The Words of In Jin Moon from 2012

Celebrating Our Differences

In Jin Moon
August 5, 2012

Wow! Such beautiful faces in front of me! How is everybody? So much has been happening in the last couple of weeks. We've had the Lovin' Life Camp. Dave Hunter, his team, and all the volunteers have done a fantastic job with the high school kids, and now with the middle schoolers. We've also had my younger brother touring the country in eight different cities, provoking all of us to think about what freedom and responsibility really mean. I am so proud of our American team for taking such great care of him -- everyone from Joshua Cotter on down to all the district pastors and all the brothers and sisters who came out in support of True Family. I want to thank all of you.

We have also been continuing our great fight on the issue of religious freedom in Japan. As you know, 4,300 of our brothers and sisters over the last three decades have been abducted and incarcerated and have been abused during their time in captivity. So a few years ago, my brothers and I decided to do something about it and help put an end to the atrocities that have been taking place there. American members and the American team here in the United States, together with our friends in ACLC and different Ambassadors for Peace, have all done a phenomenal job of accompanying me in going to Capitol Hill, visiting various congressmen, congresswomen, and senators, and imploring them to take action to help stop what is taking place in Japan.

A couple of days ago we had a congressional briefing on Capitol Hill, with the opportunity to hear from such distinguished panelists as Dr. Aaron Rhodes, former director of the Helsinki Human Rights Commission; Ms. Tina Ramirez, director of the Beckett Foundation; and Ms. Kathryn Cameron Porter, a long-time veteran of Capitol Hill and the founder and president of the Leadership Council for Human Rights.

These people, together with us, are highlighting the atrocities taking place in Japan and they are helping us fight to put an end to them so that we as Unificationists all around the world can be proud of our faith, proud of our True Parents, and proud of our blessed life -- so that every Unificationist can be allowed the freedom to love life.

My Freedom Ends Where Your Freedom Starts

When we talked about what was going to be the slogan for Lovin' Life camp this year, we all thought that "Rebels With a Cause" would be a highly interesting and inspiring slogan because in sharing the breaking news we are attempting to break the mold of what's been done before. Here we are, living in the time of the advent of our True Parents -- the first man and woman who together have perfected themselves and now stand in position as a true example that all of humanity can follow. They are the ones coming with the great gift of the Blessing through which all of God's children can graft on to the true lineage and separate from the satanic lineage that has dominated humankind for thousands and thousands of years.

Having our True Parents here is an incredible blessing, and now is an incredible time for us to exercise our freedom, to be responsible eternal sons and daughters of God. When I hear the word freedom, I often like to say that my Asian ear hears the word freedom as though it's made up of two words: the words free and dom. So there is a certain kind of responsibility when we're being free. There is a responsibility not to do things that are not smart for us, dumb things.

When we are young, we tend to think that we can pretty much do whatever we want, that we will live forever, and that it doesn't matter what everyone else is thinking as long as we think that we are free and we are exercising our freedom.

But at the congressional briefing, Dr. Rhodes said something that's very important for us to all think about as young people when we're contemplating the word freedom. He said, "My freedom ends where your freedom starts," meaning that we are free insofar as it doesn't infringe on the freedom of others.

So the work that we're doing to liberate our Japanese brothers and sisters is to allow them freedom without having the deprogrammers infringing on their right to freely exercise their faith in the way that they would like as proud Unificationists.

When we think of ourselves as members of the worldwide community wanting to live under the banner of One Family under God, what are our True Parents asking all of us to do? Here we have the freedom to be an eternal son or daughter of God, but Father and Mother have emphasized over and over again that we cannot have freedom without an understanding of responsibility. We are free to live our lives in a good way and not in a dumb way, by exercising our responsibility, by owning up to all that we were meant to become.

Oscar Wilde

A Dreamer Who Sees the Dawn

As a mother of five, when I gaze into the audience and see these bright young faces, I see them as the promise of our future. They are our future. And whatever we can do to inspire them, to empower them, to nurture them to be a proud and confident son or daughter of God is our privilege as parents. We realize that in our desire to be and to create this one family under God, there's a lot of work to be done, and that's why we need the true example of our True Parents. When we look at their life of faith -- True Father for over 93 years and our True Mother for over 70 years -- there are a couple of things that we can learn from their good example.

