The Words of In Jin Moon
Good morning, brothers and sisters. There was a whole lot of energy from that section over there! Thank you. I’m always quite speechless after George’s introduction. I hope that I can live up to all that he has said. But truly this morning, to be able to spend this time with you in Seattle is really a gift from God to me. If there is anything I can do in allowing God to speak through me, that would be to, in a way, share with all of you how much God loves you, and how much our True Parents truly love you in America.
When I came in to Seattle yesterday from a long, long flight from New York City, your district leader here, Larry, mentioned to me some wonderful things about Seattle. I realized that Seattle is the birthplace of Microsoft, and Starbucks coffee, which I’m an avid client of. (Laughter) My husband knows [that fact] very well. Also this is where the Boeing Company has its plant. So, in a way, when my father decided to bring his children over so that we can become American, so that we can learn the American culture and we can learn the language and speak English as if it’s our mother tongue, so that we can really be in a position to love the American people, one of the first places that we landed was Seattle.
I feel like just as Seattle represented for the True Family a brand new beginning, in a way Seattle represented for the world many brand-new beginnings. I cannot imagine my life without Microsoft, and I cannot start my day without Starbucks. And we wouldn’t be quite as effective as a family, as a True Family if we didn’t have the Boeing company to thank. So I feel truly blessed in so many ways to be here with you this morning.
You know, as I’ve been kind of traveling around the country getting to know all the brothers and sisters, it’s kind of an opportunity for me to do a fact-finding tour of everything that has gone on before, what does our membership look like, what does the congregation look like, what kind of ongoing programs do they have. It’s been an incredible experience for me to come face-to-face with all the first generation that have given so much to the movement. But more rewarding than that is truly meeting your children, the second generation, and getting to put a name to a face, and to hear about some of the things that they would like to do with their lives, their aspirations, their goals. Many of them are in the process of discovering who they are or finding their identities, but it’s always such a treat to hear it from the mouths of the young people who will be our future.
Standing at this podium, I feel that my biggest responsibility is to approach my new mission from a mother’s perspective. True Father hearkened in the time of the Pacific Rim Era and talked about how this is a time for the women to take on leadership, to really bring a world of peace for our world and for our children. Being a student of religion, for me it’s an incredibly awesome proclamation. As you know, the 6,000 biblical years of history has not been very kind to women. I know that because of the Fall, the process of restoring Eve’s position to that of a proper position, of what a true Eve should have been, took many thousands of years and many heartaches and sacrifices. Truly it’s in the personage of True Mother and her constant devotion and dedication and sacrifice in playing the role of the true bride and becoming the True Mother that I have this opportunity to assume the role that I’m doing now.
As a student of religion approaching our faith from an academic point of view, and having the opportunity to compare and contrast our faith with different religions of the world, this has been an incredibly eye-opening time for me. Especially the fact that we can say clearly that the proper woman’s role has been restored, thanks to our True Mother and thanks to so many American sisters who’ve hung in there all these years.
I mention American sisters because my father, in many of his sermons in the 70s and 80s, used to berate American women. Do you remember? He used to say, “American women, peh, peh, peh.” My sisters and I would be sitting together saying, “Oh, that sister’s getting it real bad.” Our hearts would really go out to the poor American sisters. At that time my brothers were young too, quite mischievous. Any opportunity to poke at their sisters was a fun time for them. I remember when my father was going at it, our brothers would poke us and say, “Did you hear that, In Jin? Women, women, bad, bad. Women, mistake, mistake. It’s all your fault.” We sisters felt like, “Is there a God at this moment?”
It’s interesting how God works in mysterious ways because those brothers that gave me and my sisters such a tough time for being a girl and for being a woman are the biggest promoters of what I’m doing right now. Many times at the end of the day I turn to my husband and say, “I never thought I’d see the day when my brothers would fully support me and my sisters and want to have an active role in our life of faith. Here they are, urging us on.” It’s so wonderful to have your whole family behind you.
Whenever I meet with members, I come as a representative of my family, but truly my family is standing here with me. Not only do we have the first True Parents in history, but we have the first True Family coming forward. Growing up was really difficult, being abandoned by our parents because they spent all their time with you, loving you up. We had to kind of go our own course, find our own way. But when I see Hyun Jin as the co-chairman of UPF trying his best, with all the Global Peace Festivals ongoing worldwide, and when I see Kook Jin, who has single-handedly stopped the financial bleeding in Korea through his restructuring, and right now we’re poised for incredible growth for the first time in our movement’s history in Korea. He single-handedly did that. Then I have my younger sister Sun Jin, who together with her husband is overseeing Happy World in Japan. She’s running a travel agency, Seil Travel.
