The Words of In Jin Moon from 2012
Good morning, brothers and sisters. How is everyone this morning? Congratulations to all the Blessed Couples that are celebrating your 30th anniversary. It's amazing how quickly the years have gone by, isn't it? We still feel young at heart; yet when we look at the date, we realize that 30 years have gone by and all these strange people we call our children now embellish and entertain our lives. This whole work of building an ideal family – pursuing the dream that we had of building an ideal family – has taken us on a very intriguing and interesting journey, has it not? Yes.
Our True Parents really want to celebrate this day with all of you, and they send you their greetings from Las Vegas. It's all of you and the blessed central families who have protected our True Parents over the years – through the years of the wilderness, through many years of persecution and misunderstanding. Truly, the first-generation has stood by our True Parents and protected them like a good solid fence, so they could continue their mission and go about the work of providence.
Because you were there, not just as brothers and sisters or just as men and women, but as children of God loving not only your Heavenly Parent but also our True Parents throughout the years, our community has been able to grow as a worldwide movement. The foundation that you have laid for the last 40 to 50 years is the firm shoulders that the second-generation and the third-generation now stand on. It's because of your sacrifice, dedication, and persistence over the years that we are well positioned today to be extremely prosperous and lead richly fulfilled and satisfying lives.
In our Unification Church, the Blessing is such an important mark of our lives. We come to this movement as young men and women, but through the grace of God and because God has given us his and her representative in the form of True Parents – the true man and woman, perfected Adam and Eve who come to share this gift of the Blessing with all of humanity – we are allowed to change our lineage from satanic to that of a heavenly lineage. This gift to us is marvelously blessed, beautiful, and profound.
Through the Blessing, it is as though we enter through the portal of something that has never been done before in the history of humankind. We know that the mission of Jesus, who came 2,000 years ago, was cut short when he was crucified on the cross. He never had a chance to meet the beautiful wife with whom he could build a wonderful family and stand in the position as the True Parents. If Jesus Christ had been able to marry and together with his wife become the True Parents, they would have been quite famous for the very thing that our True Parents are famous for now – the mass weddings.
If the people 2,000 years ago had received the Messiah and understood that his mission was not to die but to find a beautiful wife, create a beautiful family, and thereby encourage and compel all of humanity – despite the barriers, differences, and great divides that separate God's children – to live as one family under God, this would all have taken place 2,000 years ago.
But fast-forward to the modern-day era and all of us are so privileged and blessed to be living in the time of our True Parents. They are going about their business around the world, spreading the breaking news that this is the time when we must realize that we are all children of God. As such, we are not to apply our power to destroy the world 100 times over – we have the technology to do so. Rather, if we center on and unite with our True Parents and we realize that the purpose of our lives is not just to celebrate ourselves but to celebrate each other as that one family under God, we can be poised to usher in the new millennium of peace and love that we all have been waiting for.
That's why the whole concept of the Blessing is so wonderfully important. For most people when they get married it's really about me and my spouse. It's about "my man" and "my woman." But here the Blessing is about honoring God, honoring and celebrating our humanity, and honoring and celebrating each other as husband and wife.
So just as the Jewish tradition has its rite of passage when a young man or young woman celebrates bar mitzvah or bat mitzvah and they become in essence a young man or a young woman instead of a young child, the Blessing allows us to go through a portal or rite of passage, if you will, allowing us to become a part of a universal family.
Therefore, this is not just a day when we honor each other as that spouse – that husband or wife – who has lasted for 30 years; this is a day when we have an opportunity to celebrate with humanity, with our Heavenly Parent, and with our True Parents who brought us this gift. It is a day to remind ourselves that we have pledged ourselves to each other, to humanity, and to God all at the same time. It's a day when we realize that because we've been afforded this incredible gift of the Blessing, we are going to work on ourselves even as we are building ideal families, and we are going to leave something beautiful behind so that our world will be better after we're done than it was when we first arrived. We want to leave the world better and well poised for the world of peace that we have been talking about.
Whenever I think about the Blessing and I think about different anniversaries that arise in the context of my own immediate family or in the True Family, I am often reminded – and many times my father has reminded me – "You know, In Jin, you were quite a peculiar child." That I knew already, but he said, "You know, you were very peculiar."
As you know, we grew up on the second floor of a church, so we woke up to singing and we fell asleep to singing; we woke up to prayer and we fell asleep to prayer. One of the most exciting things for all of us as children was watching these beautiful young men and women all dressed up – men in suits and women in white robes and dresses with a veil – and all going into the church assembly room to get Blessed.
I was only three or four years old, but I wanted to attend the Blessing. I wanted to go in, so I demanded that my nanny buy me a white dress. I took whatever material I could find that was on the floor from different sisters who were preparing their wedding gowns and veil, and I stuck it all together. I don't quite remember what it looked like, but it must have looked quite funny. So I had different scraps of veil, which I believe I tied with a rubber band, and I wanted to make that my wedding veil and my wedding gown.