One of the things that always struck me about Father is that he is a man who never stops dreaming. The wittiest and most amusing English writer that I like to call one of my favorites is Oscar Wilde, and he said something profound. He said that a dreamer is a visionary. A dreamer is somebody who thinks of something better than what we are faced with or what we are smack immersed in. To me, True Father is that dreamer because he offers all of humanity a vision of how we can create the ideal world of peace and true love.

It's not just his dreams but his actual work of substantiating that dream that has inspired me in my life. Oscar Wilde said a dreamer is one who can find his or her way by moonlight, and he is punished because he dares to see the dawn before the world.

I see our father as the visionary that humanity has been waiting for. He is the man with a purpose. He comes with a vision and he teaches us by example. And he, together with our True Mother, dares to dream of a world that is better than we found it, dares to dream of a world where true love reigns supreme, dares to dream of a world where all of God's children have equal divine worth and value, dares to dream of a world where we can contemplate -- and do the active work of building ideal families, which is not an easy thing to do.

We have seen that he is punished because he dares to see the dawn. He sees and knows what needs to be. He knows what needs to be accomplished and he is misunderstood because he can see the dawn before the rest of the world.

Messiah or Not?

When I was coming back from my brother's Freedom Society speech, I bumped into one Unificationist-born youth, who said to me, "I really love Lovin' Life." And I thought, "Oh, that's a good beginning." Usually when people come up to me, it's full of constructive criticism or complaints, but this young person just came up to me like this: "I really love Lovin' Life." I said, "Wonderful."

But this person continued, "But sometimes I'm just not sure if Father is the messiah." And I said, "You too, huh? Well, join the club." The fact that we ask questions every now and then is a healthy thing. It means that we're always reflecting; we always want to grow; we always want to explore and ask the very difficult questions that confound us or sometimes puzzle us; and we dare to be courageous enough to seek an answer.

I also said to this person, "We've all been there in our life of faith. We all have questions, 'Is Father really the messiah? How do we know he's the real deal, he's the real McCoy? How do we know he's not a fake? How do we know it's not a sham? How do we know it's genuine?'"

I said to this young man, "Two thousand years ago we had Jesus Christ, and a lot of people believed in him in the time that he ministered to the people, which was less than three years. Can you imagine? Jesus ministered to the people less than three years, and that has changed the world. But think about it. In his time there were people who believed, like the 12 disciples, and there were people who didn't believe. And there were people like Judas who believed in the beginning, but then became certain that Jesus could not be the messiah, because Judas was looking at Jesus through physical eyes, not spiritual eyes.

"So perhaps Judas started criticizing or misunderstanding Jesus Christ for breaking out in anger in the temple, or perhaps for associating with people who were not of the best caliber, or perhaps for doing things that were revolutionary. Judas, who was once a believer, was so certain and so convinced that Jesus was not the messiah that in the end he ended up selling Jesus for a chunk of change. And I'm sure that if I had a chance to interview Judas at that moment, he would have probably said to me, 'Yes, I initially thought Jesus was the messiah, but because of A, B, C, in my mind he is not the Messiah, he's a danger to our society, and therefore I shall sell him to the authorities.'"

Judas must have thought he was being amazingly smart. Perhaps he thought, "I have evidence A, B, C as to why he cannot be the messiah." He was so certain that Jesus was not the messiah. But what does human history reveal to us? Regardless of whether Judas was certain that Jesus was not the messiah, the fact remains that Jesus Christ was the messiah. He was the Son of God who came to deliver the breaking news 2,000 years ago, but was cut short because people simply could not unite with or believe in this person whom we call the Son of God.

So I said to this young person, "Be careful in being so certain that Father is not the messiah. Perhaps God doesn't give us the messiah that we want. It's not we who pick the messiah. It is God. And in God's eyes, God will work through the messiah that he wants to work through. And as long as our True Parents are the messianic figures that God wants to work through, he will and she will continue to do so."

So we may have our questions, our doubts, or perhaps our venting that, "I am so smart, I am so well versed that I know True Parents are not the messiah." But just because you or I think so doesn't mean that they're not the messiah. We have to realize that regardless of how awesome we think we are, we are always on the road of growth and learning. That's what makes human life beautiful. It's not static. It's not a petrified form of existence. We are constantly growing.

We Determine Our Present and Future World

During our growth, it's important for us not to be so quick to judge or become arrogant, thinking that because of my reasons, True Parents are not the messiah. Because even if you or I think that they're not, guess what? They are and they continue to be because God ordained and blessed them and anointed them as such.

