The Words of In Jin Moon from 2010
On the morning of April 18, 2010, Rev. In Jin Moon spoke to Lovin' Life Ministries' congregants on the feeling of entitlement, which can arise within a group of people and become the greatest detriment to living for the sake of others. When we're thinking of our worth in terms of how we are titled by others -- such as in how our positions are seen or our possessions are understood -- then what happens is that we pollute our attitudes about life. Through the example of the personal story of "Two Tickets to Boston," as well as the understanding of our roles as leaders and parents, Rev. Moon stressed the importance of living a life of gratitude each day at a time, thinking "How can I give to others, and leave something worthy behind for future generations."
Good morning, brothers and sisters. How is everyone this morning? I missed you all. But we were so delighted to have our True Parents here with us, and they've been so busy with the Legacy of Hope tour that they kicked off on March 18 at the United Nations, truly honoring those great men and women who have gone before us and crossed over into the eternal life.
Because they are True Parents and because they want to teach all of us how to really live our lives, living for the sake of others, it's truly a wonderful opportunity for us to know and be comforted that even in death we can look forward to going back into the embrace of our Heavenly Parent. We do not need to be afraid; instead of being grief-stricken that our loved ones have departed and are no longer here with us physically, we can truly approach their death as a beginning of a whole new life and celebrate their journey back home.
We've been on the road the last two weeks, and we had a great kick-off in Las Vegas to celebrate the first anniversary of Lovin' Life Ministries. I want to thank all of you for making it what it is today. Not only did we last for a whole year, but having our True Parents with us in Las Vegas to kick off the second year was an auspicious sign. For those of us who could spend these precious moments with our True Parents in Las Vegas, it was a meaningful Easter Sunday. I believe that all who attended the Easter Service, as well as the Legacy of Hope event together with our True Parents, felt energized, felt loved, and felt empowered about who they are and how they should live their lives.
Then last week we were in Hawaii together with our True Parents. How incredibly wonderful it was to send our True Parents back to Korea from such a beautiful island! Being in New York day in and day out, I sometimes forget how beautiful the sky is. To see the water, to wake up to the sound of waves crashing on the shore was so heart cleansing, soul cleansing. I really felt that Hawaii is almost like a taste of heaven. If I could name a place that would pretty much represent what the Kingdom of Heaven would be like, I think I would have to say Hawaii. And the island people are so friendly.
Even the name, Ha-wai-i, sounds like God is laughing, ha-ha. Why? Because he created an island that's just so beautiful. Blue skies, palm trees everywhere, and these beautiful, incredible trees called banyan trees from India. They're peculiar looking in that their roots extend from the branches to the soil. They're gigantic and majestic, and you can walk within and through the branches. I was so captivated by God's mystery and his handiwork to see all this beauty. And everyone is smiling there! I guess many people are on vacation there. Watching people enjoying themselves, being laid back and just appreciating the beauty of the universe, I said to myself, "This must be what heaven is all about."
How wonderful that we could send our True Parents back to Korea from an island that greets every fellow citizen with "Aloha." I just found out on this trip the real meaning of aloha. They tell me that aloha means "I love you." I would like to think that in the Kingdom of Heaven we would all be greeting each other with, "Aloha," saying, "I love you." I thought it was so interesting to hear from a member of the royal family, who delivered the royal crest to our True Parents after the service; he said, "In Hawaii we do not have a word for good-bye. The only word that we have that would mean good-bye in English is 'until we meet again.'"
So here we were on an island that greets everybody with "aloha" and that never says "good-bye." To have our final U.S. Legacy of Hope event in Hawaii was incredibly profound in that when we are sending our departed ones back to the embrace of our Heavenly Parent, we're not really saying good-bye. Just like the Hawaiians, what we are saying is, "Until we meet again."