I asked my parents, "I really want to attend this Blessing." My father just looked at me and said, "You have a bit of waiting to do." But I didn't want to wait. I was three or four, but I wanted to attend this Blessing. I wanted to be there. I didn't know who my husband was, so I enlisted the help of my younger brother, and I said, "You're going to the Blessing with me. You're my husband. So get dressed."
My poor younger brother and I were determined to enter – even though my father said, "You cannot go." As the people progressed into the assembly room, we thought that we could follow at the tail end of it and nobody would notice. My parents were already in the room waiting for the couples to come in, so we stood on the sidelines waiting for everybody to pass through. Different couples looked over at us, and they were probably thinking, "Oh, how sweet, how cute. They are dressing up for us." But they didn't realize that we fully intended to attend and join in the Blessing.
They passed us by; then I told my younger brother, "Get in position, get ready." We didn't know how to stand. He didn't know how to stand, and I didn't know how to stand. I didn't have any clips to stick the veil in my hair, so I remember holding onto it like this, and I said, "Let's go."
So as the last couple went into the assembly hall, I dragged my brother, grabbing onto my veil, and off we tried to go in. But then of course, the people at the door said, "You cannot go in." I said, "Why not?" "Because – because." They really didn't have an answer for me because I think they were quite shocked. They said, "Well, you're too young." And I said, "Why can't I go?" They asked me, "Did your father give you permission?" And I said, "No, but I still want to go."
Then they slowly closed the door and I thought, "Okay, they closed the door on me but they're not going to get rid of me." So I said to my brother, "We've got to cry. We've got to cry really loud." You know, "No mercy. We've got to let it rip." The couples were inside in the assembly hall but we wanted to be let in. So these two pitiful children stood outside crying our eyes out. And my younger brother did a really good job of it, too.
Then people came and said, "You can't make noise. This is a really holy, very, very profound hour." I said, "Yes, that's why I want to go. I want to go. I want to go in. Let me in." And they said, "No, you need to go back to your room and wait." I said, "No, wahhh." I let out a couple more screams, until they finally dragged me away.
Later my father pulled me into the room and said, "What were you doing out there?" I said, "Well, they didn't let me in and I wanted to go in. But then they closed the door on me so I had to cry. And I had to be heard, so I had to cry extra loudly." Then my father just laughed out loud and said to me something that I'll never forget, "The Blessing is a beautiful thing, but it's just a beginning. It's not an end."
That simple point is so right. When we go to our wedding, we tend to think that we're gearing up for this beautiful event and once the ceremony is done, it's over, right? Or at least that's what I thought. But my father said, "You know, the Blessing is the beginning, and it's not easy. You have a lot of years to work on yourself, so stop crying and wait for your Blessing."
On that day I was terribly disappointed, but when I look back on my married life, I find myself thinking, "Gee, my father knew a thing or two because it is incredibly difficult. When we join in wanting to build ideal families and we pray to God, 'Please give me the opportunity to build an ideal family,' well, our Heavenly Father gave us just that. He gave us an I-deal family."
I always say, "God delivers exactly what we ask for." We have to do our part in making sure we specify or give him a little more details with 30 years' worth of wisdom, but 30 years ago we got what we asked for. In a way, when we're asking for ideal families, we're really asking God, "Give me a family that I can 'true rub' against, a family in which I am going to be put in a situation to deal with – I-deal with – all the different issues that arise when we attempt to build this thing called an ideal family."
I was talking to one of my friends, and I said, "This Sunday is really special because it's the 30th anniversary of 8,000 couples." And my friend said, "Oh, my goodness, 30 years!" He said, "You know what they say about 30 years of marriage." I said, "What do they say?" And he says, "Well, those people that have lasted 30 years of marriage say the first 10 years are trench warfare, like World War I; the next decade is a lot like kamikaze soldiers, like World War II; and the third decade is like going through the Cold War. So people who have survived 30 years of marriage have survived all three world wars." And you guys are still going strong.
I said, "That's kind of interesting. I've never heard that one before. The one that I heard was in the movie Forrest Gump, where he said, 'Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're going to get.' In the Unification Church, marriage is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're going to get." For those of us who didn't know what we were going to get or what we got, it's been 30 years of quite a journey and quite an experience, and I'm sure that many of us have garnered wisdom throughout the years.
