The Words of In Jin Moon from 2009

Independence Day

In Jin Moon
July 5, 2009
Manhattan Center NY
Lovin' Life Ministry

Did everybody have a wonderful Independence Day yesterday? I don’t know if many of you attended the celebration that we had here at the Manhattan Center yesterday, but we were very privileged, honored, and happy to have our True Parents with us yesterday. They were actually traveling around the country with a very busy schedule, but then I guess Father woke up one morning and said, “You know what? I want to spend Independence Day with my children back in New York City.” So we had to quickly prepare for our True Parents’ arrival in the last three days. Thanks to a wonderful team that I have here with me, many sleepless nights, and a lot of practice sessions, we were able to really, truly celebrate this American holiday together with our True Parents. It was very significant for those of us in the True Family, but I hope that it was also significant for you as well.

Whenever Father and Mother come and spend time with their children in America, they often like to talk about how America is truly a providential nation, that it has been especially prepared by God to play an influential role in the world. Father is always chastising me, urging me, and pushing me to work harder every day so that Americans can come to recognize the breaking news that our True Parents, the Lords of the Second Coming, are walking and living and breathing together with us now.

For those of you who had the honor and privilege to spend Hoon Dok Hae with Father yesterday at 5 am, you can sense his desperation in wanting to speak to Americans about who he is, why he’s here, and why Americans have to work together with him to usher in this new millennium of world peace that he and our Heavenly Parent so desire. So even when he walked in for Hoon Dok Hae, he didn’t even have time to sit down, right? And we all stood there for more than two hours. I was saying to Sheri last night that the ladies in the audience who came looking very beautiful had two hours’ standing time with True Parents.

You can sense his urgency, you can sense his desperation, and you can sense almost an obsession with wanting to share this breaking news about our Heavenly Parent: We are all God’s children, we’re not here to be dust in the wind, as the group “Kansas” used to sing, we’re much more important than that. We are God’s sons and daughters, with an incredible divinity within us. It’s our duty and privilege to express our divinity and brilliance in the world by becoming great people.

When Father is thinking about the meaning of independence, he means that America is a land of freedom. It was founded on certain concepts, one of which is freedom to worship. People wanted to be able to exercise their religious freedom, so they sought a new land and they found America. Together with God, they hoped to build a shining city on a hill, a community of believers where we can worship together, celebrate together, and enjoy life together in the glory of God, our Heavenly Parent. These were some of the founding ideals of our Founding Fathers.

This is the ideal, the concept, the belief that gave birth to this great country of America. If you really think about it, America was born out of something great, namely, a great desire to see a country manifest itself truly as the home of God, as my father so eloquently said in his speech. He wants America to be God’s home, where God can be honored, loved, respected, and enjoyed like a grandparent. We need to think of our Heavenly Father not as some faraway, distant clockmaker sitting on his high throne, watching the world with great curiosity. God is a living, breathing parent. The concept of our Father and Mother, our True Parents, wanting to celebrate the wonder of God as our parent and our grandparents, with different generations living together, is such a beautiful concept to have in our minds.

How much more beautiful would it be if we could realize it and substantiate it in our daily life? So that God becomes a living God, a prayer becomes a living prayer, and we become the living children of God, meaning that not only are we just enjoying 20,000 liters of air a day, but we’re reveling in the fact that we’re sharing the same air that our Heavenly Parent is breathing, that our True Parents are breathing, and that our children are breathing. It reminds us that we are just one fiber of the incredible tapestry of the human experience, and that’s what makes us one family.

As a reminder of the meaning of Independence Day, I like to reread the Declaration of Independence. The reading we shared this morning is probably the most well known and most quoted passage in the Declaration of Independence. It says that these truths are self-evident, that all men (and may I parenthesize, women) are created equal, and that we are endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights -- the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

I love that quote by Thomas Jefferson; and one of the greatest presidents of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, based his whole political philosophy on this passage alone. It has come to mean a lot of different things to a lot of people, but when you take that quote in the context of our understanding of the Principle, of our understanding of what God is, you realize that God has given us a right -- or how I would like to say it, an honor and privilege -- to live a life truly celebrating the meaning of life. What is that? The purpose of creation. Exercising liberty or freedom. But we know from Divine Principle that whenever God gives you an opportunity, whenever God invites you to exercise and enjoy your freedom, many times the word freedom comes with responsibility. That’s something that many young people don’t like to think about. Many teenagers want their freedom to do whatever they want, their freedom to drive, to love, to wear whatever they want. They want their freedom to have any hairstyle they want.