History is long; our life is long; and humankind has many different cycles that we need to go through. But the amazing thing about our True Parents, our Father and our True Mother, is that they are marvelously consistent. When my father, our Father, met Jesus Christ on the hills of North Korea and Jesus asked him to please carry on my mission, our Father was 16 years old. But once our Father made up his mind at 16 years of age, younger than some of you guys, he was absolutely committed. Once he said yes, Father never wavered.

And our True Mother, once she decided, she's never wavered -- and that's why they are our True Parents. That's why we all aspire to be like them, and that's why they continue to be our guiding light in these difficult times.

They've come with this breaking news, and we want to share with the world what the breaking news is, what is it? Yes, it's the news that the messiah is here. It's the news that they bring the gift of the Blessing. But what is our end goal in life, as human beings? What do we want to accomplish in our lifetime?

If you narrow it down to what is really important, it's "to love and to be loved." And it's to create an ideal family through which we can experience and build a four-position foundation, have beautiful kids like all of you, and work together. This means that we grow together, we cry, we laugh, we expand together as a family to become the awesome family that will be an unshakable cornerstone or building block for an astounding society, nation, and world.

When I hear people talk about what the ideal world is going to be, they are often talking in terms of systems. "We need to create this kind of a system because that is the perfect system to have an ideal or one family under God." But the audacious thing about True Parents is that it's not the system that's going to create something ideal. It boils down to you and me. It's the individual. It's the kind of a person that we decide to be today that is going to determine what our world is going to be like tomorrow.

It's mind over body; victory over ourselves; work on ourselves in preparation to meet that beautiful spouse, knowing that the other is fully committed and resonant with our understanding of what the Blessing is. I cannot stress this emphatically enough because many times people don't come to the Blessing with the same sense of what they want. Many times people don't know what they want.

But if we come to the Blessing with the same commitment, the same understanding of what we want to accomplish together in life, then we can start the work of creating that building block that will become an integral and important part of the society, the nation, and the world.

The audacious thing about our True Parents is, "Yes, we want to change the world, but how do we change the world? We change the world by changing ourselves." And as numerous scholars, psychotherapists, counselors, sociologists, and psychologists have discovered, our True Parents are right. As Robert Pattinson says, "It's got to be the family." The family needs to be fixed in order for the world to be fixed, if you will. A lot of the ills of society and a lot of the ills of the world stem from the family.

So when Father and Mother say that family is where the "true rubbing" takes place, where we grow as people, where we grow as mature citizens of this world, they're not saying something that's meaningless. They're saying something that is extremely profound.

A Family with a Common Goal

When I think about the family, I think of it as being kind of like a team. At Lovin' Life Camp, you had different teams representing different tribes and different nations, and you had to learn how to work together. The most important thing about a team is its sense of a common purpose. We all have to have common purpose. When you look at a football team or a soccer team or a dance team, or even a Lovin' Life tribe team, you realize that there are a couple of things that come into play that make it a successful team -- or a successful family. And this is what our True Parents have been trying to teach us through their own example.

Our True Parents stress the importance of having a common goal. We all have to agree on what we want to accomplish in our world and in our lives: We want to create this enduring four-position foundation by building our own ideal family. And guess what? Building an ideal family is not easy. It needs cooperation, and it needs commitment.

When I think about having a common purpose or a mission statement, I think of an example of cross-training. Right now the summer Olympics are going on and we see all these athletes who have trained their whole lives to compete for the Gold Medal at the Olympics. We realize that they've given up their free time; they've given up all the other things that they might want to do to pursue this goal.

And they, together with the other team members, are there representing their country and the families they come from. When we watch a team, we see that a couple of things come into play. The team members have a common purpose. They are there to win the gold, to represent their family, and to represent their country, so they are going to cooperate, they are going to commit to each other that they are going to put out the best fight that they possibly can. But in preparation for that common goal, they've gone through many hours of cross-training.

Cross-training is slightly different from running or doing aerobics or lifting weights or doing one type of exercise. In cross-training, you are exercising different parts of your body at the same time. So in order to compete or be at their highest fitness level, all these athletes go through cross-training. It's a bit like bearing a cross in order to train to be a gold medalist. You're not just exercising one or two muscles; you're working on exercising all your different muscles to work together so you can be that superior athlete.