Even though our hair may be slightly grayer, our waistline may have expanded a little bit more, and we might be a little bit more tired than we were 30 years ago, nevertheless, the amazing thing about our community is that we are still young at heart. I don't know how many times people who have met our brothers and sisters or blessed couples in our community have said to me, "That guy's really 60? He looks 40." Because we are young at heart, because we are infused with the divine spirit, because we are plugged into this heavenly circuitry, we tend to look much younger than a lot of people out in the world. Regardless of how difficult life might be, we see it as a challenge and an opportunity to learn something from it, to grow and discover something that we've never noticed or realized about ourselves.
Even as difficult as life might be, we still have this audacious hope, this buoyant feeling of inspiration that lends itself to all of you looking much younger than you really are. God has kept you not only externally beautiful but also internally beautiful throughout the last 30 years.
As somebody who came from a different country, I have realized the beauty of this country, America, which truly is like the melting pot of all different races, all different traditions, and all different cultures. I was so intrigued and inspired to see people other than just Asians, or just black hair – curly hair, blonde hair, and red hair; black skin, olive skin, white skin, and red skin. It was just such a beautiful thing to see.
As I was growing up in Korea, my father and mother always talked about being part of a universal family, but I never saw it. Then coming here when I was eight years old, it hit me like a big tsunami: "Oh my goodness. So this is what my parents were talking about all those years when I was growing up in Korea. So this is what it means to look and feel like one family under God."
I realized how beautiful all of you guys were: bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, straight out of high school or straight out of college, and so enthused with the spirit to change the world, to be the agent of change, not wanting to be changed by the world but basically being the one to say, "I am going to be the agent of change that ushers in something beautiful." There was tremendous excitement and an enormous amount of hope, and we were just looking forward to all the different things that by now we've accomplished.
We thought that the next step of getting blessed would be just like that, too – full of hope, intrigue, and mystery. But when we have been married and raising a family for the last 30 years, we realize that there's a bit of work to be done. We realize that when we asked for an ideal family, God gave us different issues to work through when it concerns our spouses, our in-laws, and our children.
So when I think about our movement and how I would like to see it blossom in the near future, one way I like to think about it is the first-generation was about finding God. You guys joined the church in order to find God. You went through a process of conversion in which you experienced something divine like a spiritual energy or a spark that changed your life forever. And you decided, "I am going to commit myself to God. I am going to commit myself to the providence. I'm going to commit myself to building this thing called an ideal family."
Then we start having children and creating families. Today we can realize if you look at the second-generation that the first-generation was all about finding God – and you did find God in this movement. But for the second-generation, for all of us who were born into the movement, we never had to go through a process of a conversion. We never had to be put in a situation where we actually had an opportunity to own our faith.
So for those of us who have not gone through the process, the second-generation is about trying to figure out who we are, finding ourselves in the context of this movement and in the context of a family in which our parents went through a process of a conversion and decided to commit. For the second-generation, it's not so much about committing as it is about realizing what kind of a tradition we come from. It's about realizing that we are God's eternal sons and daughters, that we have been given this blessed life, and that it's up to us to use our life as a precious opportunity to create something beautiful by living a life of gratitude.
Each generation has its own struggle, and as a member of the second-generation, when I think about the third, fourth, and fifth-generations, I would like the third-generation and the generations coming after to be about finding happiness, about having happiness and fulfillment in our lives. And instead of the first-generation, who went through a process of finding God, and the second-generation, which went through a process of finding ourselves in the context of this "movement," the third-generation needs to be about finding happiness – finding how we substantiate happiness in our life.
As a mother who has children of my own, when I think about what I would like for them in the future, I would very much love for them to go to the Blessing. I would very much want them to be inspired by the dream or the romance of finding that special someone. At the same time, I would very much want them to go through a process of working on themselves in preparation for meeting that beautiful someone and committing themselves to this other person.
I would not want them to have to experience what the first-generation or many of the second-generation experienced: a Blessing that was like opening up a box of chocolate and not knowing what we're going to have. I would want the third and later generations to be active participants in the process of their own Blessing – with the help of their parents and of True Parents – so that the future generations have a chance to own their faith, their commitment, and their Blessing.
In this way, people going to the Blessing would not go with a question mark on top of their head but with a clear sense of purpose, determination, and commitment to say, "The Blessing is something incredibly beautiful that I've waited my whole life for. This was my dream, and now that I've found that eternal partner, I'm going to create something beautiful, knowing that my partner is fully cognizant and in agreement with my understanding of the Blessing. We both understand that once you commit, you try your best, and you don't take each other for granted; you don't abuse each other just because you think you're eternal partners and there's no place that your spouse can go."
Provided that it is a healthy, thriving, and respectful relationship, then that commitment needs to be honored with loyalty, respect, and love. This is what I want for my children. And I think all of us as parents want that for our children, too.
One of the great things about being part of a movement that has 40 or 50 years of history is that we can learn a lot from our victories, but we can also learn a lot from our mistakes and our failures. Going forward, we can utilize the wisdom garnered through the years to make sure that the future blessed candidates are better prepared and are better equipped than we were when we started our family life.
