The Words of In Jin Moon from 2011
The following is Rev. In Jin Moon's speech given at the first Youth Concert for World Peace to be held in America, on March 18, 2011 in New York City.
Thank you for joining in our first Youth Concert in America. I am truly delighted to be here with all of you. You have to forgive my voice. On my flight back from spending some time with our True Parents, I was praying that I would still have a voice to share with all of you. Thank God my prayers were granted.
I want us all to take this opportunity to thank our True Parents from the bottom of our hearts for being with us at this very difficult time. Our True Parents are offering deep prayers for the sake of our Japanese movement. They are praying and thinking about Japan and all that it has represented for our movement.
As you know, Japan has been the financial backbone of our worldwide movement. We as the elder son country must wake up to an understanding of ourselves as responsible young adults. Instead of leaning on our mother country for financial and physical support in terms of brothers and sisters coming and helping our providence in America, it is time for the great men and women of this country to stand up and start being responsible as representatives of the elder son nation.
After having spent yesterday in remembrance of my older brother [Hyo Jin Moon] who passed away, I really want to carry out his vision of making culture a center of our lives, providing not just beauty and excitement but inspiring people to recognize their own divinity and empower them to be the kind of eternal sons and daughters that we were all meant to be. How incredibly wonderful that God has given us this gift of the concert, to finally celebrate it together with our American brothers and sisters!
I've been doing this concert series for the last ten years in Japan and I have encouraged the Japanese church to use every cent and every yen that I raised, for the sake of their blessed children's education -- encouraging children to go into the arts, to develop their artistry so they become great, not just as academics or sportsmen and sportswomen, but also as painters, artists, and singers in their own right.
We started out with a handful or a group that was like ragamuffins who could barely sing. But after 10 years, our Japanese child musicians have been awarded an invitation to perform at the embassies in Japan -- because they became not just the pride of our movement but also the pride of Japan. They became that good.
So tonight as I was sitting in the audience and looking at the young bands that we had the opportunity to listen to, I remember you guys two years ago, when I did the listening tour going around the country. Since then, you have gotten really good. So I encourage you to continue practicing and to really hone your craft.
When I told my father that I needed to get back to New York to spend some time with our brothers and sisters on behalf of the first Youth Concert in America, he said, "You need to tell those kids that the arts, music, whatever we're passionate about, is really a gift from God." Father said that singing and dancing and being able to paint are sacred abilities -- he used the word sacred. This is a sacred gift that God has placed in your care.
So those of you who are talented in the arts, who maybe are talented actors, singers, dancers, painters, and so on, need to realize that you have a chance in your life to express this gift from heaven, to use your sacred art as a means of inspiring others. Father emphasized to me again the importance of living for the sake of others through your art.
Here we are in the Manhattan Center. Have you heard of Dreamworks? Have you heard of Steven Spielberg? They are preparing to set the musical score for their upcoming movie Tin-Tin, and the person they chose to grace this movie is Renee Fleming, a very famous singer. They came here to the Manhattan Center to record for the movie. You young men and women need to understand that the Manhattan Center and the New Yorker, these venues that our True Parents prepared for us, are world-class. Only the finest artists have the right to perform on this stage and on the Hammerstein stage.
Peter Jackson (Director), Tin-tin, and Stephen Spielberg (Producer)
How wonderful it would be -- given the fact that you have been practicing all throughout the year because you want to share this sacred gift with your brothers and sisters -- for you guys to experience firsthand how it feels to stand where the best of the best have stood, where your favorite artists have performed, where your celebrity gods or goddesses have performed.
All of us must realize that it's an honor to stand on this stage. As we come to appreciate and enjoy this venue that our True Parents and our Heavenly Parent prepared for all of us, we must be mindful of our own individual responsibility to really see ourselves as unadulterated and pure vessels through which the sacred art that was given by our Heavenly Parent can be truly and honestly transmitted through you and your gifts.
Father wants to encourage each one of you to become a great artist, to become the pride of not just our community but of America. You can be the best of the best if your heart is true, you are dedicated to your craft, you understand where that sacred gift comes from, and your desire is to share that honestly and humbly with the rest of the world.