A family is like that. In order for a family to be an outstanding team, every muscle or every member of the family needs to be exercised. Every member of the family needs to cooperate together with an understanding that we're committed to each other to win the gold, or to win -- or to accomplish whatever goal we set out to achieve. Then we realize that if we want to be an excellent team on the field, or if we want to be an awesome family, we have to have the same direction, just as the two legs working in conjunction with the body point us in the direction that we're going. If we want to go straight, both our legs need to go straight. If we want to go straight, but our left leg wants to go this way and only our right leg wants to go that way, guess what? We're not going to get very far.

Each Family Is and Should Be Unique

We have to approach our common goal with the same direction. We have to be pointed in the same direction. And then this begs the question, "What does same direction mean? Does that mean that we're all just legs? Does that mean that we're all the same?" No. We're not talking about duplication here. The thing about the family and the thing about the team that makes it beautiful and supremely powerful is that we are all different. We are all different. We're not duplicates of each other. A sibling is not a duplicate of another sibling, or a child is not a duplicate of a parent. We're not like the U.S. Treasury, which prints money. Human beings are not printable the way money is. Each human being is an eternal, divine, and unique handiwork of God.

So when we are in an effort to build a wonderful family, God is not asking us to be the duplicate of our parents, or the duplicate of our sibling. God is not asking that everybody be the same. That would be boring and quite tragic. The beauty of the family is that everybody is different, everybody is unique. The beauty of a loving husband and wife is that husband and wife are different. It's male and female, two different people, but wanting to walk in the same direction toward a common purpose, not being duplicates of each other.

In a community like ours, we have to understand this unique handiwork of God in an individual setting, in a family setting, and in a community setting as well. We have to realize that each family is unique. Each family is a special handiwork of God. Each family should not be a duplicate of another. Our families should not be like printable money with all ideal families looking the same, acting the same, behaving the same, and having the same strength. If that's what an ideal world is, I don't want to be a part of that ideal world. It's boring. It's nothing special.

Each family has its own dealings within the family that help make it become an ideal family, as members of the family each being different -- not duplicates of each other -- continue to rub up against each other to make everyone better.

Similarly in a community like ours, your family is going to be different from my family. Your problems are going to be different from my problems. The big question is not whether or not we are the same, duplicates of each other, but whether or not we are going in the same direction with a common purpose. That's what creates a supremely powerful team and a supremely powerful family.

Same Direction but Different Strength

Another thing that a successful or awesome team or family has is what I call same direction but different strength. What I mean by different strength is that in order to be truly powerful in our lives we have to come together with an amalgamation of all our different strengths. Every human being has strengths and weaknesses. We're not all perfect. We're each working on ourselves and we all have strengths and weaknesses.

The beauty of Lovin' Life, and the beauty of loving, nurturing, and empowering each other is to understand that we all have shortcomings, but at the same time we all have amazing things that we can contribute to the betterment of the whole. The fact that we are not all Korean is a strength. Can you imagine if our community were all Korean because our True Parents are Korean? We would not be strong. We would not have strength in diversity.

What creates our community to be such a vibrant and strong community is that we have international presence here. Every culture, every race, every different kind of background is represented. We need to continue to honor and celebrate our differences, realizing that God gave us our differences so that we all might have different strengths. For this, let us thank God. If we only had the same strength, we could not be so powerful or strong as a movement.

The strengths of different people mean that they are best suited for different roles in our community: Heather Thalheimer, for example, is better equipped to deal with the Department of Education; or for instance Philip Schanker is better equipped to deal with the Blessed Family Department; Debby Gullery is better equipped to be a wonderful counselor; and Tom Walsh is better equipped to work for the Universal Peace Federation.

Everybody in our community has his or her own outstanding strength, so when we can bring our strengths together and work together as a team that makes our team that much stronger, much greater. As you know, our True Parents have started the Wongu Sports Festival and every year we're sending athletes over. So as the senior pastor I have to think every year about what athletes I'm going to send over. But can you imagine if we're sending over a soccer team and in that team everybody is a goalie? That team is not going to do too well. Or everybody plays offense or defense? What if everybody only pays defense? Are we going to be a proactive or successful soccer team?

One reason a soccer team is powerful is that it has a good goalie. You have somebody whose strength is manning the goal. But you also have offensive players who are great at getting out there and making the plays happen. And you also have defensive players who are great at protecting your goalie. These are different strengths. They're not the same. But when they come together, that's when the magic happens.