I remember when I was 12 years old, my mother sent me back to Korea to accompany my older brother, who is the founding father of Manhattan Center here. Together we attended an art school. At this school we had a uniform. It was very pretty, but every day you had to wear a red beret, and a blue and white uniform that looked like a sailor uniform. Of course when I came from America, all these Korean girls rushed up to me and said, “We hear that in America you can wear whatever you want?” I said, yes. “And we hear that in America you can have whatever hairstyle you want?” I said, yes.

When I came to Korea I had the Dorothy Hamill hairstyle that was so popular in the 1970s when she became the world figure-skating champion. All the Korean girls had to have hair down to their shoulders and it had to be braided, and they had to wear that red beret. That was the look. But here I was with a Dorothy Hamill hairstyle. I couldn’t quite tie my hair because it was too short. A lot of the girls felt it was so unfair that I had short hair when they had to have long, braided hair. They would say to me, “Why is your hair so light? Is it because you drank too much milk and ate too much cheese? That’s so unfair.”

Everybody in Korea has black hair, so when you have a lighter color, it’s somewhat of an anomaly and you stick out. Add to that the Dorothy Hamill hairstyle and the inability to speak Korean fluently, and you stick out like a sore thumb. But at that time the girls were lamenting to me and complaining, “We don’t have the freedom to wear whatever we want. We want to wear pants. We want to wear different colors. We want to express our individuality.” They were always complaining to me.

But in America, the freedom to choose my clothing every morning, to figure how I was going to match the top and bottom and how I was going to do my hair became quite a responsibility. The freedom to enjoy all these options became a responsibility. For the Korean girls, who never enjoyed this freedom to choose whatever clothing they wanted, they didn’t think about what a responsibility it would be every morning to try out different things.

Hollywood always depicts a teenager standing in front of a mirror, trying out all the different types of clothing, right? One at a time, then tossing it aside; trying something new, tossing it aside; and taking such a long time to get ready for school.

These Korean girls didn’t realize that the freedom to enjoy these options actually is quite a burden. I remember going back to Korea 15 years later, when the Little Angels School changed their policy from uniforms to students wearing whatever they wanted, as long as it was proper clothing. The girls I knew had graduated, and some had become mothers themselves. Some of them had toddlers, and they were reminiscing, saying to me, “When I was younger I thought I wanted the freedom to do whatever I wanted, to throw away my uniform and wear whatever I want. But I realize that wearing whatever I wanted is quite a responsibility. You have to spend time at the mall, in the fitting room, at the hair stylist. You have to figure out what goes with what.” They were the ones telling me, “I think Little Angels School should go back to uniforms.”

It’s interesting to me to hear American young people saying they want freedom to drive even without a driver’s license, freedom to love when they don’t even know who they are, when they’re not old enough to take on the responsibility of taking care of another person eternally or for the rest of their life. My children are no different. They’re all going through their individual growth courses, walking the road of self-discovery, asking themselves “What is the meaning of freedom, when do I get it, how do I get it? I want it now! But is it really what I want? Will that make me happy?”

That leads us to the third part of this passage in the Declaration of Independence. We come to the words, the right to have a pursuit of happiness in our lives. As human beings, and children of God, we all want to be happy, do we not? And we all want our children to be happy, and our friends and loved ones to be happy.

But I’ve always felt that if I had a problem with the wording of the Declaration of Independence, I would probably have to pick the word pursuit. We look at the words pursuit of happiness; pursuit comes from the Latin pursequare, which means to follow, to acquire, to capture, or even to kill. We realize that maybe Americans are misunderstanding that happiness is something we have to acquire, to possess, and it’s not something within, which is what Heavenly Parent and our True Parents teach us.