Being there with True Parents was incredibly meaningful; though, of course, we missed all of you here in New York. Our True Parents really went out of their way to honor these departed great men and women, especially the late Gen. Alexander Haig, who was instrumental in liberating my father from the Hungnam concentration camp with the allied forces. This was Father's way of giving back, honoring and thanking America and the allied forces for allowing him the opportunity to play the role as the True Parent, raising up a young group of Americans who can understand their providential responsibility and understand the incredible time that we're living in together with our True Parents, so that we Americans can feel empowered to share the breaking news with the rest of the world that our True Parents are here.
So our True Parents went back in high spirits. Of course, when they leave they always encourage me to give their love to all of you, to let you know how much they truly love you with all their hearts. When I think about our True Parents and their philosophy of living for the sake of others and what it means in our lives, it leads me to this one thought I'd like to touch upon.
When we say to each other, "I want to live my life for the sake of others," we're pledging ourselves to be something more than just an individual. Unlike the Christian understanding that focuses on individual salvation, when we proclaim that we want to live our lives for the sake of others, our individual salvation becomes secondary. Living life in such a way that you become an instrument of God and an agent of change means that you can transmit the incredible power of true love to your siblings, your friends, your colleagues, and fellow humanity. Then we become saved individually.
Whenever you have a group of people, you have good times, but sometimes there are difficult times, too. The word that tends to creep up whenever you have a group of people trying to work together is entitlement. When we strive to walk the road of self-discovery and when we strive to work together as a team, we tend to stumble across the idea of entitlement.
For somebody who's been married for over 26 years, I know that in the course of a marriage relationship, whenever the word entitlement creeps in, it's usually a recipe for misunderstanding. I've noticed that when you try to look at the word and how that word is created, en-title-ment, it sounds like "in title." When we're engulfed in an entitlement mind-set, what we tend to do is immerse ourselves in this concept of being in this thing called a title.
When we're thinking of our worth in terms of how we are titled by others -- such as in how our positions are seen or our possessions are understood -- then what happens is that we pollute our attitudes about life. For instance, one might feel entitled to a position, to be, perhaps a husband. There can be different understandings of what husband really means. When going down this road of discovery, rubbing up against our spouse, learning how to be a better person, a better partner, we need to work out lots of things.
When a husband is concentrating on his position as the boss in the family, the "husband," a lot of things get attached to that word, and a great deal of misunderstanding can happen. In my family, whenever my husband and I have a misunderstanding, I like to remind him, "Two tickets to Boston." That reminds my husband of an incident that happened more than 20 years ago. We were in the throes of trying to work out our relationship. My husband was trying a new concept: He's a Korean man; he needs to be my boss; he needs to tell me how things should be; he needs to teach me what a wife should be.
Before understanding that living for the sake of others is really an invitation to learn together so that we can make ourselves better as a couple, every couple usually goes through a period when they think they know it all or they're replaying a tape recorder of their parents in their relationship with each other. My husband grew up with a military father and with a mother who basically lived in the kitchen. At that point in our marriage, he thought, "Let's try the military approach. Let's try to keep the wife in the kitchen."
We went through a time when I really struggled because, following in his father's footsteps, he wanted his slippers out before he came home. He wanted a glass of water when he got up. He barked a lot of orders throughout the day. I was really struggling and praying to Heavenly Father, "What are you trying to teach me through this man?" But I thought, following in my mother's footsteps, "Patience. I'm sure I will find a moment to articulate what I'm feeling. Maybe this is something my husband needs to play out."
There he went, barking his orders, wanting his slippers, wanting his pajamas folded a certain way on the bed, wanting me to go into the kitchen and get him things. Initially I was playing along. I'm sure my husband was thinking, "This is working quite well. I am getting my wife in shape. She's doing what I'm saying. I must be an awesome husband."
I was asking him, "What else would you like?" Sometimes he would sit in his chair with his remote and say, "I want this," and I would get it for him. Then he would look at me and think, "Maybe I can push her a little bit more." I could hear the mechanics working out in his head, "I wonder how far I can push her." "Can you get a napkin?" with his foot up on the Lazy-Boy chair. So I would get a napkin. Then he would look at me and return to the TV, then look at me again. "How about some popcorn?" He would push me just to see how far I would bend.