I often like to say that the first-generation found God, but we didn't know how to make that ideal family. Nobody gave us a manual on how to raise these perfect, sinless kids. The first-generation had to wait for the second-generation to grow up. Those who were born and raised in the movement and who have experienced the learning curve of our parents are positioned to work together with our parents to create a great manual or an educational curriculum so that we understand where our parents came from and our parents understand where we came from. In this way, the victories that were celebrated can continue to be celebrated, but the mistakes and failures of we ourselves as parents, or we ourselves as children, do not repeat over and over again.
Whenever we are faced with our anniversary, then, it is a time not only to celebrate but also to take into account how we did as human beings and learn from each other so we can better prepare for the future.
When I think about a blessed life, I often like to refer back to Genesis 33:10, the story about Jacob and Esau. Everybody knows the story about Jacob and Esau: how Jacob stole the birthright with the help of his mother, and Esau was really angry. He wanted to kill Jacob. "How dare you take my birthright? How dare you scheme and supplant my rightful birthright?"
Here we have this older brother who is out to kill his younger brother, and I'm sure the older brother is exploring all his options. "What is the best way to kill, or to deal with, this silly younger brother of mine who took my birthright?" I'm sure Esau spent many, many years doing so. But the reason why I like Genesis 33:10 is that it contains one of the most inspiring statements that a younger brother can make toward an older brother. After years of living their separate lives, they come to the reunion scene, and we all know the story. Jacob sends ahead of him all his prosperous gifts, his servants with their children, and his two wives, Rachel and Leah, along with their children. Even as he approaches Esau, he bows seven times to show his humility and his love for his older brother.
We can imagine what Jacob must have been thinking, "Oh, my goodness, this is the final reunion, and it's got to go well or I'm not going to be standing in this real world much longer. Here comes Esau with 400 of his buddies and his family. What is going to happen to me?"
But one of the things that Jacob says to Esau is something that inspires me because this is an example of positive thinking. As you know, here at Lovin' Life I often like to talk about how we are eternal sons and daughters of God, we are divine sons and daughters of God, we are the prepared son or daughter, inspired and empowered to do awesome things.
So much of religion and religious life has been emphasizing the idea that we are sinners: We are awful creatures; we are from the satanic lineage; we are not worthy either to lift our heads before our Lord in dignity or to know that we belong to our God, our Heavenly Parent. In a way the life of religion has been quite miserable.
But here at Lovin' Life we're following our True Parents' tradition in emphasizing the fact that we are inspired and divine children of God. We are like a light bulb that is plugged into the heavenly source of light that allows us to share our magnificent light with the rest of the world. Instead of feeling the weight of sin and seeing ourselves as worthless, horrible, and miserable creatures, we have a chance to find our own dignity and self-worth and become a great human being.
The message that our True Parents bring is profoundly positive, and it gives us immense hope because all throughout the years our True Parents have been saying, "You need to be better than us. You need to be a better parent than us. You need to be a better father and a better mother than us. You can be great. You can be that Nobel Prize winner. You can be that medalist at the Olympics. You can be the best lawyer in the state of New York. You can be whatever you want to be as long as you decide what your passion is, then commit and dedicate to becoming that empowered, great person who contributes back to your society. You can be an awesome agent of change."
The story of Jacob and Esau is extremely positively reinforcing to me because the word that Jacob utters to Esau is, "Truly when I look into your face, it's as if I see the face of God." Basically what he is saying is, "When I look at you, Brother, I see the face of God."
That's a wonderfully affirming, positive, and reinforcing message. Here is this older brother whom Jacob thinks is going to kill him, but in that crucial moment when the two brothers are finally locked arm in arm and finally face to face, Jacob says to a brother who can so easily kill him on the spot, "Brother, when I see your face, I see the face of God."
Jacob is doing a couple of things here with that line. He is proactively giving a positive message to his brother. He is saying, "Esau, you are like God. You are God's son. You are that divine being. If you are like God and you are God's son, are you going to kill or are you going to love?" Jacob is proactively reaffirming everything that Esau is as the beautiful elder brother. Jacob is reminding Esau at this dangerous and profound moment when the two brothers unite, "Esau, you are that beautiful face of God. You are God as far as I'm concerned."
Jacob also does something else that's immensely important. When you say to somebody, "When I gaze into your face, I see the face of God," it's probably one of the most beautiful compliments that you can give to that person, is it not? It's wonderfully beautiful, and the interesting thing to note in what he says is that the compliment is not convoluted. It doesn't have an addendum attached to it. It's a very clean compliment.
An example of a clean compliment might be a parent saying to a child, "You know, you're pretty awesome when you're doing that, when you play the piano." That's a wonderful compliment. In the context of a family life, however, we sometimes find ourselves wanting to better each other. It might be two siblings, or a husband and wife, or a parent and child.