Then I have my younger brother, that I still to this day fondly call Lovey. When he was born, he was so cute. I still remember my mom and I going shopping and she was so proud because these people we had met would just come up and say, “So cute!” Omonim would be just beaming. From the moment he was born, he was Lovey because he was so lovable and such a happy baby. For him to take up this new mission as the head of World Mission Department, in a way, becoming the spiritual head of our movement, the youngest one, is incredibly profound for me.
When I call my younger brother, who’s actually my boss as the spiritual head of the World Mission Department, I call and say, “Lovey, it’s In Jin nuna checking in. America reporting in.” I chuckle and he chuckles. It’s such a feeling that my family is working together with me. It’s so wonderful to have a younger brother that you can talk to. He very much is supporting me. He says, “You go, girl! You go, woman!” This is kind of, like, a new beginning for our movement, it’s like a new phase.
When I came to America as an 8-year-old, coming from a culture where everyone had black hair and black eyes, and then suddenly coming to Seattle, seeing many brothers and sisters welcoming us at Belvedere and East Garden, I saw golden hair for the first time, and brown hair. And red hair for the first time -- I thought that was incredibly intriguing. On top of that, curly hair, African-American hair. I remember thinking, I guess this is the worldwide family my father has been talking about.
When I looked into the eyes of these young, energetic, excited brothers and sisters -- which is basically you a couple of decades ago -- I saw this spark, I literally saw a gleam in their eyes. I remember saying to Un Jin, who’s my younger sister, I said, “I can understand the sparks coming from the sisters’ side, but I don’t get it from the brothers’ side. As far as I can see, they ain’t wearing no eye shadow.” But the brothers’ side had that sparkle. I drew a little picture for myself when I was 8; it’s not a fantastic picture. It’s basically a circle with two tiny circles with a sparkle going off the corner of one eye. I’ve kept that piece of paper all throughout the years, and it’s a reminder to me about how excited the young Americans were about finding God and about meeting True Parents, to think that the Second Coming is walking along with us, brothers and sisters, right? How many hundreds of years have gone by since Jesus Christ, when the world has not experienced God’s son and daughter?
Messiah is almost a scary word, but Messiah basically means a savior. To have a true parent that is going to show us the proper way to live, the proper way to honor each other, the proper way to love each other, and the proper way to raise our children, and they’re going to do it in our lifetime -- how exciting is that? That is unbelievably exciting.
Some of you sitting in the audience, when you go to college and study religion you’re going to realize that this is an incredible time, an extraordinary time, and the providence is moving so quickly. So many things are happening. We just came off the last round of elections, and it was incredibly energizing and inspiring, not just for America but for the whole world. America finally has a president-elect who is an African-American. I spent a great deal of time with Dr. Lowery, getting to know the civil rights movement, on behalf of Coalition for Religious Freedom when I was 18 years old. I remember meeting Dr. Lowery and his saying to me, “In Jin, God works in mysterious ways.” He would talk to me about the dream that Martin Luther King had of one day having an African-American in the office of president. Dr. Lowery wasn’t sure it would happen in his lifetime, but it certainly would be wonderful.
Yes, he’s representing the Democratic Party, and many people have come up to me and said, In Jin Nim, but he’s a Democrat. I say, “Yes, I know. But did you know that God works with both the Democrats and the Republicans?” That’s why our True Father initiated the Headwing movement many years ago because there are some components of Democratic Party principles that are wonderful, like the equality of women. There are some aspects of the Republican movement that are wonderful as well, some of the conservative values that reflect the Christian values of this country. So Father was saying, “Let’s pick the best of both parties and create a God-centered movement called Headwing.”
When I told my father that in the course of the last four months of running Manhattan Center and restructuring and reorganizing it, and finding really, truly that it is a diamond in the rough and all it needed was a nice woman’s touch and a bit of dusting off, I said to Father that, “There’s incredible things that we can do with media and entertainment.” Hyo Jin oppa was right in saying that media and entertainment are incredibly important. It’s something that we as a movement need to harness so that we can effectuate powerful change throughout the world.