One of the things I was always adamant about was, when you eat, sure, I'll make the food, but after you finish eating, brush your teeth. That was something that I always stuck to. Sometimes he would, and sometimes he wouldn't.
There was one instance when we were both taking the Delta Shuttle to Boston. Right before we left, he was hungry, so he said, "Honey, make me some really, really hot kimchi fried rice." I looked at him and said, "We don't have enough time." But I think it was one of those moments when he thought, "Let's try the military approach and see how much I can push my wife." So he said, "Can you go make some fried rice?" I said, "Yes, but we might miss our shuttle." Then he said, "Well, if we miss it, we'll take the next one, but let's shoot for this one." Because he was adamant, I went into the kitchen and made it extra spicy because I wanted it to burn. I made it extra salty. I think I put a lot of soy sauce in there.
So I came out of the kitchen and said, "Are you sure you want to eat this? This is going to stink up the car." He said, "Can you bring it in the car?" I said, "Okay," so I put it in a container and said, "You know, it's really smelly," but off went the top. He was really thoroughly enjoying it but sweating at the same time. I was mildly delighted that I was getting some perspiration out of this one.
When we finally got to the Delta Shuttle, he had eaten the whole thing, and the whole car smelled like kimchi fried rice on wheels. When you're eating Korean food together with someone, there's nothing more delicious. But when one person is sitting next to you who is the only one eating, it's really quite unbearable because it's really smelly. But he thoroughly enjoyed it, and he was sweating. But he was feeling good and I was feeling good, so off we went to the Delta counter.
My husband is a very impatient person. He likes to do everything 120 miles an hour, so he rushed up to the Delta counter and bent over the counter and yelled out to the attendant standing there, "TWO TICKETS TO BOSTON, PLEASE." But he had no idea what he smelled like. Can you imagine? It was almost like a fire-breathing dragon of kimchi and the smell of food in decay. Had the attendant been eating Korean food along with him, no problem. But here she was, fresh-faced, ready to check him in, and out came the "Two tickets to Boston, please."
I was following my husband as I saw this scene unfold as though it were in slow motion. I could literally see the smell of Korean decay overwhelming this fresh-faced lady, and she almost fell over backward. I thought, "Yes!" She was hanging on for dear life, trying to maintain a polite exterior, but my husband didn't realize what was happening. He said, "DO YOU WANT MY FREQUENT-FLIER NUMBER?" She was cringing, trying to be polite, trying to type. But my husband just kept on going, "THE NUMBER IS 2-2-4-9 …" and he kept leaning over.
I came up to my husband and said, "Honey, you didn't brush your teeth. The lady is suffering here. Let me finish the frequent-flier number for you."
That incident for our couple is a reminder for my husband that the military way may not be the best way: Maybe brushing his teeth and listening to his wife every now and then might be a good thing. Of course this happened a long time ago, and my husband is well on his way to becoming the kind of person that God would like him to be, but that was a moment that we'll never forget.
When they start their relationship, every husband and wife go through different phases, trying out things they think might work in their relationship, without really considering living for the sake of others. What they are doing is concentrating on, "What is my position vis-à-vis this person? What's my understanding of my position, from my parents, from my grandparents, from my friends?"
As another example, if my friends are telling me I should be class president, how should I be? Should I walk around the halls of high school thinking that I'm the king or the queen of the school? Or if my friends elected me and allowed me to exercise my position for the benefit of others, how should I be as the chosen representative? Maybe I should serve others and not just think that this is my position, "in title," I am the president, I am the top dog, and you obey me.
Again, when we think about the word entitlement, thinking what we can get out of life, if that's the only thing we're concentrating on, then we're going to get caught by what I call the three Ps: First, Position. Second, Possession, materialistic ownership, thinking that our goal in life is just to amass huge quantities of the best things.
The Legacy of Peace events really reminded me of the simplicity in life. When we remember that we come from the bosom of our Heavenly Parent to this world, we are born naked, and we will leave this world naked, then what we do in the time in between is really a gift that our Heavenly Parent has given us, to leave something beautiful behind.