Then the compliment may not be clean. We as parents when we are talking to our children often do not stop with saying, "You are really awesome when you are playing the piano." Instead we corrupt the compliment. We may say, "You are really awesome when you're playing the piano; if only you would practice a little bit more." We as parents have done that many times, haven't we? Then it's not a clean compliment. We've added an addendum to our offering or our compliment.
Jacob is not saying, "When I look into your face I see the face of God – only when you are smiling at me." He doesn't say that. He says, "When I look into your face, I see the face of God." Period. It's very clean. It's without any motivation. It's without any screwdriver that you want to turn just to make a point. It's an offering, a compliment. It's a beautiful offering, and that's what inspires me so much about what Jacob said to Esau.
And another thing that I realize when I read this part in the Bible and say those words to myself is that it's truly a loving thing to say. Words can be immensely powerful, and I often like to say, "Words are vehicles of emotions. Words can build and words can destroy." Words can build up our children's self-confidence and their awareness of who they are as a divine son or daughter of God. Our words as parents can truly empower, uplift, and build our children.
But our words also have the power to destroy, discourage, and belittle our children. Out of our own frustration, perhaps out of our own misunderstanding of how best to deal with the situation or issue at hand, we as the parents may find ourselves looking at our children and saying, "That issue is you; it's you," not realizing that often it's us. The issues arise because it's two people involved who need to work things out.
When you read this part of the Bible, you can see that Jacob is being very proactive with this positive message. He is being very loving by giving a very clean compliment. And I've often thought, "You know what? That is the key to building a beautiful ideal family." We as human beings in our responsible day-to-day affairs experience so many things, or as I would like to say, "Life happens." Things that are unexpected arise. Things that we didn't anticipate happen, things that we didn't want smack us in the face, and we're left wondering, "What the heck happened?"
But we realize that building an ideal family is an opportunity for us to practice positive thinking – and not just thinking, but positive reinforcement in that our words become the vehicle of emotion not to destroy but to build and empower. And our actions encourage people, whether it's our children, our spouse, or our siblings, to be the best that we possibly can.
Jacob stunned Esau with this astonishing positive message, which must have hit Esau really hard. Esau was looking at this brother as somebody he wanted to kill and murder for taking away his birthright. But the younger brother is being proactively positive. He's being clean with his compliment; he's speaking extremely loving words; he's uplifting his older brother, honoring him as the older brother to whom he wants to dedicate everything that he owns.
It puts Esau in a situation where he finds himself being reminded by the positive message that, "Yes, I may want to kill my brother," but also, "Yes, I am that loving older brother. I am that divine son of God. I am that child of God. In a way, my face is like my Father's because I am his son." It reminds Esau of his true potential as the beautiful elder brother, but it also creates a healthy dissonance in his mind between what he had wanted to do and what he's dealing with in being face to face with a younger brother who is hitting him with this positive love bomb. He wants to kill Jacob, but the positivity, or the power of positive reinforcement, is so great that it allows him to tap into his own divinity and dignity as the good older brother.
In the end, the only thing he can do is to decide to embrace and not to kill. When we reaffirm and reinforce each other positively, it's giving the other person an opportunity to choose what kind of a response or what kind of a person he or she wants to be. When we give an offering of a true compliment without any baggage – in that it is clean – what we really want the other person to do is to be reminded of his or her true worth and dignity, so that she or he can choose to do the right thing.
Even though Jacob is the younger brother, he becomes a catalyst to help his older brother Esau do the right thing and embrace his younger brother in this beautiful reunion. That's the power of positivity, and that's the power of words or language. Our Children Adapt to What We Say
As a senior pastor, I have been asking myself, "How do we build a culture of heart? How do we build a loving environment so we don't become a church that condemns but we become a church that builds up and empowers?" I don't want us to become a church that discriminates between "Who's better? Who's purer? Who prays harder? Who fasts more?" I want us to become a church that says, "Wow, that brother, that sister is better than me. Wow, that family is truly a family of God."
I was brought to this part of the Bible in the story of Jacob and Esau because, as a senior pastor, I receive a lot of e-mails from many of the brothers and sisters. One e-mail that I received was from a young man. This young man growing up as a second-generation has had a long journey in terms of finding himself. His difficulty has been his relationship with his mother. As he was growing up, he always had an intense fear of disappointing God, True Parents, his parents, and in particular his mother. But life happens, and he didn't take up with the best group of friends. He went the roundabout way, and he admitted to me freely that he must have caused a great deal of concern and suffering to his mother. But after a couple of years of service, he came back home, and he was so happy to see his mother. They had a long conversation, and he said, "You know, Mom, I'm really sorry for all those years that I've been so immature. I have realized that I now have a passion. I know what I want to do with my life, and I just hope that you can trust me and give me the chance to make it up to you. I really want to hear you say that I didn't disappoint you."