I often say to the young people, “Do you realize that your older brother was an incredible visionary?” He was a passionate man, and many times passions are misunderstood because passions can be extreme. But he was passionate in his vision that music and art and culture can change people’s lives, and he saw how much of an impact it had on his own life. So he was saying to my parents and to all of us, imagine what we can do for the young people of the world if we harness the power of culture, of media and entertainment, and use it to promote God, family values, wonderful things, and use it as an opportunity to celebrate all things, all spectrums of life that make us human.
It doesn’t mean that the music is always going to be hallelujah music. It might be profound music, or it might be music that brings us to tears, or writing that expresses human desire and anguish and longing. These are all the things that make us human beings and, in a way, make us beautiful. That’s what Hyo Jin oppa wanted to do.
I often say to the young people in our movement, “We really have to be grateful for our elder brother and for his passion because he made rock ‘n roll okay in our movement.” For those of you who enjoy wearing blue jeans, it was Hyo Jin oppa who pioneered the way to make sure that blue jeans were included in the heavenly culture. I feel like in America as the second Israel, symbolizing the eldest son, it’s incredibly important for me to know that whatever I am doing, I am fulfilling, in a way, my older brother’s mission as the eldest son. I feel that holding my inauguration at the Manhattan Center was an important thing, and it’s truly a tribute to my brother and to everything he has done up until now. Whatever I can do is truly standing on his foundation, on his shoulders, if you will.
I often like to think of the second generation in that same way. I know many of the first generation have sacrificed your lives, your education, your careers to follow this vision of creating one family under God, right? I know there have been many heartaches and tears along the way, as well as much laughter. But you’ve been faithfully following True Parents year after year. As a member of the True Family, [I can testify that] we are truly grateful for your sacrifice. The first generation, you had this vision of building this incredible dream, this incredible house, if you will, and the first generation’s duty was literally was paving, or digging out, the foundation on which the house will be built. As you know, the higher you want the building to be, the deeper the foundation has to be. So, I think a lot of the first generation were so immersed in all the digging and all the different events, and all the different campaigns that were going on, you were just digging for dear life. And many of you have asked yourselves, “What am I doing this for? Why I am doing this? Why am I sacrificing? I don’t see a building going up. But, in a way, what you were doing was paving the way, in a way, laying the foundation of an incredible house that the second generation, your children, is going to build.
So, if we can realize, if the second generation can realize, a tremendous debt, or a tremendous sense of honor in being able to stand on top of the foundation that has gone before, so that we with a grateful heart can harvest in all your suffering, and all those years that you’ve dedicated for God. And through our sheer effort, and through our determination, to live as a God-centered son and daughter every day of our lives, and not just be externally excellent but internally excellent, meaning, not only is our spiritual faith like a backbone of who we are, but, in a way, the external accomplishments we do will flesh out who we are as human beings so we can become whole persons, so we can become a whole movement.
Just as the first generation sacrificed everything that was external to find their true center, to find their true relationship with God, then the second generation needs to build on top of that. We need to flesh out the incredible bone structure that your parents have given us, and become these incredible creative beings that reflect God in every sector of our lives.
I feel that the second generation really need to honor our parents. I, as a member of this second generation coming from the True Family, really urge the second generation to respect their parents and all their suffering. I say this with such tremendous love because I was touring different districts and spent some time in Boston. Afterward I made sure to shake everyone’s hand and I met a Japanese couple who have a couple of kids. A 15-year-old boy was coming down the line who obviously was not too thrilled to be there. His parents were dragging him along. I said, “Hi, how are you, what’s your name?” He told me. I said, “That’s a wonderful name. What does it mean?” And he told me. I said, “Where are you in your education?” He was in high school. I asked him, “What are your life goals? What would you like to be?” He looked at me and said, “Like father like son. My father’s a loser so I’m going to be a loser.” I said, “Young man, I don’t know how you talk to your parents, but this is no way to talk about your parents in front of me. Please don’t say things like that about your parents. You need to know that your parents are not losers. They are heroes.”
The reason this boy said that his parents were losers was that they had very little to show for it. No financial safety. Literally putting food on the table every day was a struggle. So the child, watching his parents, basically said, “No, I don’t want this for me. They haven’t made anything of their lives, so why should I?”