Many times, because I come from Korea, when I look at the word pursue, it sounds like purse-you. Sometimes I feel that people come to this land of opportunity with big dreams of attaining power and knowledge, wielding it so incredibly effectively. They think in terms of success, materialistic success. They’re thinking that in order to have happiness, you have to have a full purse, and it’s got to be all about you. So they’re stuck in this purse-you, not realizing that it’s not the money, it’s not the power, it’s not the glory, and it’s not really anything about you that’s going to make you happy. Even God, our Heavenly Parent, as all-powerful and all-knowing as he is, still wants to realize and experience love. No matter how great you are, you cannot do it by yourself. You need an object. A subject needs an object; an object needs a subject. Only by engaging in this wonderful thing called the give-and-receive action of love do you experience the full and constant circuitry of energy that will help you shed your brilliance onto the world.

Each and every human being is like a light bulb, so if we’re plugged into the divine and we’re truly channeling the proper spiritual energy and taking part in this circuitry of true love, then we can become incredible human beings. But if we don’t, then we’re nothing but a light bulb with a potential, a light bulb that hasn’t been turned on, a light bulb that has not been plugged in to something incredible, absolute, unchanging, and eternal. That’s what our Heavenly Parent is.

When young people are pursuing a life of materialistic comfort, thinking that money will bring all the happiness they need, what they’re actually doing is concentrating on two words that I like to remind my children -- I will be happy if I have this or that; I will be happy when I achieve this and that. So happiness becomes conditional in that something has to be accomplished before you are happy.

But the First Lady of America, Martha Washington, said many years ago that happiness is not determined by our circumstances but determined by our disposition. It is determined by how we determine what our outlook is, meaning that what we think determines what we do, and what we do determines the kind of people that we’re going to be.

So if we believe ourselves to be happy people because we’ve been so fortunate and blessed to be God’s sons and daughters and that we have incredible and infinite potential and a wonderful responsibility to become true sons and daughters, then we can be something awesome.

I notice when visiting different friends I’ve had over the years that the majority of my well-to-do friends, so to speak, are very, very unhappy, while a lot of the truly happy friends that I have are poor, struggling to put food on the table. But they revel in the fact that they have a home, especially that they are trying to build a home where God is a member of the family and God dines with them each day. And God takes delight in all the small details that they are able to appreciate, something like the ray of sunlight that comes in when you open the curtains in the morning. Those things can’t be bought with money; this is how God shows us in small ways how much we mean to him and how much he truly loves us.

Often we live our lives caught up in our careers, in the day-to-day, hectic lifestyle, and many of us feel lost because we don’t feel God or see God in our daily life. But it’s always a matter of taking a step back and slowing things down, remembering to breathe. We take it for granted that we’re breathing, but it’s the exhale and the inhale that keep us alive. It’s God, the invisible God, that keeps us alive.

If you remember God and all the beautiful details of our lives every day, how your child gives you a wonderful smile at the end of a long day, and it makes that long day worthwhile to see that beautiful smile -- what a gift that truly is! To know that your child is a gift of God, that God is smiling through that child to you: How much more wonderful than that can life be?

It’s in the little details of life, the things that we many times take for granted -- like our spouse. My husband and I were joking with the district leaders yesterday that we’ve been married for 25 years. My husband was sharing with them something that he happened to realize. He said, “I realized that things go well when I listen to my wife.” (Laughter) I said, “Honey, it took you 25 years to realize that? You could have made our marriage a whole lot easier had you realized it sooner!”

But the point is, my husband, as wonderful a man as he is, sometimes takes me for granted because he’s thinking, “God gave this woman to me and she’s my eternal mate. She’s got nowhere to go.” I always remind him, “I’ve got lots of places to go, and you’d better be sure that you’re grateful because being grateful is the key to keeping me where I am.” I really mean that. In the same way, I want to try my best to take care of him by not complaining and erupting like a volcano every time I see socks scattered here and there. What is it about men?! I don’t know how many laundry bins I’ve bought over the years. I think, “Maybe my husband has a dislike for this laundry bin; maybe if I buy a different shape or color, it might naturally attract him to put his socks over there, to throw his shirt over there.” But it’s amazing how much chaos one man can make in a bedroom.