He described what happened, and I think his mother attempted to be real with her son in her response to him. She said, "Yes, all those years have been extremely difficult. You were a rebellious, difficult child. And yes, you disappointed me." And this young man, who had the fear of disappointing God, True Parents, and his mother his whole life, was suddenly hit with his mother, after a long confessional talk, that, yes, she was disappointed. It was his mother's attempt at being real. But I think his mother did not realize what a huge weight she had with those words, in telling her son, "Yes, you disappointed me."
I think that often we as parents – and we're all guilty here – don't realize how extremely painful or difficult or burdensome our words can be. A lot of parents come to me because they have difficulty with their children, so when I hear the story that they share with me about their child in particular, certain things pop up that I notice. Most of the parents, when they're dealing with a difficult child, will say things like, "He's just such a headache. He just can never do anything right. He really pushes us to the limit. He's so rebellious. He's such a bad child." This is what they say to me, not realizing that this has been the kind of language that has been spoken in that family for over 17 or 18 years.
We want to raise positive, inspired, empowered children, not realizing that many times we create a home where the language is far from being an inspired and positive reinforcement to our children. We don't realize that we often are the ones who have created a language or perhaps created almost a belief system in the kids that, "Yes, I am that. I can never do anything right. I am rebellious."
A child takes in or accepts the language that the parents are using on the child and says, "Okay, I'll run with it, and do that even more." Even though the mother was disappointed in the child, if she thought about how extremely powerful her words were, and are, and continue to be, she might have chosen her words a little better. Instead of saying, "You've disappointed me," she might have wanted to say, "You know, life is difficult for me and for you, and building an ideal family is a very difficult thing to do. But you've never disappointed me in that I always believed in you. I always trusted in your true potential, in your true capability, and what you've gone through is just a process that you needed to grow out of in order to become a much richer and a much deeper person."
This could be an example of thinking about what we want to say to each other in the family and reminding ourselves of Jacob's wisdom in using the power of positivity, affirmation, and reinforcing what is good. What we speak builds up the emotions in our children, and they adapt to it. They take it to heart, whether we like it or not. And we may not realize that the language we use when we scold them, or when we are frustrated and exasperated with them, becomes the lesson tools that make them difficult children or push them to continue the difficult way. The story of this young man and his mother is a reminder to take pause and think about what we are actually saying.
I received another e-mail – from a wife who was at her wit's end. She was so consumed in her self-righteousness that she felt compelled to launder publicly her husband's dirty laundry. She basically threw out to the public arena everything that the husband has done wrong.
A situation like that, when a wife is trashing her spouse publicly, provides us with the opportunity to reflect on two important points. To the women – and I wanted to bring this up because I'm a woman – you and me, we as wives and as women, have an tremendous power to build or destroy with our words. Not all of us have ideal husbands, and not all of the men have ideal wives. In the context of a larger community like ours, however, it's never a good thing to be so self-righteous and selfish about what we want out of life that we are willing to destroy another human being by condemning another human being in the public arena. This is not what an ideal family is all about.
We all have our shortcomings; we all have our strengths and weaknesses. But our community is really about celebrating our strengths and working on our weakness. So instead of trashing the husband or the wife publicly, we have to realize that we have children, and when we attack or trash our spouse publicly, we are teaching our children that half of them is evil, half of them is bad, and half of them needs to be trashed publicly. In essence, we're teaching our children to condemn that half of them that comes from the father or the mother.
If we really love our children and we're really building a better future for our world, regardless of how difficult a husband-and-wife relationship might be, we cannot go around trashing each other, fighting and lashing out at each other around the kitchen sink. We cannot scream at our spouse within the earshot of our children. We cannot condemn and destroy the dignity of our spouse publicly.
The interesting thing about people who tend to do this is that usually the person complaining – like the wife who reported she was at her wit's end – is the one with the problem. When I found out this wife's story, I realized that she was trashing her husband for being such a bad person when in the end of the day she was the one guilty with all the problems that she was accusing her husband of.
Here at Headquarters, as you know my brothers and I – in Korea, Japan, and America – are all involved in this faith-breaking issue in which 4,300 of our Japanese brothers and sisters have been abducted and held hostage against their will in Japan simply for wanting to be Unificationists. Of course, the extreme example of that is Mr. Goto, who was abducted by his own family with the help of deprogrammers and held captive for 12 years and five months. It's just unbelievable what is being done in Japan.
These Japanese deprogrammers are victimizing the parents to think that their children are brainwashed zombies who are no longer capable of making adult decisions, and therefore the children have to be brainwashed back by the deprogrammers after the parents have paid, in the situation of Mr. Goto's family, $1.5 million to rebrainwash their child to leave the Unification faith, to leave the church. I have always thought this is quite tragically funny.
