The Words of Kook Jin Moon

Walking With A True Son - Kook Jin Moon

September 2006
Enrique Ledesma
UPF Secretary General, Oceania
Sydney Australia

After greeting True Mother and entourage at the airport, the national leader, Rev. Mclnerheney; drove True Mother's car and I sat in the passenger seat as we took lice Mother and Kook-jin nim to the hotel. We had a very relaxed and informal discussion in which Kook-jin nim asked many questions about our situation. True Mother was listening and making comments in Korean, and we could sense how Kook-jin nim was intensely curious about our circumstances. With every question and comment he was digging deeper to understand our reality, our heart and feelings. He asked about ambassadors for peace, spoke about how to succeed in business and asked us about our business and financial situations, about how many members we had, how many in our second generation, how many blessed couples. He was so free and direct. he expected the same from us. He did not want spin or diplomatic answers but the truth. 1 felt it was wonderful to have such a noble son of True Parents so interested in our situation.

True Mother was also asking him to translate some of what we were saying, although she seemed to catch most of it. As I looked back to see True Mother's reaction, she gave us such a warm knowing smile, as if she already knew that and much more!

We arrived at the hotel where the True Family members were greeted by many members. After bows and flower presentations and realizing that we were all so busy to prepare, True Mother sent us all out in a soft voice and said she would rest a little.

Kook-jin nim had about two and a half hours before he would have to board a plane for Melbourne. The plan was that he would join True Mother for lunch and then leave for the airport.

A little while later, I was informed that Kook-jin nim wanted to go out for some fresh air and take a walk and he wanted to go with someone. Since there was no one really available and he didn't want to go with security, logically I was the one to go. I went and knocked on his door.

He said "Yes, I want to go for a brisk walk anywhere" Then the asked, "Do you know this area?" I said, "Yes," which was partly true, and then he looked at me and said "1 like to walk kind of fast. Is that okay with you?

"No worries," I replied.

We left the hotel room. He asked, "So where are we going?" I said "Let's go left past the parliament house (my mind was racing to think where the best route to Sydney Opera House was), and we will head down to the ocean."

"Great! 1Ne will get to see the ocean, that's great!" He walked very fast. People would stop at the red lights, but he was itching to go. I was a little worried because traffic comes from a different direction than in the States. I was starting to break a sweat.

He mentioned about how the trip was so long and difficult on everyone, so the best thing is to get out and get your heart pumping. "Isn't this great? I want to walk fast for an hour straight. So when do we get to the opera house?"

"Just a little further," I said. I could see the water in the distance, and felt hope that we were heading in the right direction. As he walked, he asked if I knew anything about his business in America. Luckily, I knew something because I had read an article about how successful it was. He gave me many statistics about it.

I ignorantly asked him if he had bought the business when the price was good.

"Bought the business? I started it from scratch!" he replied. "Now I can't keep up with demand, that's my problem. So I am about to diversify into life-style products. I can't stop! I have to keep going and diversify. I have a great team that supports me. I have to trust their creativity and keep them motivated. People that work for my company are happy people! Unification Church members should be the happiest people, right?" He stopped for a moment and looked at me with eyes that scanned my spirit respectfully but penetratingly.

Untruths and phoniness falter, lies stumble. Only truth is permitted. I felt so clearly True Father's spirit through those eyes.

Kook-jin nim is full of conviction. He is passionate, knowledgeable, and a very persuasive person, to say the least.

He walked very fast the whole way. Often I had to run to catch up. He would chose stairs wherever he could find them, climbing two or three steps at a time. All the way he was speaking about things like Starbucks and why competition is good for a company and what the necessary ingredients for success are in our modern world. He said, "We have the best message on earth, but we have not marketed ourselves well. We haven't studied our market well enough. If Starbucks fails to be innovative and creative they will fall behind in no time. They have been successful in branding themselves, but that is not enough. If they don't keep up with their competition, they will not survive. (I felt, maybe that this is the meaning of my experience today -- keeping up with Kook-jin nim, keeping up mentally adjusting myself spiritually to the wave of the future.) Finally, we arrived at our destination.

"Wow, so this is the Sydney Opera House?"

"We made it, thank God and all the spirit world." I thought. He tried finding a way to have a peek in but you had to join a tour. I was completely soaked with sweat. He was also sweating profusely.

"I like this city. It's unique! Pity though, these tours are like, in and out, you know what 1 mean? It would he nice to spend some time here."

"So how are you doing?" he asked. "Are you game for some more walking?" Feeling the blisters on my feet (I wore dress shoes) and my aching lumbar, l said "Sure, why not? If you get tired, we could always grab a taxi back for lunch," I offered.... He smiled and kept walking.