All of you from the Lovin' Life camp who are seated here are going to realize, "I am better at something than my brothers and sisters. My sister might be better at something than me, but instead of thinking 'I'm not good enough,' or 'That person gets all the blessing,' or 'How come I'm not good at that,' the important thing about life is that God made all of us just as special as that person seated next to me. We all are divine beings with an audacious talent, a brilliant promise, and a marvelous blueprint."

It is our job as parents to help you find your passions and your talents, and it is our job as a community to help empower you so that you know you can be the best that you can be. But you seated here in the front should celebrate the fact that you are different from each other, and realize that perhaps what you're not good at is something that maybe the other might be good at, and by coming together and working together we can create an awesome team or an awesome family.

When I take time out to look at my kids, I realize that all five of them are wonderfully different. It's like five nations coming together, or five different soccer teams coming together. They're all very different. They all have their strengths and their weaknesses. But I also realize, that just like a beautiful jigsaw puzzle, although separately they are so different, when they can work together, they create a beautiful picture.

I think that's what our Heavenly Parent wants to see: celebrating our differences, our diversity, knowing that our strength comes from uniting with our True Parents, and bringing all our differences united under our True Parents and our Heavenly Parent. We are to desire to walk the same path, not being duplicates or carbon copies of each other, but finding what our calling is in life and being courageous enough to live it -- not just to talk about it but to live it, and own up to our destinies, which are there for us to grasp.

Unity in the Form of Big Macs and Fries

And that reminds me of something that I often think about. God bless my older brother, Hyo Jin oppa, who founded the Manhattan Center here that you're seated in. My older brother was almost a larger-than-life kind of a character. He was very fun-loving, very loud, very masculine, and he was very testosterone-driven. So when my father put him as the head of CARP, my older brother envisioned what might be the best way to educate the young Unificationists. He's so masculine, just so powerful -- and he was going through his growth stage too, trying to figure out what he wants to do, what his identity is, what does it mean to be a true son of God, what kind of a leader does he want to be, how does he want to educate the young Unificationists.

Every leader has his or her own idea as to what might be the best way to educate Unificationist-born youth, and my older brother was no exception. Because he was so masculine, it was almost like he was the boss. When the boss walks into the room, not just your head but all of your body needs to know the boss is in town. So regardless of what you are doing, if the boss enters, you get up, you bow, and you stand like this.

When I was going back and forth from my studies at Columbia University, I don't know how many times I would drive in to East Garden, and around the pool there would be a bunch of blessed children all standing like this. My brother would be talking up a storm and they'd all be standing like this.

Then I remember many times when my brother would say, "We're all going out to eat something. Why don't you come?" My older brother's favorite food was Chinese food, and he's one of those types of people who definitely has favorites. We can go to all the different restaurants but, regardless, he's going to order the same thing all the time. We would know that we're going to have hot and sour soup, because that's his favorite soup. We're going to have fried rice, usually chicken fried rice, and we're going to have orange beef. So whenever he invited us to restaurants, it was always Chinese because that was his favorite, and it was always going to be hot and sour soup, chicken fried rice, and orange beef.

But one day my brother came up to me and said, "In Jin, In Jin, we're all going to go out to eat." And I said, "Chinese? I just had Chinese food. Maybe I'll stay." He says, "No, we're going to McDonald's." I thought, "Okay, that's different. French fries and big Macs every now and then, that's a wonderful change." I said, "Okay, I'll come." About 20 young second-generation Unificationists came along, so we were like a convoy, a couple of cars, and we all followed the boss to McDonald's.

The boss parked, and we all parked around him. We all got out, and the boss came out of the car and we all followed like this. We basically took over this poor McDonald's. At that time, when we had workshops for second-generation Unificationists, it was mostly Asian kids because the American Unificationist-born youth were still quite young, so it looked like an Asian invasion taking over McDonald's. Everybody was watching: "What is going on? Who are these people?"

My brother said, "Okay, who wants to eat?" So everybody raised their hands. He had one second-generation Unificationist who was acting as a right-hand person, and he says, "Okay, go order 20 quarter-pounders with cheese. Large French fries, large Coke." That was it. There were 20 people, mind you, but the understanding of the second-generation Unificationists back then was, "Unite. You don't say anything. You eat what's given." Whether you like quarter pounders or not, that's what you're going to get. Whether you like large French fries or not, that's what you're going to get. Maybe you can't drink Coke, but that's what you're going to get.