The parents are being victimized by the deprogrammers, who are saying awful things about our church. People often misunderstand what we mean when we say that the Blessing is a portal through which the blood lineage is changed from satanic lineage to God's lineage. I had a couple of Korean Ph.D. friends who said to me, "We hear that you swap spouses in your church. You have this thing called the change of blood. You swap spouses in your church and you drink blood?" I said, "No, we do not." And they said, "Well, we hear that your church is a sex cult, that Reverend Moon has sex with everybody." And I said, "No, that is not the case."
This is the type of information that the deprogrammers use on the parents and on the children. The deprogrammers are saying, "Your Unification Church may say publicly that it wants to be pure, it wants you to preserve your sexual purity for the sake of that eternal partner, for the grand Hollywood romance that you're preparing yourself for, but actually your Unification Church is a corrupt sexual cult."
I learned a tragically funny thing when I went to Japan with my friends who were creating a documentary about the faith-breaking issue and we did some research on these Christian ministers who work in deprogramming our brothers and sisters away from our faith. We realized that while these ministers are accusing our True Parents of being a sex cult leader, at the same time they are brainwashing our sisters to leave the church and become their girlfriends. So here is another example of the person who is throwing the garbage being the one who is guilty of the garbage, the person who tends to accuse and persecute and tear down people publicly. Why would any good person do that? Why would anyone decent try to do that? Life is tough enough as it is.
The only thing that we should think about is how to support, nurture, and empower each other. But usually the person who wants to create garbage to throw at another person publicly is the one guilty of the crime. We see that, time and time again.
If we're going to have a beautiful community whose culture is a culture of heart, not a culture of judgment, condemnation, disappointment, and discouragement, then we need to take stock of how we are doing as parents, as children, as brothers and sisters, and as citizens of this community of the faithful, and we need to think about how we're going to be better positioned and better prepared for the future.
Then there is another case of a family that is a wonderful family. This family is so wonderful, so infused with the spirit. But often we don't realize that we may think so highly of ourselves that we don't realize that we are comparing our own happiness and our own success vis-à-vis the others in the movement. We don't realize we're saying, "Oh, my family is so awesome, much better than yours. My family doesn't have your problem."
In the context of 30 years of marriage, some of us have remained intact as a blessed couple, some of us are single parents now, and some of us have failed at our initial blessing and have gone on to be reblessed. The picture today is very different than when we first walked down the aisle. Life happens, and we have to grow and to deal with all the issues that hit us along the way in terms of our own life of faith and our own effort at trying to build families.
Our family is no longer all the same. It's not homogeneous. Every family is different. Every family has its unique problems that it needs to overcome. Every family has its own unique issues that it needs to work at.
So going forward on this day when our purpose in life is to create the culture of heart, we have to ask ourselves, "Are we going to be a community that spends time distinguishing who is better than the other: Whether the intact couples are better than the single parents? Whether the intact couple who fights like cats and dogs and screams at each other is really better than a single parent who is trying her best or his best to raise decent kids? Or whether that single parent is better than somebody whose blessing didn't work out and had to try again?
We have to sit back and realize that everybody, every human being, is a unique, eternal, and beautiful child of God. And just as every seed we plant has its own cycle as to what we need to do in order to produce the best crop or harvest, each person is like a precious seed for whom God is waiting to reap the harvest of our true potential.
But just because our cycle is slightly different from every other cycle, we should not be the kind of a community that discourages each other by saying, "Oh, my family is going faster than yours. My family is much better than yours, much purer than yours, more intact than yours." In its own way, every family is precious. Despite the differences, what unites us all is that common vision or that common dream that we all had when we first walked down the aisle. Regardless of what our situations may be or what our particular issues may be, we are still committed, we are still trying our best, and that's what we need to affirm and reinforce.
It's the positive that we need to reaffirm because the positive reaffirmation and reinforcement will create a new language of positivity that will continue to nurture, comfort, and empower our children to be the best that they can possibly be. I don't know about you, but my dream is to really raise that Generation of Peace.
A lot of young people are trying to find out what they want to be. Are they going to be Generation X? Are they going to Y? Are they going to be Z? Are they going to be the Millennial: "Show me the money?" What I would like to see is this Generation of Peace: Inspired and empowered young people connecting with their humanity, with where they come from, and with their Heavenly Parent, and wanting to contribute to the good of society by developing their passion so they can give their own unique touch back onto the world and inherit the true love of God in working to build ideal families.