If we lead our lives only in pursuit of wealth or materialistic gain, these are not things we can take to the afterlife. These are not the beautiful memories that we're going to enjoy eternally in the bosom of our Heavenly Parent. These are things that will be left behind and will decay when we're gone.
But if we can leave something beautiful behind, like wonderful kids, and inspire them to dream the impossible, to imagine a world that's beautiful, to want to be a part of a world that believes in peace, cooperation, and unity, then that's something worth living for.
Instead of the young people being engulfed in this notion of "show me the money," or being the Millennial Generation, where the only thing they care about is fast cars, fast money, fast men and women, if we truly understand that life is not a place where we should feel a sense of entitlement, where we demand certain attachments or possessions, then it's really an opportunity to serve others, to give to others, to raise others up. It's not what we get but what we can give.
When we're thinking about the Blessing, probably the most important thing is that we should not come to it thinking, "What am I going to possess at the end of the process? What am I going to be entitled to at the end of the Blessing process? What am I going to own at the end of the Blessing process?" Instead we should be thinking, "What can I offer of myself to this other person that I am going to call my eternal partner? How can I love this person?" Not "What kind of love will I get from that person?"
It's the simple change in thinking and understanding that makes a world of difference. For instance, I've seen a lot of parents who think that children are their possession, belonging to them absolutely. But if we really think about it, they are a gift placed in our care for us to nurture, support, and empower. Before they are our children, they are Heavenly Parent's children. Instead of our children being something we possess, they are something we have an opportunity to raise, to love, and to make better.
When we're thinking about the theme of entitlement in terms of understanding that life should really be what is given to me, not what I should give it, and we get stuck on words like position and possession, it naturally leads us to what I call Pollution of attitude. The minute you feel entitled to something, that you deserve something in position or in possession, what you are doing is exercising a heart of non-gratitude. We're not being grateful any more when we are saying, "This position is mine. This belongs to me. Everything is me." When we start thinking like that, then we forget, "What about us? What about humanity? What about a thankful heart for living in this incredible time with our True Parents?"
We are living in an incredible age when we have an opportunity to be that agent of change to alter history forever. We are the future disciples of Jesus Christ. We are the people that future generations will cite, will tell stories about. We are the chosen ones, not in that we are any better but in that we have an opportunity to do something wonderful with our lives.
The Bible tells us through Psalm 118:24 that God has given this day to us, and we will rejoice and be glad in it. The psalmist is reminding us that God is not giving us days, weeks, or months. He's saying, "This day God hath made. This one day." It's a reminder to take our lives one day at a time.
Greed has a very interesting face in that many times it can come in the form of a goal or purpose in life. You can break down your goals and purpose in life and take things one day at a time, starting in the morning thanking our Heavenly Parent and True Parents, finishing the day thanking our Heavenly Parent and True Parents, and trying to live that day to the best that you possibly can.
When you take things one day at a time, your achievements on a daily basis might seem insignificant, almost like somebody standing at the edge of a pond throwing a pebble each day, and you're not going to see anything for a long time. But there will come a time when one pebble you throw will poke up through water's surface, and you realize that all the other pebbles you've thrown have not been wasted. In fact, all those days you couldn't see anything from the surface were the days when you were setting a solid and strong foundation for all that you were going to accomplish in your lifetime. The things we are going to accomplish will be extraordinary when we realize that we are God's sons and daughters and that we hold within us an infinite reservoir of love and an infinite reservoir of potential that's just waiting to be realized.
Our True Parents celebrated the Legacy of Peace in America, and now they have initiated events in all 50 states and all around the world. They are seizing an opportunity to remind us that we have a set time here on earth, so let's make it worthwhile. Through these Legacy of Peace events, our True Parents are asking us what kind of legacy we are going to leave behind. What are we going to build on top of the pebbles that finally break through the water? What will we be remembered for when we cross into eternal life?