I said, "I don't really want to drink Coke." I said, "Is it all right if I have filet of fish, because I had a big Chinese lunch?" And I could never forget that day because these second-generation Unificationists who are seated like this waiting for their quarter-pounder and French fries to come all went – "What?!" They looked at me and then they looked at my brother and then looked at me. And they were looking at me like, "Holy cow! Your head is going to be decapitated." And guess what? The boss decapitated my head. The boss gave me a lecture on unity and was going on and on and on.

I almost had an out-of-the-body experience because I was thinking, "Okay, I'm being decapitated here, seated at McDonald's because I wanted filet of fish, not a quarter-pounder with cheese." And I was asking God, "Is this what unity is all about? Do we really all have to be duplicates of each other? Do we all have to be the same – because if that's the case, I'm not sure if I want to belong to this movement." This was my honest feeling. But I was a younger sister so I just respectfully listened. But I said, "Well, okay, I don't really have to eat." By the time it was finished, I was not feeling well. But that example has stayed with me throughout the years.

Beyoncé Knowels

Unity Means Coming Together in Heart

In our effort to be a unified family and a unified community, there's a kind of pressure always to be the same, always to dress the same. I think you guys look great in red t-shirts, by the way. It's wonderful to have a feeling of solidarity, but imagine if it wasn't just the red t-shirt. Imagine if you looked the same, if you talked the same, if you liked the same things. Maybe some of you like Nine Inch Nails, but maybe some of you like Beyoncé, maybe some of you like Mariah Carey. Maybe some of you like Jack White. People like different things. We often like different things because it's a unique expression of who we are.

Unity doesn't mean that we are all becoming paper cutouts of each other, like cardboard sheets of each other. Unity means coming together in heart. Father and Mother come to teach and share the breaking news. They are urging all of us to unite with our Heavenly Father and our True Parents, and to work together, but they're not asking all of us to be carbon cutouts of our True Parents. Yes, they are a symbol, they are two people that we should adopt as our guides, but we need to celebrate our own uniqueness.

You can contribute something to the movement that perhaps Father and Mother didn't have time to do -- because you are different, because you are unique, because you are that astonishing handiwork of our Heavenly Father. This is no different from my growing up in this church in which everything was in unison. Everything was unison prayer, everything was unison singing from the moment I woke up to the moment I fell asleep, and I've often wondered, am I allowed to sing something different? Do I always have to sing the 30 holy songs that I know by heart? Can I praise God singing something different? Can a new song become a holy song?

When we listen to music, we realize that either constancy or variety can make music beautiful. A piano, for instance, has a certain number of keys, but when you play the same note all the time, it can have a certain kind of rhythmic beauty. Perhaps it's meditative, perhaps people like the constancy of hearing a certain note. But if you hear it long enough, it's going to feel like Chinese water torture working on you, like a droplet of water slowly killing you.

Music is more richly beautiful when it's not only one note that's being played. There is tremendous strength in unison prayer. It's wonderful. You can feel the energy and inspiration of everybody saying and singing the same thing. It's wonderful. But sometimes strength does not equate to beautiful. Sometimes we need to hear a bit of harmony.

And how is harmony created? Harmony is not created by playing the same notes. Harmony is created by playing different notes together at the same time. In music it's harmony that gives depth and expansiveness -- the feeling of all-encompassing, like the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. It's so majestic and all-encompassing because it's expressing the full power of harmonic plays, of different people singing different parts and coming together as that masterful choir. It's everybody singing different notes at the same time that produces exquisite harmony.

Unison is strength, but we cannot run our movement just on strength. We need harmony. We need the beauty of being able to be expansive, being able to celebrate our differences and yet work together. We have to be like a beautiful choir, each of us singing different parts, different notes, but our singing together becomes this supreme human experience or divine experience through which we can share the breaking news with the rest of the world.

When I think about having a common purpose of every one of us having the opportunity to build ideal families of our own, I realize that we need to assure that in our effort to accomplish the goal we don't succumb to our own arrogance in thinking that we know best. We have to leave ourselves open for God to work through. We have to leave ourselves open for others to work through. We as parents have to leave ourselves open for our children to work through. We can grow and learn through our children. And we as children must leave ourselves open and wide for our parents to work through.

A Parent and Child Who Face the Same Direction

That reminds me of a story I heard from one young man who had had a painfully difficult time with his father. They both wanted to accomplish the same thing, they wanted to be the best Unificationists, but they had different ideas about going about it. The father was very adamant, "You listen to me!" And the son was very adamant. Perhaps the son was a rebel with a cause, wanting to do something different, wanting maybe to express himself as a Unificationist in a different way. So they butted heads for a long time.