It starts in the morning, with the shower. He drags the towel out of the bathroom, swirls it around, does his morning exercises, and the towel is left in one corner of the room. Then he goes to the closet and takes out not just one shirt but three or four. Again, this is the problem with freedom to choose your clothing. He takes out three or four shirts that are beautifully folded. I’m almost anal when it comes to cleanliness and everything being properly in the drawer. Instead of just looking at a color and putting it with the pants to see if it fits, he has to try them all on. So all the buttons are undone, and the shirts are rumpled. And when he takes it off, it goes flying onto the bed. Then another one to the chair, another to the floor.

When it comes to socks, I don’t know what it is, but he has to try on many pairs of socks. So even after this short morning ritual, the bedroom already looks like a combat zone. As a wife, trying to live with another person, you try your best not to say anything and then you pick it up. While you’re picking up, one part of you is saying, “You have to allow your husband to suffer the consequences of his actions” -- meaning, if I keep on picking up the laundry, he’s not going to learn.

I remember I said, okay, this is out of control, so I didn’t pick it up. Then I was quietly getting angry in my mind, saying, how can this man just throw things all over the place? I thought maybe after lunch he would clean it up. Usually after lunch or when he comes back from the office he has papers littered all over the room, different files he’s reading. I prepared a wonderful desk for him in the room but they’re never there. They are strewn all over the floor. So I try not to complain and pretend that I’m not stepping over these bits of clothing and paper.

Then the evening comes around, and it’s amazing how my husband just does not see the chaos. He walks in totally happy, “Oh, what a great day; I can’t wait to go to bed.” And all the while I’m thinking, “What about that?! When are you going to pick up your underwear and put it in the laundry bin?” It’s amazing how he doesn’t see.

I realize that men are very comfortable being in a chaotic situation when it comes to their clothing and their surroundings. I tried my best over the 25 years not to take it personally. In the beginning I thought, he’s doing it to annoy me, to provoke me. But then I realized, it’s not something that he’s directing toward me because he’s displeased with me. Then I could handle it a little bit better.

But I remember one day asking my husband, “Why is it you tried your best before we got married, but once you knew I was your wife, a tape recorder started playing, the tape recorder of your observation of your parents’ relationship. I said, look, your parents come from Korea, from a place where men are superior to women. And even though your dad is a wonderful man and he wants to live a life of true love, there are some built-in cultural differences. Such as, I don’t think it’s wrong for a man to wear an apron. I think men look quite divine wearing pink. And there is nothing more sexy to me than a man who wields a spatula in the kitchen.

These are things foreign to his father -- not because he doesn’t appreciate his wife, but he comes from a different culture. But what I want for my family is a Heavenly Parent tradition in which men and women are treated with equal dignity because they have equal value. After 25 years, the only thing my husband can make in the kitchen is scrambled eggs. But I think we’re doing a whole lot better because all my children are fabulous cooks, and they look awesome in pink and when they are wearing an apron.

I was so happy to hear that last night for the Independence Day celebration we had on the 30th floor, my two young boys were chefs together with Dave Hunter. I tell my husband, “You want to be loved so much, but you’re always waiting to get it from me. Did you ever think about maybe giving love? Maybe going out of your way, and maybe putting the laundry away without saying, ‘Yobo, did you see I cleaned the room today?’” Whenever he does the dishes, he tells me, “Did you see I did the dishes today?” Or whenever he takes the car to a car wash (sometimes I’m thinking, maybe my husband will forget that he took the car to the car wash) but, lo and behold, he reminds me, “Did you see how beautiful the car is because I took it to a car wash?”

I’m waiting for that day when he takes the car to a car wash without reminding me that he took it to a car wash. I’m waiting for the day when the laundry gets thrown automatically into the laundry bin without him telling me that it was put there. This is what a wife is waiting for. I know that a lot of sisters in the audience feel the same way.

Just as my husband should not take me for granted, I have to try my best not to take him for granted. My husband’s a very visual creature. I’m the kind of a person who loves to read books, but he’s the kind of a person who loves to watch movies. So he can spend all day in front of a television or spend all day in a movie theater. I’m not the kind of person who enjoys that. I would rather sit in the library or sit quietly in my room and have a little peace to read what I want to read.

