the king turned to the daughter and said, “You know, my daughter, it’s time to find you a husband. I have a wonderful man that I’m thinking about and I want to engage you to this man.” And then the princess said to her father, “Father, but you always told me that I was going to marry the village idiot. You always told me that my husband was going to be Pah-bo Ondol.”
So she packed up her bags, took some of her valuable belongings from the palace and left the palace to the dismay of her father to find the village idiot named Ondol. She came across his house and knocked on the door. His mother answered the door and here was this beautiful, young princess. She was so beautiful that the mother thought she was dreaming. She came and said, “I’m here to marry your son.”
Stupid Ondol’s mother thought she was having some kind of vision, or that this was some kind of trick. She asked, “Why would anyone so beautiful as you want to marry my son? Don’t you know my son is the village idiot, Ondol?” And the princess said, “Yes, I know. My father the king has always told me that I would marry your son, so here I am.”
The mother was just jubilant. She could not believe her luck. So of course she welcomed her in, and the princess started her new life as the village idiot’s wife. Having come from such an educated background, being a princess and all, she started to not just love him as a spouse but also educate him. She taught him all the Chinese characters. She taught him the art of calligraphy. She taught him how to ride a horse. She taught him how to shoot a bow. She taught him how to ride the wind and become like a ninja in the night. She taught him the esoteric art of some martial arts.
As a result, Stupid Ondol became a great general. And he was so exceptional that the king finally had to take notice of this general. During one of the battles Ondol brought a great victory for the king. The king said, “I’ve heard so much about you. Who are you?” The former village idiot said to the king, “I am Pah-bo Ondol, the one that you gave your precious daughter to.” And the king looked at him and said, “How can you possibly be Pah-bo Ondol? He was a village idiot but you are an erudite scholar! You are an incredible martial artist! How did this happen?” And Ondol said, “It was the magic of your daughter’s love, her persistence, and devotion. She made me into what I am but I have you to thank because she would never have been my spouse had it not been for the words that you spoke.”
We can understand this story in many different ways because various layers are interwoven. But one thing that parents can learn from this story is the power of the word. When you tell your child something, the child will tend to believe it, cling to it, and make it his or her life. In the story, because she was a princess, she practiced the art of true love and living for the sake of others. She took this rough-cut diamond of a village idiot and turned him into one of Korea’s most honored and glorified generals. If that’s not the power of true love, I don’t know what is.
Sometimes we might feel like we married the village idiot, right? Or different permutations of that. But what we can learn from this story is the power of true love. The power that’s within us can transform the person we call our spouse. And that comes not by preaching, not by shoving it down somebody’s throat, but by example, maybe by naturally creating scenarios so that your husband will think that your best idea is actually his.
I don’t know how many times when my husband and I are having discussions when he was the CEO of his own company, running hedge funds here in New York, I would give him my opinion and advice. He would listen, but he would be like, “Yeah, yeah, yeah.” But then he would meet someone else in the industry who would give him the same assessment that I did and he would come rushing home, saying, “Yobo! You know what? I just heard about this incredible idea. I think it’s awesome!” And I would say, “Yes, I said the same thing myself.” But it’s just amazing how once you become somebody’s wife, the cotton balls go in the ears. I’m still trying to figure it out.
The most amazing thing! How did I wage the Battle of the Cotton Balls? I said to myself, “Hmm, okay. He’s not going to take me or my word seriously because as much as he respects my opinion, there’s this ‘my wife’ thing that clouds over what I say so he can’t give it as much weight as if he were to have heard it from somebody else.” I found out in my twenty-five years of marriage that the most effective way to get my husband to do what I would really like him to do is to bring him an idea when we’re doing something, maybe walking to the park or picking up groceries, something unimportant, so that I know that he’s hearing me.
The minute I say, “Husband, I want to talk,” all his defenses go up, but as long as we’re moving along in some kind of an activity, it’s all right. The defenses are down. So I float the idea, and then several days later, I ask, “Oh, do you remember hearing that novel idea of possibly providing this kind of an education for the children?” He would vaguely remember and say, “Yeah, we talked about that before, right?” and I would tell him, “Yes, your idea was absolutely phenomenal.” And then he would say, “Yeah, it is a good idea, isn’t it?”
Its really amazing how even in the Battle of the Cotton Balls, there are different ways for us as women to work our mysterious logic and still get our husband to where we would like him to be. The women in the family are really the ones that steer the stagecoach, if you will. We can direct and help our children with how they should be. We have an incredible responsibility and power within us.