When we sing "Heaven Can Wait" with Chris Alan, our attitude should be, "God, you have given us so much already. Please sit back and watch what I'm going to do with my life, how I'm going to honor you, so when I get back into your arms I can come back home gloriously, knowing that I've honored the gift that you gave me, which was life, by valuing it, by understanding it as something meaningful, and by leaving something beautiful behind that will continue in the tradition that you taught me."
In that way we can see the hand of God mysteriously working in all of our lives, and all we have to do is to remind ourselves of this, one day at a time. The greatest detriment for living for the sake of others is this idea of entitlement. If we understand that the entitlement concept ultimately leads to the pollution of attitude and ingratitude, therefore we must be vigilant in truly asking ourselves and asking each other, "How are we going to live each day of our lives?" In so doing we are going to realize when we look back on the 10 or 20 or 30 years that have passed that we have been building something incredibly awesome.
For the First Generation, who have labored on for more than three decades in the American movement, I'm sure you went through phases in your marriage relationships, in relationship with your children, in relationship with your friends. But in our Second and Third and now Fourth Generation, we have something beautiful. We have an opportunity to make the world an awesome place, and a safe place for our children.
What we need to do in this second year of Lovin' Life Ministry is not just keep the good news for ourselves, not just enjoy the blessing for ourselves. Let's share in the breaking news, proclaim our True Parents, and let the people know that they are here and that this is an important time when we can graft onto that original olive branch and to find for ourselves what it means to experience true love, true life, and true lineage in our lives.
Brothers and sisters, please keep our True Parents in your hearts, and please meditate on what the word entitlement means in your lives. Think about how we should deal with our different concepts and opinions, and how to apply our True Parents' philosophy of living for the sake of others by really thinking about the other person first before ourselves.
Have a great week. Next week I'll be in Tokyo for the Youth Concert, then going on to Korea to celebrate the 50th anniversary of our True Parents there. Even though I will not be with you next week, my heart and my prayers are with you. Please have a safe week. Until I see you again, please go in good spirits. Thank you. God bless.
1: O give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;
his steadfast love endures for ever!
2: Let Israel say,
"His steadfast love endures for ever."
3: Let the house of Aaron say,
"His steadfast love endures for ever."
4: Let those who fear the LORD say,
"His steadfast love endures for ever."
5: Out of my distress I called on the LORD;
the LORD answered me and set me free.
6: With the LORD on my side I do not fear.
What can man do to me?
7: The LORD is on my side to help me;
I shall look in triumph on those who hate me.
8: It is better to take refuge in the LORD
than to put confidence in man.
9: It is better to take refuge in the LORD
than to put confidence in princes.
10: All nations surrounded me;
in the name of the LORD I cut them off!
11: They surrounded me, surrounded me on every side;
in the name of the LORD I cut them off!
12: They surrounded me like bees,
they blazed like a fire of thorns;
in the name of the LORD I cut them off!
13: I was pushed hard, so that I was falling,
but the LORD helped me.
14: The LORD is my strength and my song;
he has become my salvation.
15: Hark, glad songs of victory
in the tents of the righteous:
"The right hand of the LORD does valiantly,
16: the right hand of the LORD is exalted,
the right hand of the LORD does valiantly!"
17: I shall not die, but I shall live,
and recount the deeds of the LORD.
18: The LORD has chastened me sorely,
but he has not given me over to death.
19: Open to me the gates of righteousness,
that I may enter through them
and give thanks to the LORD.
20: This is the gate of the LORD;
the righteous shall enter through it.
21: I thank thee that thou hast answered me
and hast become my salvation.
22: The stone which the builders rejected
has become the head of the corner.
23: This is the LORD's doing;
it is marvelous in our eyes.
24: This is the day which the LORD has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it.
25: Save us, we beseech thee, O LORD!
O LORD, we beseech thee, give us success!
26: Blessed be he who enters in the name of the LORD!
We bless you from the house of the LORD.
27: The LORD is God,
and he has given us light.
Bind the festal procession with branches,
up to the horns of the altar!
28: Thou art my God, and I will give thanks to thee;
thou art my God, I will extol thee.
29: O give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;
for his steadfast love endures for ever!