If we can do that, then with each new year God will bless us, our families, our movement, and the new generation that I so wish to see take up the mantle for the new millennium.
As a mother and somebody who has witnessed the power of culture and the necessity of the arts in a child's education, emphasizing the importance of discipline, delayed gratification, and wanting to give, I know these to be principles that if you apply them in the arts will also carry you in whatever career path you wish to go in the future.
I'm hoping that as we go on year after year, celebrating the artistic fruits of our community like those we experienced here today, that the Manhattan Center can be not only the venue where the best of the best artists come to share their music with the rest of the world, but also the birthplace of great musicians, great artists, that we as a movement can share with the rest of the world.
Just as I challenged the children of Japan ten years ago, I am going to challenge all of you today, so that by this time next year when we celebrate the second Youth Concert for World Peace, I would like to see twelve bands coming one from each of the twelve districts that we have around the country. If you continue to practice and if you continue to devote yourselves to the arts honestly and faithfully in the understanding that you are a vessel to whom God has given the ability to express the sacred gift of music, then, I would like to see a group of young bands who consistently perform -- not just practice but perform -- on Sundays together with the Lovin' Life Ministry in their districts, developing themselves and becoming just as good as the best of the best. Then, starting next year, I would like for the Manhattan Center to produce an album of the top three young adult ministry bands in the country, plus maybe the top three honorable mentions, depending on the quality of musicianship.
You guys can take back the news to your district that you have a year. You think you are good? You can do better. So work! As we get better in ourselves, in our musicianship and artistry, and as a movement, the spirit of living for the sake of others also needs to be continued, starting with America.
I very much saw myself as an American member of the True Family -- my family lives in this beautiful country -- going to Japan and giving every last cent that I make to the Japanese movement, thanking them for all they have accomplished over the years. How wonderful would it be if we could start generating funds through concert series like the Youth Concert, and every year decide to help a particular country of our choosing by donating some of the gifts and love we have in America. We could say, "You know what? We are so blessed and honored to be living at this time in this beautiful country of America. Let us share a little bit of our resources and love with your country."
But we don't have to wait any more as a country for others to give to us. We can start with ourselves. We can start with our children. And instead of our children being so high on the celebrity mania that exists in this country, we need to help our children to be proud of our own. Aren't our kids great?
How wonderful if all the Second and Third Generation in our movement all around the world can be just as excited about the Ohio band, the LA band and the San Diego band, just as they are excited about any other rock star or rock starlet that there is in the world! We need to start realizing how incredible a venue the Manhattan Center is and not just take it for granted, but appreciate, talk about, and be excited about it. And instead of just coming to church and appreciating Sonic Cult, you guys have to know that it's a bleeping good band!
There is a reason why I went looking far and wide to bring singers like Il Hwa, Chris Alan, and Ben Lorentzen, and our new musical director, Joe Young, into the fold, so that you guys can be proud of our own. You have to understand that Joe Young is one of the most sought-after session players in New York, so all the great artists want him to play on their album. You need to know that Il Hwa and Chris Alan are being nurtured and groomed for fantastic musical careers, and you need to know that Ben Lorentzen was the number one singer in Norway. Not only was he number one, he was the in-house singer–songwriter for EMI records. Do you guys know EMI records?
So we need to be proud of our own. This is not a motley group of people that In Jin Nim threw together to amuse you every Sunday morning. This is a good group of musicians, the best that I could get my hands on, to let you know the quality and level I am going for.
So, imagine, brothers and sisters. If every district has a phenomenal band, your own, and we have a healthy competition every year with a concert like the Youth Concert series, we can give birth to phenomenal musicians. And I look forward not just to Sonic Cult being called a bleeping bleeping band of Reverend Moon, but I want to be able to share with all my friends in the industry, "Did you know that the young adult ministry band in Ohio got written up by Sting magazine? Did you know that the Junction Band was talked about in Village Voice? Did you know that the San Diego band was written up by Rolling Stone?"
Brothers and sisters, this is an invitation for all of you to not just talk the talk but walk the walk and build something phenomenal. Just as our True Father said, the gift of music is a sacred art. Young people in the audience, respect your art. Do not let it go to waste by wasting your life away on drugs. Do not let your art go to waste by engaging in needless and pointless relationships.