Afterward my husband and I talked about this. It’s really high time that we as a movement learn to respect each other, and that goes both ways. Not just first to second generation, but second to first generation. I feel that there has to be a constant reminder when it comes to our children that our sacrifice doesn’t equate to being losers. We might not have the external money or the house or the cars to show for it, but truly you guys are heroes in that the internal excellence that you have shown over the years, the internal loyalty and devotion that you have shown over the years, those things are priceless, and those are the qualities that make somebody a hero.
I told this gentleman, “You are only 15. You have a lot to live for. So if you truly feel that your parents are financially not well off and you don’t respect them and you don’t want to dream because your parents don’t inspire you to dream, then shouldn’t you take charge of your life? Shouldn’t you be the agent of change? You’re sitting smack in the middle of the land of opportunity that people from other nations are literally smuggling themselves in to come and start a new life.” I told him, “You may think that your parents haven’t given you anything, but the fact that they brought you here and you’re an American citizen, that’s more than what the majority of the world has. You’re starting out pretty well. Now that you know you’re standing smack in the middle of the land of opportunity, what are you going to do about it? Are you going to complain and say, look at the sins of the first generation and think how awful they were, therefore I have the right to be awful myself? Doesn’t that kind of turn you into a hypocrite? If you think that somebody’s awful, shouldn’t you be wonderful? If you think somebody’s a loser, shouldn’t you be awesome? There is nothing preventing you from being wonderful and awesome, other than yourself. So if you decide to be that agent of change, and you put your head to the books and get good grades, the sky’s the limit.”
Obama came from a single parent home, with few prospects. As an African-American, the thought of becoming the president of the United States was an impossibility. When Martin Luther King gave his speech, I Have a Dream, back then it was an impossibility for an African-American to be the president of the United States. But not only did that impossibility become a possibility, it’s become a reality.
When I look at the blessed children wherever I go, I’m thinking, if Obama can become the president of the United States, shouldn’t this 15-year-old boy, if he decides to be that agent of change, couldn’t he become the president of the United States? And by his decision to live his life for a purpose other than to be negative, to complain, if he decides that he’s going to be grateful for the life that he’s been given, thinking, “I’m healthy, I’m an American, I have access to an educational system that if I utilize it to my advantage can basically propel me to any level of society” -- couldn’t he become the president of the United States?
And I am a firm believer in that boy being able to fulfill his dreams. I’m a firm believer in our children becoming the future Michael Phelps. When I watched the Beijing Olympics with my children, there was this incredible moment at the awards ceremony, and there he is looking almost like a rap star with all these gold medals, and then the national anthem comes on. I thought to myself: How incredibly wonderful would it be if one of our blessed children -- maybe they’re super-talented in athletics, so instead of thinking regional, just being good in my community and getting into a decent college, why not think global or world? Why not think about representing America as a great athlete to the world?
Can you imagine if one of our children is standing there at the awards ceremony, looking bling-bling with all those gold medals around their neck, and when the national anthem comes up that child is thanking God, thanking True Parents, thanking mom and dad, thanking America -- can you imagine what can happen in that instant? It’s incredible what can be accomplished in an instant.
When I really look at America now in this new mission, I say to my husband, America is a super-power, an incredibly powerful nation. In my introductory political science course the professor stood at the podium, just like I’m doing now, and defined what power means. The professor defined power to mean the ability to influence. When I heard that, I thought to myself, America has been so blessed and so prepared by God because America has that responsibility to exercise its power in the right way, meaning whatever America does, the world follows, right? When you had the Beatles and Elvis, Japan soon followed suit. When America introduced Levis blue jeans, the whole world took notice. Right now we’re living through the cult of celebrity, where celebrities have literally become god-like.
I often wondered why the Dalai Lama is so accepted in the Western world, when our True Parents have done more, have introduced a more beautiful image of what God is because we have male and female manifested in True Parents. Why is the Dalai Lama so revered? I ask people on the street what they think about him, and they reply that he’s a wonderful religious holy man. I say, “Do you know what he believes in?” They have no idea. But they respect the Dalai Lama because their celebrities revere him, people that they feel are god-like. For young people seeing people like Richard Gere, people like Uma Thurman, whose father is actually a professor of Tibetan Buddhism at Columbia University, constantly surrounding the Dalai Lama make him look hip, look pertinent. On top of that, they represent a cause, right?
I was thinking that part of Hyo Jin oppa’s message in wanting to turn the entertainment industry around is because he wanted to harness the entertainment world for the sake of our True Parents. Can you imagine if at the next gathering maybe Beyonce or Busta Rhymes came? I don’t know what music you’re into. I had no idea who Busta Rhymes was or listened to rap music until I got to the Manhattan Center. If all these people were with True Parents, in an instant that would re-brand the whole image of Unification Church, right?