So I know that even though my husband never says how much he appreciates me, I know he appreciates the fact that I take care of myself. So do I sometimes want to eat that extra bite of the devil’s food cake? Absolutely. Do I sometimes want to not exercise? Absolutely. Do I sometimes want to walk around in a sweatshirt with my hair sticking up in all directions and just be lazy for a day? Absolutely. But my husband, being the visual creature that he is, loves the fact that his wife is always well put-together and that I take care of myself. I do so because by doing so I not only honor our relationship but I’m honoring my family; I’m giving myself the dignity to take care of myself and to look good, not just for my husband but also for my children.

I think many sisters, once we get our eternal mate, we go through the Pillsbury Dough Boy effect, the frozen biscuits that we like so much. Before you get married, you’re wonderfully packaged biscuit in the frozen food section, but the minute you say I do, it’s like, poof, and the ladies become big.

The thing I love about my father is he’s so real and blunt. He had no qualms telling the continental director yesterday, “You know, you’re ugly, right?” But he also said, “If you can serve America so that the most beautiful American woman and the most handsome American man can be inspired by your God-given brilliance and your desire to serve this country, then there is hope for America.”

My father has no qualms about going up to a lady in his congregation and saying, “You’re fat.” I remember once he said to one woman, “How will your husband ever find you? Meaning, please don’t take your husband for granted. Please take care of yourself because he is a gift from God to you and you are a gift from God to him. Just as you want so much love and affection, you need to give that back by taking care of yourself.

If we are privileged to have this wonderful thing called an eternal mate, or eternal partner, then we have to appreciate what we have in each other, meaning not “I’m going to love my wife if she loses 40 pounds.” “I’m going to love my wife when she gets that education.” But you’re going to love her now because she is and she always will be God’s daughter.

The same thing goes for a husband. Not “I’m going to love my husband when he learns to throw his socks in the laundry bin.” Not “I’m going to learn to love my husband when he learns to not tell me what he did for me, but I’m going to try to love him now and take each day almost like a little step.” Then each day becomes a stairway to heaven bringing us closer and closer to God as we grow and mature through our lives.

I shared with you last week one of my favorite Bible passages, Psalm 37:3-5. It says, “Trust in the Lord. Delight in the Lord. Commit yourself to the Lord.” These are the three principles that I’ve tried to embrace in my home to welcome God as a member of our family. With a family member you have trust. With a family member you have no barriers or walls that are separating you. You can revel in each other’s humor.

I don’t know how many psychologists have pointed out that children on average laugh between 400 and 500 times a day and on average adults smile 45 times a day. When you see the gap, you realize that children are such an endless fountain of energy and inspiration and that we adults lack the luster, even though we’re still divine beings. That’s because we are forgetting to delight in the Lord, forgetting to delight in each other, in our families.

It is only within a family that you feel this sense of commitment, that you are loyal to your father and mother, loyal to your siblings, no matter what. If a bullet were to come their way, you would be the first one to throw yourself to protect your loved ones. That’s what it means to be a family. If we can create a family with such a commitment and invite God into our lives in such a way, then happiness is not something we need to pursue, that we need to find. It’s already within our hands. Happiness is right here.

One funny thing I want to share with you is concerning one of the partners in my husband’s company, who is a Frenchman. Even though he speaks very good English, his French accent is very, very heavy. Once in conversation he turned to me and said, “Tatiana, appiness is ard oo ind.” I said, “Pardon? He said, “Tatiana, appiness is ard oo find.” I said, hmm. You know what I think, if I were to be honest with you? He wants happiness more than anything, but he’s also a serial dater. He said, “We are French. We have to have women every day.” So he goes through women, sometimes two or three a day. Because he’s very wealthy and has a wonderful place on Madison Avenue, he can get pretty much whomever he wants. He’s always looking for that perfect woman but is never able to find one. But because we’re friends, he’s leaning of me, saying, “appiness is ard oo find,” and wanting my response.

I said, “You know, look. I like you, you’re funny, you’re successful. But if I were to be blunt with you because you are a Frenchman and you do like bluntness, I must say, you live your life for success and you define yourself as successful. But you’ve forgotten where you come from. You have forgotten that you come from God. So if you take God out of the equation, then what you are doing when you’re living a life of being ‘successful,’ you’re kind of like sucking on a cesspool. Look at what you’re doing.