One afternoon before the son was to go abroad for his missionary work, the father and son came together and they had a melting of hearts and a sharing of heart. The father may have said to the son words that he'd never said before, "I'm really proud of you. I'm proud that you're making this big step. You're going into ministry; you're going to serve the world; you're going to work on yourself; and I'm immensely proud you've turned out so fine."

And it seems that hearing the father utter these words melted the son's heart and the son said, "You know, Dad, for a long time I've wanted to rebel against everything that was you. You symbolized everything I wanted to rebel against. But I realized at the end of the day that you and I -- even though we're different people, not duplicates of each other -- want the same things in life. We are faced toward the same direction. Thank God we're different but we are pointed and looking toward the same direction."

And the son said something that liberated the father's heart. The son said to the father, "You know, Dad, I have judged you many times and just as often I have not forgiven you for the difficulties that I felt I've had to face in my life with you. But I have realized as I have grown older that you were a better father to me than your father was to you, and for that I'm immensely grateful."

The child realized that despite his father's the shortcomings, his father had lived his whole life trying to better the world that his son or his other children came into. The father may not have been perfect -- and you know what? Your parents are not going to be perfect in your eyes. But you need to understand that you are here because your parents had the courage to dream of a world that was better than their own.

As Oscar Wilde says, it is the dreamer who dares to see the dawn before the world wakes up to it. Our parents often are the ones who dare to see the dawn. They see what you their child can be even before you realize what you are capable of, and therefore, they are persecuted and judged.

Oscar Wilde also said something else. He said you can be sure of one thing. We start out loving our parents, then we end up judging the bleep out of them, and we never forgive them for their supposed atrocities. But we realize as we grow older that they have tried their best to be good parents to us. Likewise for us today, regardless of what takes place in the family, we all have to realize that perhaps our parents are doing a better job than their parents may have done.

Our parents may not be perfect, but at least we're facing the same direction. We're looking toward accomplishing the common purpose. We are different but we are facing the same way. Therefore, it is of utmost importance as we go forward in our movement and as we look toward the next millennium that we learn to be thankful for this generation that came before us because without them none of us would be here. Of all the wonderful friends that you got to meet at camp, none of them would be here without our True Parents, and our True Parents would not be here without God.

So we have to have a profound feeling of gratitude for the sacrifices that have been made, but at the same time we have to realize that now this is our time. This is our time to be that rebel with a cause, to dare to be different, to be courageous, and to love. The world teaches us that money, power and knowledge are the most important things, but we need to say to the world that God and True Parents teach us that the most important thing is true love. The most important thing is to know how to love and be loved in the most beautiful and harmonious way. That's what we're all about.

Thank God We're All Different

So we have to liberate our parents, but the parents at the same time must also be cognizant of the fact that perhaps we can learn some of our greatest lessons from our kids, and thereby grow together. And that leads me to Isaiah 40:31, which says, "Those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength."

How do we renew our strength? We renew our strength in realizing that as an international community we need to celebrate the differences and diversity within our community, and when we combine our differences under the unity of our True Parents we become an immensely powerful force of true love. If we can renew our strength that is produced by the different people coming together in unity in the spirit of true love, then, as the Bible continues to say, we "shall mount up with wings as eagles."

Eagles learn how to fly and then soar through trial and error -- watching their parents fly, hopping around in the big nest while flapping their wings, hopping and flapping their wings to reach the next nearest perch, and gradually extending their range. Their wings are earned in that a lot of effort needs to go into it, and they need to learn from their parents. For ourselves, we fly together -- we mount up with wings as eagles -- when we are pointed in the same direction. We "shall run and not grow weary;" we "shall walk and not be faint" -- meaning we will soar. We will do all that we accomplish, not being tired, because we have the cooperation and the commitment of each other -- different members of our family, different members of the team -- working together to accomplish a common purpose.

In that way, we walk facing the same direction. We grow together; we laugh together; we cry together; we learn from each other; we empower each other; and we continue the good work of uniting with our True Parents because they surely are the hope of humankind.

When you look at the True Family, many people say, "Wow, True Family members are so different from each other." I say, "Thank God we're all different." Yes, we're all different, but when we can come together with our strength, that's when we create an outstanding team. And because we have such a wonderful coach in our True Parents, we are here to be victorious, we are here to win. We're going to play some really good games on the field. We're going to win the Gold Medal at the Olympics.