"Let's go a different way back that follows the water," Kook-jin nim said.

We found the entrance to the botanical gardens. In the distance he saw a long, I mean a long flight of stairs, and he started running towards them. "Come on let's go!" I sucked some air in and went for it. Somehow, this was part of the whole experience. I had to give 110 percent and go beyond any concept or comfort zone.

I received a call on my mobile from my wife working on hospitality and from security asking what Kook-jin nim's plan was for lunch because True Mother was about to eat. I explained that to Kook-jin nim, but he said, "Let's go grab a bite to eat somewhere out then."

"What kind of food would you prefer?" I asked.

He said" I want to eat a real Australian burger. Do you know where we can find such a thing?" I started walking down Martin Place and I saw a place that looked to have good food. I asked the waitress and she said "We have the best burgers right here. Just take a seat."

While we were waiting, Kook-jin nim spoke of his time spent in Korea restructuring Tongil Group, which had been losing money, yet within three years was in profit. This is an amazing accomplishment. He spoke in a rather detailed manner of the causes of this problem and what he had to do to reverse the hemorrhaging.

He asked me what was the most successful business our movement has in Australia. I told him Mr. Arai's business. And he asked me why I thought it was successful. I answered that, in my opinion, it was due to wise business practices accumulated over years and the fact that he could focus on business for so long. He agreed, but added that another important reason was that it was independent from the church. He said that business and church should grow toward the same goal but separately.

At this point his voice became almost a whisper and the look in his eves was almost vulnerable. (1 felt deeply the miserable position our True Children were in.) He doesn't know me, but he was sharing his heart so that we as members of True Parents' lineage could understand hint and his family and support him. He wanted us to know how he thought and where he was going and his hope that we would unite with him.

Since I am a leader in Oceania, I am sure he was sharing this not for my sake only but that many of us could understand his position.

He asked what I did before coming to Oceania. I replied that I worked as general manager of our newspaper in Ecuador, Tiempos del Mundo.

He spoke of how important it is to have an impact in the developed nations. Don't only think of having an impact in small, poor nations. "We have to move the big guns. We need to study Australian character and thinking and not expect them to fit into a program that would be accepted in the smaller, poorer nations. We have to find out where they are at and what they are interested in and meet them then-, not expect them to accept what we want to teach them."

Later on, I had a conversation with Kim Young-jun who said the exact same thing. Kim Young-jun and his wife work as the head of the Blessed Family Department in Korea and he works as one of the main assistants for Hyun-jin nim and World CARP. He is a very perceptive person who said that Australians are not such overtly religious people, so we have to find away to appeal to their best sensibilities and righteous character. "If you speak about God too much in the beginning. you will lose them. There's no need to. Meet them on their turf, where they feel comfortable. Gradually, you can bring them higher and they won't resist you."

Kook-jin nim spoke a lot about a new type of leader that must emerge. In the past, leadership was understood as "you must follow and respect me because I have this position." We lost many of our best people because of this style," he said. (Actually, even though I offered to carry his jacket he refused to let ace. When I offered to pay the meal he insisted on paying.)

I never felt that he expected any special treatment from me or anyone even though he is True Parents' son, a Harvard graduate, the leader of a multi-million dollar company, restructured, single-handedly in three years, a billion dollar company on the verge of bankruptcy). If anyone deserves our total respect, it is Kook-jin nim.

"A leader will only draw the kind of people that will accept the culture he has created. Why aren't people joining us? Not because we don't witness, but because of the culture we have created. That's what has to be looked at first.

What our movement needs is the synergistic leader who knows how to draw out the best in each and every person. We are all limited but when a leader of a business or community is able to tap into the creative synergistic, unlimited power of his team there is no limit to what can he done. This is based on trust and respect for the God-given potential in each person. Businesses that can draw from this reservoir will grow. The same is true for a movement like ours."

"But," he said, "Things are not all bad." Because of the change of culture he has created in our businesses in Korea a new kind of person is now joining. "There is incredible hope!" he added.

After restructuring our businesses he said there will be a total restructuring of our church and its culture, from external to internal.

We finished the burger, and went back to the hotel. On the way back we saw a Starbucks and he said "speaking of Starbucks, I would like to have a latte, is that okay, do we still have time?" he asked.

Still soaked in sweat but looking healthy, he said, "Well, I guess I better get ready, huh? Thanks a lot for the walk. It's good to pump the heart isn't it?"

After arriving at the hotel, he showered in five minutes, kissed True Mother and left with Mr. Arai for Melbourne. 

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