This is about experiencing, honoring, and inspiring each other with the sacred art of music because we believe in the beauty of true love and in a life well lived, and because every day we breathe on earth is worth it.
My elder brother, Hyo Jin oppa, was really the big man on campus when it came to music. He was a charismatic figure with a lot of energy, and he scared a lot of people. But you know, if you really got to know him, he was beautiful and the sweetest person you could spend time with. Now that we have the honor and privilege to start this Youth Concert series, I would like also to honor the other members of my family who have already gone on before us, like my older sister.
I had a sister who was one year older than me. Her name is Hye Jin, and she only lived eight days. But I know that my name is In because my mother prayed for another daughter. My name is made of two Chinese characters -- one for "person" and the number "two." So my mother always said, "You know, you're living the life of two people." So I would like to honor her today.
I would like to also honor my younger brother, Heung Jin, who gave his life to save the two other blessed children he had in the car. And of course, he went as a providential sacrifice to protect our True Parents. Not too many people know this: My older brother was a musician, and my younger brother, Heung Jin, was an aspiring painter. He drew lots of beautiful and thought-provoking paintings. I often wondered, had he had the opportunity to live a bit longer, he might have given Picasso a run for his money, or van Gogh. So I would like to remember him at this Youth Concert today.
I also would like to remember my younger brother, Young Jin, whom I raised almost like my own son up in Boston. Most people don't know this about him, either: But again, he was a great creative individual. I would have to say probably in my family nobody was more idealistic than Young Jin. He was extremely talented in sports and a superb student. He was absolutely clear when it came to God, True Parents, and his life of faith. He was so idealistic in wanting to live a life well lived.
Most people don't realize that he was very much a budding writer, a fantastic, insightful and thought-provoking writer. I often wonder what kind of writer he would have been. I've often talked to myself in my prayer; he would probably have been like Michael Crichton, one of my favorite authors, who wrote "Jurassic Park," which was turned into a movie. Crichton was a Harvard medical doctor, so he went through the world of academia and got his medical degree because his parents wanted him to. I very much see Young Jin like that. At the end of the day he could not resist his true passion, his true calling, which was his wanting to be a writer.
So these are the people that we share this beautiful stage with tonight. As we remember the people who lost their lives in the tragedy of Japan, I know that they will be well taken care of. And what is really shocking almost and surprising to me is that in the Fukushima area, and in the prefecture where Sendai is located, not one of our brothers and sisters were hurt. One Japanese sister told her leader, "The last thing I remember is being swept away by the tsunami when some man -- I don't know who he was -- but some man reached into the water and saved my life." There's another story of a Japanese sister who was trying to drive away from the tsunami when her car was swept away by the water. Somehow the car came to rest on the roof of a building so she could break open the window and be rescued. It is absolutely amazing that not one of our brothers and sisters lost their lives. Japanese brothers and sisters need to know that our True Parents' prayers are with them always.
Tonight is an opportunity for us in America to do our part in helping our brothers and sisters in the country of Japan. Sometimes the best time to help is when your friend is down and out. A true friend is there not just when you are up on a pedestal; a true friend is there when nobody wants to be your friend.
Even as the world is slowly coming to help and create relief funds for Japan, how wonderful for our American church community -- and especially the Second Generation who can inherit the spirit of living for the sake of others -- to say, "You know what? I'll just work a little bit harder. I'll just double and triple my babysitting responsibilities, but I would like to send something to let the Japanese people know that we care." Caring needs to start with us. We need to take that first step.
Brothers and sisters, I thank you for being a part of the first Youth Concert for World Peace in the United States. I'm hoping that as we go on we'll see Youth Concerts not only in Japan, but also in Europe, South America, and all around the world. When all the different countries start creating a Youth Concert series like we are starting now, then we can start inviting each other and performing and playing with each other. In this way, culture can become the medium of exchange that brings us together as one family under God honoring our Heavenly Parent and our True Parents.
I know that you have some more good music coming your way, so let me not take the stage any longer, and thank you for being a part of this evening.