A lot of the work that Hyo Jin oppa wanted to do is something that I would like to continue. I feel that if we can turn America around into a country that can really recognize our True Parents as the peacemakers of the world, as the father and mother who are inviting all the major religions to come together as children and to worship God in fellowship, if we can help Americans realize that there is something wonderful in wanting to build families, that there is something wonderful in living for the sake of others.
Whenever I tell my friends that one of our strong beliefs is we want to live for the sake of others, many times they ask me, “What does that mean?” I share with them, as I share with brothers and sisters when I go around the country, that living for the sake of others starts with living. You have to live before you can serve. I spent so many years going through the formula course, witnessing and fundraising and feeling like I have to give, give, give. I literally found myself at a moment in my life where I felt I had given so much that I had nothing left to give. Then I realized I was no good to myself, and I was no good to my husband, to my family. That’s when I realized that living for the sake of others does not mean that you cease to be who you are. God made each and every one of us unique. When I meet the blessed children, I say, “You are uniquely gifted, uniquely talented because you are uniquely blessed. Literally our True Parents invited your parents to join in holy matrimony and create this family that resulted in you beautiful young kids.”
I feel that many of the first generation literally, instead of living for the sake of others, have been dying for the sake of others. And I myself went through that, where I was dying for the sake of others. I wasn’t really living or thriving or prospering. When I look around different districts, some of you have been dying for the sake of others, for the sake of your mission, for your spouse, for your children, and for the sake of your leader. But I think this is a time when we can really take another look at what living for the sake of others means, to realize that living for the sake of others starts with breathing, with walking, with living, with loving. And in that process of self-discovery and becoming a healthy individual you can truly serve others.
If the second generation ends up doing exactly what the first generation was doing, which was literally digging out the basement, and if every generation is merely digging and not building, then the beautiful house that inspired you to have that spark when you first heard the Principle and joined, will never be realized.
In our efforts to concentrate on the spiritual, the internal, we’ve neglected the outer and the external. But I feel that external needs to be a good manifestation of what we are inside. I feel we are the world’s best content, and you guys are the most beautiful people in the world. Now we just have to help the world see how incredible and how beautiful each and every one of you is.
As the CEO of Manhattan Center, I spend a lot of time thinking about marketing, about branding, how do we position ourselves in such a way that we become naturally attractive? I’ve been going around the country introducing this concept of natural witnessing. Over the years we’ve had many, many witnessing initiatives under different leaders, and we’ve tried the old methods many times. I remember in those early days we had literally 200 or 300 people coming every weekend wanting to hear the Principle.
We’re still using that same method of witnessing, but we’re not seeing that result. If you ask yourself why, the answer is that the world has changed. When you joined, you were literally backpacking around the country to find meaning in your life. Well, the young people of today are backpacking on the Internet. It’s a little different from how you used to be. The kids have a whole new vocabulary all their own. Internet is like the highway for them.
One of the things I’ve been working on with my talented team members is to “clean up” our presence on the Internet. So instead of having all the negative things come up when you Google Sun Myung Moon, we need to barrage the Internet with positive material so people will see the positive and they can make their own choice as to what they think Rev. Moon is really about. They will be an informed audience. That’s what we would like to do.
But in the meantime I’ve been encouraging brothers and sisters that this is really a time where we as a movement need to get re-excited about coming to church and seeing our neighbor. We need to feel good about looking wonderful for our children. Especially in the West Coast area I met some members who are so caught in the 1960s. God bless them, they’re beautiful people, but they still look like you could literally cut them out and place them in the 60s and they’ll fit right in. I’ve often encouraged brothers and sisters to bring their “look” up to date. How you look is an expression of what you are inside. All of us here are ambassadors for True Parents and for God. You become a walking witness for what our movement is all about.
The most beautiful thing about our movement is the Blessing, right? To have an eternal partner who will love and honor you, be faithful to you. I like to say to my friends and children, the worst mistake in the Blessing is taking each other for granted. What do I mean by that? Taking each other for granted and thinking that no matter how smelly, how dirty I might be, my spouse has to be there for me eternally. We women laugh at ourselves when we talk about the Western sisters phenomenon, where after they get Blessed, they gain weight. I call it the Pillsbury doughboy biscuit effect. Somehow there is a beautiful container of buttermilk biscuits, but the minute they go through the Blessing, it’s like opening the package and the dough bursts out, poof. It’s almost like, since my spouse can’t go anywhere, it really doesn’t matter how I look, how big I become, because he has to be there with me eternally.