I know that some of us are simply tired of raising our children; dealing with teenagers and young adults is not an easy thing to do. But we need to be persistent and vigilant to create families in which daughters are raised to be just as special as our sons. In the Asian culture, it’s the mothers who perpetuate male chauvinism more than the fathers. So if I’m going to take my family to a whole new level, one where my daughter feels just as special as a child of God as the rest of her brothers, that’s going to require that I work behind the scenes to make that happen.
We as women need to create a kind of environment where our spouses feel special, where they feel empowered that they’re making all the important decisions. And yet at the same time we need to create an environment where our future daughters and grand-daughters know that, of course, men and women are biologically different, thank goodness, but they’re just as precious to God as men in their value and divinity as human beings.
I have a journalist friend who came back from Afghanistan and told me the ghastly story of how he’s bringing aid to underground schools where thousands of young, bright, and beautiful Afghani girls are gathered, trying to study so they can seek a better job and have a better future. He told me of one incident when he was there to bring aid, to help fix up the school and bring different supplies. A group of boys in their late teens came rushing in, took off the girls’ headdresses, and poured acid in their faces. I don’t know how you feel as women but I know how I felt as a mother. If that kind of incident is still occurring in this world today, how can we sit still as mothers and allow this to continue?
Here we are in this incredible country of America. Our children are exposed to some of the best educational institutions in the world. Women have come a long way in terms of gaining the right to have a decent education, but there are certain parts of the world where acid is being thrown into a girl’s face, disfiguring the girl forever just because she wants a right to an education. This is something that we as members of the Women’s Federation must highlight. We must talk about this and encourage each other to seek equal rights and equal opportunity for our sisters all around the world.
I feel the best way to do that is to start in our homes with our sons and daughters. When a son makes the comment, “Oh you’re just a stupid girl. Why would you want to do karate?”, it should be the mother that takes him aside and says, “Son, what are you saying? Your sister can be a black belt just as much as you can. She’s a person just as special as you are.” It’s these special, life-changing conversations that are going to create a generation of young men and women who are going to change the world, ushering in a world of true peace. If you cannot have a decent respect for each other in the home, how are we going to have it out in the world? And if brothers cannot respect sisters in the home, how can women achieve equal rights in the world?
I feel as mothers we have a responsibility that comes with this incredible opportunity to shine and do something new. The greatest difference we can make today as women is to make sure our home is a place where our daughters and grand-daughters are safe-guarded, empowered, and encouraged to shine as true daughters of God. In our homes where our daughter’s are encouraged to seek, and support and empower their brother’s to be the true son of God that they can be. So instead of imitating an extreme women’s movement that resorts to belittling men or stepping on them because they’ve done us so much harm, we can be a better movement, a whole new movement of women, of sisters and of daughters, when we realize that it’s our divine right to be special. It’s our divine right to shed and share our brilliance together with our brothers. Instead of disparaging our brothers for the past sins of mankind, we are going to raise our brothers to shine just as brilliantly as we are going to shine.
So mothers, please think about the power of the word, the power of saying to your daughter, “I don’t think you should do this because you’re a girl,” and what that will do to your daughter. Or think about the things that you can say to a son to help him realize the importance of women because if a boy grows up in family disparaging women, he will continue to disparage women, in his career, and even in his marriage. If we don’t educate our sons and daughters properly, we will deny them lives of fulfillment. If our son grows up to be the kind of man who disparages his female coworkers, who disparages his beloved spouse, he will never experience what true love really is. Everybody knows that if you want to receive passionate love, then you have to give passionate love. In so doing, you can feel one with God and you can feel one with your spouse. It’s in giving, it’s in the magic of empowering and supporting, that allows us to receive the greatest fulfillment.
I’m hoping that all of us together can see what an incredible opportunity this is for us. Regardless of whether you are asked to work with me in a leadership position or not, the most important job that we have is creating the environment that we call our home. And when we have children, it is our duty as mothers to create a home where the children can feel empowered, where they can feel and experience peace so that when they grow up they will want to be and to call themselves the Generation of Peace. This is what I’m working so hard to accomplish.
Thank you for joining with me this afternoon. I’m delighted to see a lot of old faces, and I’m very happy to meet a lot of new faces as well. Our most important work is the work we need to do in our homes. The responsibility of the spoken word, especially the ramifications that it has on our spouse, on our children, and in our environment, is something that we must really take to heart and practice in our daily lives. This is a great time for women. I encourage you to get involved. Please see me as your sister who is working right along with you. Let’s change this world. Let’s change America!