You have everything that you want, but you’re searching for happiness, thinking that you’re going to get it while you’re sucking on a cesspool. You have to invite God back into your life and realize that these women that you’re going through, almost like a meal, breakfast, lunch and dinner, are daughters of our Heavenly Parent, that they’re going to be future mothers of someone really, really wonderful, and they’re going to make a wonderful couple with an incredible man some day. So instead of seeing them as disposable products that you can use and abuse and toss aside, if you can invite God back into your life, then what you’re really seeking, the happiness that you so want, can be realized within your lifetime.

“When you treat women as possessions and products, what you are doing is just using them and throwing them away. You’re not becoming a better human being. If you invite God into your life and you realize how incredible these women are, you won’t look at them as a sexual organ or just a body part, but as a true masterpiece of God. Then you have a chance at happiness.

“You’re a Frenchman, so you’re wanting happiness by saying, ‘appiness.’ It sounds like a sexual organ. You’re living your life treating women like a sexual organ, like a body part. When you invite the letter H and say happiness is what you want by inviting God back and turning that woman from a body part to a heavenly daughter of God, somebody that you can enjoy eternity with, somebody that you can be absolute with, somebody that you can be uniquely you with, then you will have that happiness that you so desire.”

When my father is asking all of us to create a home like God’s home, the way I understand it is that God wants to see America as a home for God. We need to celebrate God in every fiber of our being. We need to celebrate him as part of our family. We need to love and cry and suffer and have joyous occasions with him, the way we do with our parents. In that way we can experience this incredible variety of life, the spices of life that just make each unique experience divinely delicious.

If we can truly do that, then we realize that the Kingdom of Heaven is already here. We realize that the happiness that we so desire, that we think we have the right to pursue, is already here, is already in our heart, is already within our hands. So when I encourage the young people of America to take control of their life, to name their own generation, not as a generation that’s going to coexist or just cooperate or just tolerate, but as a generation that truly loves and serves each other -- what I’m asking the young people of America to do is to remember the spirit of the Declaration of Independence, to remember where those words come from.

And for the young people who want to rebel or declare independence from their parents, we can declare our independence from temptation, we can declare our independence from living a life of a victim. We can declare our independence from living a life of suffering by saying that we exercise our freedom by using our five-percent responsibility to choose to be happy today. We can practice that on a daily basis.

Aristotle said that we are basically a product of what we do. Excellence is not an art; he said excellence is a habit. So let’s practice being happy and being responsible, exercising our divine right to be happy and joyous and to delight in the Lord each and every day, by maybe telling God, “Have I told you lately that I love you? Have I told you that there’s no one else above you?” How about singing such a song to our Heavenly Parent? How about reminding ourselves that life is a journey, a climb, and it’s the process that makes it truly unique and truly monumental. And it is our right and our duty and honor to give our God and our True Parents everything that we have, knowing that every breath we take and that wonderful spouse we have are not things we should take for granted. Those things become a reason to glorify and appreciate the divine, our Heavenly Parent, and to appreciate and to glorify our own divinity, which is just lying dormant, waiting to express itself to the world.

We need to become true artists, brothers and sisters. When you see an entertainment such as this morning’s, you see the performance, but you don’t see the practice that went behind it. You see the end result, not the blood, sweat, and tears. A life well lived is like the practice that you don’t see. How we present ourselves to the world or how the wonderful singers and the band perform is really a gift that we can give unto the world by having lived a life well lived, by living, practicing, and turning our life into a wonderful habit so that we can truly be empowered to say that we are God’s sons and daughters.

On this glorious Independence Day weekend, we just last night celebrated with fireworks over the Hudson River. It was almost like watching the creation, with the glorious lights and thunderous sounds and wonderful colors that lit up the sky. That’s how God feels when he looks into our eyes, and that’s how God wants to celebrate his love for us in our daily life.

Brothers and sisters, let’s trust in the Lord, let’s delight in the Lord, let’s commit ourselves to the Lord, and remind ourselves of this incredible independent spirit that has driven America, drives it today, and will drive it onward. Let’s truly make America a great country by starting with ourselves.

God bless, and have a wonderful Sunday. 

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