I met one sister, who was telling me negative things about her husband, but she ended her tirade by saying, but he has nowhere to go. He’s a Blessed Couple. Where can he go? I said to her, “The world is a bigger place than you think.” Now that True Parents have opened up the Blessing, in many instances you can bring your own spouse. It compels all of us to remain at our best, not just spiritually but also how we look for one another. If you go through the biscuit effect, how would your husband feel? What would your children think? I’ve met some blessed children who say, “I’m embarrassed when my parents pick me up at school.” I asked them, “Why is that?” This child said, “My dad looks like he hasn’t bought pants for the last 20 years. My mom has so much dandruff that I just don’t want my friends to see my mom. I don’t want them to know that she’s my mom.” I said, “That must be really painful for you.” She said, “Yes, it has been, and I don’t know how to say to them in a nice way that’s not going to hurt them.”
I asked, “Have you made any attempt to remedy the situation?” She said, “I just don’t know what to do except tell them not to pick me up at school.” I said, “That might not be the best approach.” I said, “Have you ever heard of TJ Maxx or Marshalls? They have fabulous sales going on. You don’t need much money to help your parents look good. If you are embarrassed at how your parents look, maybe you can put in extra hours to make some money and give them a coupon, and say, ‘Today is your birthday, or Christmas, or a church holiday’ -- and we have a lot of church holidays to choose from now! So no excuses, parents, and kids. Tell them, mom and dad, this is something that I want to do for you because you’ve given me life, you’ve given me so much meaning, purpose.”
I told this one girl, “Please don’t tell your parents that they’re an embarrassment to you, but please tell them, I want you to look good because you’re an ambassador of True Parents.” She got excited, and she realized that she can be an agent of change, that she can make that foundation to honor her parents and take them to TJ Maxx for a fabulous sale, and have fun going with them to try on clothes, checking the personal care products that are available. It really depends on how we view ourselves.
Of course the parental heart is to do whatever they can to love and support the second generation. That’s the beginning of a beautiful relationship. That can start now, this hour, or tomorrow, but it depends on whether we are going to decide to be that agent of change. I would like us to be known for having incredible children. Already that’s taking place. In my own experience, my natural witnessing, if you will, my kids are the best witnessing tools I’ve had over the years. I have people literally asking me, “Why are your kids so different? They respect adults, which is so rare nowadays.” These questions automatically lead to telling about who we are and what we believe in. That’s natural witnessing, which is more like the sunshine instead of the wind.
We’ve gone through a phase where we were blowing people down with the Divine Principle -- we have the truth, you need to listen, go to the workshop. Somewhere along the line we’ve kind of forgotten that not only is it important to teach, but it’s important to live. Once you start living, you become the natural witnesser for who you’re representing.
I’ve met some of your children along my journey, and one in particular is named Matthew, who I met at UTS when STF was having a workshop there. He told me the story of walking outside UTS with his friends and meeting a lady who was looking for Father’s trail. Not only did he show her where the trail was, but he took such good care of this elderly woman that she felt compelled to ask, “Who are you people? What organization do you belong to? You guys are so different. You went out of your way to take care of me.” Matthew proceeded to tell her about how his parents participated in one of the mass weddings. Her eyes got big and she said, “I had no idea. Then Rev. Moon must be a good man.”
That’s the power of natural witnessing. Our children, by inheriting this philosophy of living for the sake of others, actually practicing it in their daily lives and making people so inspired about who they are, other people are realizing that True Parents are good people. That’s just one example.
I met another sister who works with CARP. She is in charge of putting together activities for second generation related to the Abel UN. The supervisor at the event came up to her and said, “Sophia, who are you people? You guys are so different. There’s something unique about you. What is it?” She also answered, “Do you remember those mass weddings? Our parents were in one of those weddings.” This person also responded, “Rev. Moon must be a good man.” That’s the power of natural witnessing.
We’ve been blowing people down with our faith, and wondering why some of them cling to their coats a little tighter, not wanting to listen. I thought, “How wonderful would it be if we can be more like the sun, if we by the way we live our lives, our natural witnessing, naturally attract people to want to be part of our congregation?” Instead of preaching, maybe we should do a little bit more living. Instead of trying to save the world, maybe we should care a little more for our children, who need us very, very much.