If we can empower the young people to realize that this time is their time, this time is their time to exercise their freedom to be responsible, young, and mature adults so that they can work on themselves to become internally and externally excellent, then the world is truly their and our oyster.

Our True Parents are always praying for all of you. They know that you guys are awesome; that you are beautiful; that you are divine. They know that we are the eternal sons and daughters of God. So as we think about the big picture, let's think about how we are going to move toward that big picture by realizing that we have to be our own agent of change, working on ourselves, and expressing and developing the God-given strength, or perhaps our differences, that truly makes us awesome when we come together.

If we can do that, then our church will not just be considered a successful new religion. We are going to establish a way of life for the next millennium, and people will understand what it means to love life, to enjoy living in the age of the settlement, when we have the chance and opportunity to do something that Jesus Christ 2,000 years ago did not have a chance to do, which is to create an ideal family together.

So brothers and sisters, have a great week. Please celebrate our differences. Please celebrate our common purpose. Please celebrate our desire to look toward the same direction, together and unified under our True Parents and our Heavenly Parent. God bless, and have a great week.


Isaiah, chapter 40

1: Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.

2: Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,
and cry to her
that her warfare is ended,
that her iniquity is pardoned,
that she has received from the LORD's hand
double for all her sins.

3: A voice cries:
"In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD,
make straight in the desert a highway for our God.

4: Every valley shall be lifted up,
and every mountain and hill be made low;
the uneven ground shall become level,
and the rough places a plain.

5: And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed,
and all flesh shall see it together,
for the mouth of the LORD has spoken."

6: A voice says, "Cry!"
And I said, "What shall I cry?"
All flesh is grass,
and all its beauty is like the flower of the field.

7: The grass withers, the flower fades,
when the breath of the LORD blows upon it;
surely the people is grass.

8: The grass withers, the flower fades;
but the word of our God will stand for ever.

9: Get you up to a high mountain,
O Zion, herald of good tidings;
lift up your voice with strength,
O Jerusalem, herald of good tidings,
lift it up, fear not;
say to the cities of Judah,
"Behold your God!"

10: Behold, the Lord GOD comes with might,
and his arm rules for him;
behold, his reward is with him,
and his recompense before him.

11: He will feed his flock like a shepherd,
he will gather the lambs in his arms,
he will carry them in his bosom,
and gently lead those that are with young.

12: Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand
and marked off the heavens with a span,
enclosed the dust of the earth in a measure
and weighed the mountains in scales
and the hills in a balance?

13: Who has directed the Spirit of the LORD,
or as his counselor has instructed him?

14: Whom did he consult for his enlightenment,
and who taught him the path of justice,
and taught him knowledge,
and showed him the way of understanding?

15: Behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket,
and are accounted as the dust on the scales;
behold, he takes up the isles like fine dust.

16: Lebanon would not suffice for fuel,
nor are its beasts enough for a burnt offering.

17: All the nations are as nothing before him,
they are accounted by him as less than nothing and emptiness.

18: To whom then will you liken God,
or what likeness compare with him?

19: The idol! a workman casts it,
and a goldsmith overlays it with gold,
and casts for it silver chains.

20: He who is impoverished chooses for an offering
wood that will not rot;
he seeks out a skilful craftsman
to set up an image that will not move.

21: Have you not known? Have you not heard?
Has it not been told you from the beginning?
Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth?

22: It is he who sits above the circle of the earth,
and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers;
who stretches out the heavens like a curtain,
and spreads them like a tent to dwell in;

23: who brings princes to nought,
and makes the rulers of the earth as nothing.

24: Scarcely are they planted, scarcely sown,
scarcely has their stem taken root in the earth,
when he blows upon them, and they wither,
and the tempest carries them off like stubble.

25: To whom then will you compare me,
that I should be like him? says the Holy One.

26: Lift up your eyes on high and see:
who created these?
He who brings out their host by number,
calling them all by name;
by the greatness of his might,
and because he is strong in power
not one is missing.

27: Why do you say, O Jacob,
and speak, O Israel,
"My way is hid from the LORD,
and my right is disregarded by my God"?

28: Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary,
his understanding is unsearchable.

29: He gives power to the faint,
and to him who has no might he increases strength.

30: Even youths shall faint and be weary,
and young men shall fall exhausted;

31: but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength,
they shall mount up with wings like eagles,
they shall run and not be weary,
they shall walk and not faint.

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