The Generation of Peace is going to be that bunch of young people who understand they come from a common parent and they are eternal sons and daughters of God who want to live a life of altruism, living for the sake of others. Here we want to live a life practicing compassion, not condemnation, discouragement, or discrimination; we want to live a life of compassion by working on ourselves so that not only do we become internally excellent but also we become an embodiment of everything that is good – both internally excellent in our life of faith and also externally excellent in whatever we decide to do as a career.
It doesn't matter what the people of the world might think an Unificationist is, as long as they say, "She might be an Unificationist, but she is the best violinist I've heard." "I hear he's an Unificationist, but he is the best darned poli-sci teacher I have ever met." "You know, that child might be an Unificationist, and I've heard a lot of stories about the Unification Church, but she won the Gold Medal for our country, for the United States of America." And, "I hear that the guy running for the next presidency is an Unificationist, but what an incredible man, what an incredible family, what an incredible vision."
If we are excellent internally, we need to be excellent externally as well because what we are needs to come out and be expressed, just as the light within needs to be shared with the rest of the world. That's what being an agent of change is all about. So you guys of the first-generation have run your course of being there for our True Parents, protecting our True Parents. The second-generation and the generations coming thereafter must receive the baton of the good work and the foundation building that our first-generation has done and be grateful for the basement foundation that was laid. Now it is time to build the house, a beautiful house.
But our end goal is not just to build a house. Our end goal is to learn how to live properly in that house. We need to know and learn and substantiate everything that God wants. God didn't just want us to build a basement. God didn't just want us to build buildings forever. God wants us to build that beautiful house, be the master of that house, own it, make it ours, and live with a grateful heart, with a sense of purpose, and with a goal in mind, knowing that we belong to an awesome, awesome movement and community.
So brothers and sisters, I always say that we have been touched by the moon – and Reverend Moon, our True Father, and Mrs. Moon, our True Mother, are a beautiful example of that marvelous couple who are each other's best partner, best friend, best supporter, and best source of positive reinforcement.
As we go forward looking toward the next anniversary, let us not just talk about a culture of heart but actually work on building that culture of heart, starting with our language, reminding ourselves of the power of positive reinforcement and affirmation as we saw in the magic that took place when Jacob and Esau were finally reunited. It's that power of love. It's that power of proactively wanting positive energy to be shared. It's that positive desire to give someone a clean offering, a clean compliment that can uplift, build, and encourage all of us.
Life is tough enough as it is, isn't it? We don't need to make it any tougher on each other. Please be proud Unificationists, be proud 30-year anniversary brothers and sisters. You are beautiful; you are young at heart; you've done an astounding thing of walking the walk with our True Parents. Now let's do our best to walk the walk with our children so that our children can be the Generation of Peace that claims the next millennium as its own by bringing in the world of peace.
So God bless. Thank you.
1: And Jacob lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, Esau was coming, and four hundred men with him. So he divided the children among Leah and Rachel and the two maids.
2: And he put the maids with their children in front, then Leah with her children, and Rachel and Joseph last of all.
3: He himself went on before them, bowing himself to the ground seven times, until he came near to his brother.
4: But Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck and kissed him, and they wept.
5: And when Esau raised his eyes and saw the women and children, he said, "Who are these with you?" Jacob said, "The children whom God has graciously given your servant."
6: Then the maids drew near, they and their children, and bowed down;
7: Leah likewise and her children drew near and bowed down; and last Joseph and Rachel drew near, and they bowed down.
8: Esau said, "What do you mean by all this company which I met?" Jacob answered, "To find favor in the sight of my lord."
9: But Esau said, "I have enough, my brother; keep what you have for yourself."
10: Jacob said, "No, I pray you, if I have found favor in your sight, then accept my present from my hand; for truly to see your face is like seeing the face of God, with such favor have you received me.
11: Accept, I pray you, my gift that is brought to you, because God has dealt graciously with me, and because I have enough." Thus he urged him, and he took it.
12: Then Esau said, "Let us journey on our way, and I will go before you."
13: But Jacob said to him, "My lord knows that the children are frail, and that the flocks and herds giving suck are a care to me; and if they are overdriven for one day, all the flocks will die.
14: Let my lord pass on before his servant, and I will lead on slowly, according to the pace of the cattle which are before me and according to the pace of the children, until I come to my lord in Se'ir."
15: So Esau said, "Let me leave with you some of the men who are with me." But he said, "What need is there? Let me find favor in the sight of my lord."
16: So Esau returned that day on his way to Se'ir.
17: But Jacob journeyed to Succoth, and built himself a house, and made booths for his cattle; therefore the name of the place is called Succoth.
18: And Jacob came safely to the city of Shechem, which is in the land of Canaan, on his way from Paddan-aram; and he camped before the city.
19: And from the sons of Hamor, Shechem's father, he bought for a hundred pieces of money the piece of land on which he had pitched his tent.
20: There he erected an altar and called it El-El'ohe-Israel.