As a child of this movement, who grew up literally without a parent, I feel it’s my job to encourage all parents to really invest in the future, invest in your children because they are our greatest asset. There is no limit to what they can do if we can truly inspire them with this vision of external excellence and internal excellence. Let’s give them the vision of the impossibility becoming a possibility and then becoming a reality like Obama. Let’s remind our children that the things they take for granted, like being able to sit anywhere on the school bus, was because of a certain individual named Rosa Parks, a quiet African-American woman who basically said, “I’m not going to give up my seat on this bus because that’s not right.” This little lady sparked the civil rights movement that changed America, and impacted the world.
These individuals effectively moved the hearts of young people all over the world. Why can’t we do that with our own community? Why can’t we raise up a generation of young people that basically say, “I’m tired of becoming a Gen X-er, I don’t want to be a Gen Y, I don’t want to be a millennial -- which is basically the “show me the money” generation.” The shows on MTV like “Cribs” which literally follow stars around, showing their girlfriends and cars and money flowing everywhere -- young people are inundated with that. I’ve often felt that young people are losing a sense of what is truly valuable and meaningful in life. That’s why True Parents are so incredibly important.
Most recently a friend of mine sent me a video clip from a CNN interview with a 22-year-old college graduate who was looking at getting a masters degree, but finding herself without enough money to fund her dream. The interviewer was asking her, “How did you come to the decision to auction your virginity on the Internet to the highest bidder?” She replied, “When I was a little girl, of course I was inspired by stories of Cinderella and Snow White and Prince Charming, and I was inspired by romantic love, finding that special someone. But having gone through school, seeing my friends basically bed-hopping throughout college, I asked myself, ‘Why am I holding onto my purity when my society is telling me it’s worthless?’” She came to this decision, thinking that if her purity didn’t mean anything to society, maybe she could put a monetary value on it and see if some people want to buy it. Then at least she’s getting something back and would be able to fund her masters program.
When my friend sent me this clip, he asked what I thought. I said, “It’s awful! This young lady feels the only thing she has left to offer is a dollar sign placed on her virginity. If that is not a litmus test of where America is at, I don’t know what is.”
I know that many young Blessed Children, going through their own course in life, have decided to go the high road, but some have decided to go the long and winding road. I would like to say to anybody in this audience that regardless of where you are in your life, fundamentally it is your life and fundamentally you have the right to decide what kind of person you are going to be. But from God and True Parents’ point of view, no matter what you do, once a Blessed Child, you’re always a Blessed Child -- meaning whether you go the straight and narrow or go the long and winding, you will soon find yourself coming back to your faith, to your family, realizing how incredibly important this community is to you.
Just as this young lady was struggling with the issue of “What is purity? Is it worth anything? Can I put a monetary value on it? Can I have the highest bidder,” maybe some of you might be wondering, “Is my purity worth it? Is it worth waiting for a special somebody?” I would have to say, “Absolutely.” I have three kids in college now who’ve seen the college scene. I have encouraged them to see what’s going on, and then come back and tell me whether their grandpa has a good message or not. They’ve all said to me, “Mom, now that I’m going to college I realize how necessary our True Parents are, how necessary the message of true love really is, the importance of moral values, of saving ourselves for that special someone so that we don’t present ourselves as a used Pokemon card, a used gift, if you will. Just as we want something brand-new on our birthday, why should we not have something brand-new and wonderful on our Blessing day?” There is beauty in that.
Instead of thinking of kyung-bae as some strange Eastern cultural gesture, if you understand it as an expression of love, of respect, of honoring your parents, honoring your elders, or honoring your spouse, next time before going to bed please trying doing kyung-bae to your spouse in a very slow, thoughtful, prayerful way. You will realize that your relationship will be that much more profound and meaningful because you’re respecting this person that God has given to you.
I feel that the message our True Parents gave to us is so important and so crucial to America because it’s really a message about everyone’s right to dream. Father is helping each and every individual to dream, to find that special someone who has similar values, to be married to somebody where you’re not questioning his faithfulness every day. Can you imagine being in a relationship where you question your spouse about this every day? What kind of a life is that? But how wonderful it is to be Blessed to someone with shared values, who knows the importance of fidelity.
“Absolute sex” is the literal translation of the Korean phrase, but in my experience with non-members most people understand this the wrong way. What Father is saying is that one is absolutely faithful. A better translation would be “absolute fidelity.” Practicing fidelity, trust, communication -- these are the things that make a wonderful relationship between a husband and wife, and between children and parents, so that each family becomes a team. A sports team has different positions and roles. A family is like a team, each with their strengths and weaknesses. But let’s come together and say we’re going to be a great team, a great building block for this incredible house that our True Parents and God want to see manifested on earth. We as a movement can concentrate on building our own teams and seeing ourselves as building blocks that will create this incredible community. Then I think we can truly build something awesome.
In light of all these young people trying to figure out who they are, and with all the things that have gone on in America, like 9/11, where the wars of religion have truly taken away so many lives in the name of God, we really need to come together as a worldwide family to say, “There is one God, He is our Heavenly Parent, and we’re all family, all brothers and sisters. Doesn’t matter what religion you are. We believe in the one God, we believe in the same parent.” Concentrate on the common denominators that unite us.
A lot of wonderful things are happening in the short months I’ve been at Manhattan Center and HSA, but the providence is moving very quickly. A book called “The Tipping Point” describes moments in history where something has been building up and up and finally lets loose and changes the world. I feel that our movement is approaching that tipping point. All the sacrifices and all the things that you’ve given up in order to build this kingdom are helping the second generation move toward that tipping point.
When I meet with CEOs and celebrities, they’re all searching, and they love the concept of being in one family, the concept of owning a generation that calls themselves Generation Peace, a group of young men and women who basically say, “We will absolutely oppose violence. We believe in one family under God, and we believe our Heavenly Father is our heavenly parent.” These are the common denominators that unite us all, and this is something that runs through not just our movement but all the families and nations of the world. That’s part of the reason why I gave all of the Blessed Children a wristband to remind themselves that they belong to a new generation, a wonderful generation where instead of waiting for politicians to solve our problems, for religious leaders to stop the wars, that we can be agents of change. It’s going to start with ourselves and with our families becoming great teams. By doing it one family at a time, taking the small steps that are necessary for building this incredible house of God, there is an endless amount of possibilities and opportunities for this world.
For those of you American second generation who felt that you had no place in the church because there was a misunderstanding of what True Family is all about, and the importance of Korean, and importance of Korea being the chosen nation -- I love to quote Young Oon Kim wherever I go. One of the most beautiful things she expounded on while she was here with us is that being chosen means you are chosen to serve. If you are Korean and you truly feel you represent the chosen nation, then we are chosen to serve our brothers and sisters so much so that they become greater than us.
I know that many American Blessed Children have suffered because there’s like a pecking order in our movement, which says that Koreans have the deepest heart, are the most profound, come from Father’s country. Next there are the Japanese, and the Westerners are many times at the bottom of the totem pole. But I am here to encourage you and empower you, to say that America has an incredible providential responsibility and you are the future. You, as this new movement of young people who are going to re-brand yourselves as a Generation of Peace, you are going to help usher in a new age, where the whole world can recognize that our True Parents are the eternal Peace King and the Second Coming walking with us each and every day.
Father often says that he is going to retire in 2013, and that retirement means ascension. My brothers and I are praying every day that we will have our True Parents with us a little bit longer. But how wonderful would it be if in their lifetime the world can recognize them as the peacemakers that they so deserve to be? With the providence moving so quickly, this is not a time to be complaining about ourselves, or looking at the glass as half empty. Everything depends on how we view ourselves.
The first generation are not losers. They are heroes. The second generation are not kids without identities. They are beautiful sons and daughters of God who are going to do incredible things for the world, representing America to the world and exercising the power to influence the world to follow and honor God in the correct way. Thereby we will see America fulfilling its providential duty, becoming the great country that our True Parents always believed it to be.
With that I wish all of you a wonderful Sunday, a wonderful week, a wonderful month. Those of you who have been plodding along, I encourage you to plod a little bit more. Those of you with children, please talk to them, take care of them, invest in them, and remind them how awesome they really are.
I’m here as a member of my family to really thank the membership, who have been struggling and trying their best throughout the years. It’s the time of harvest, brothers and sisters. Instead of letting all the good produce go to waste, let’s harvest it, the greatest asset of our community which is our Blessed Children. Let’s reclaim our Blessed Children, get them inspired about everything that True Parents are, and everything that our movement has to offer, and in that process change the world. Thank you very much.