Unification News for December 2004
November 14, 2004
This article is about moving. That is, moving yourself and your family, in two different ways.
Americans, as a people, simply cannot stay put. Iíve spent the past year in the moving and storage company supply business, so this tendency has provided lots of work.
Moving is one of the most stressful things an adult can do, and leaving for a new and unfamiliar area can bring profound heartache to children.
Yet we keep doing it. Californians are the worst, in selling their homes and moving on, every few years. In small Midwestern towns, most of the residents were born and raised there, often in the very same house. Out here, in many towns, itís hard to find anyone from California, much less, who grew up in the neighborhood.
All through history, people have migrated. For some ethnic groups itís a way of life. Many others left home to escape trouble; or to seek fertile land, and paying jobs. In this modern era, we have extra reasons to go. Here in the Bay Area, many families have moved closer to our church and school facility; while some headed for the Sierra foothills, where family life remains affordable.
If you really have to move, there are many things to consider. Will you do the job yourself? If so, youíll save a lot of money. Will you rent a UHaul, or use your buddyís work van? For the furniture and large appliances, do you ask friends to help carry them, or hire day laborers? A big UHaul will consolidate your trips, and paying your friends is usually better.
You could hire professional movers. Most will do a quick and competent job, but you have to be careful. A few rinky-dink outfits use two big guys and one small pickup truck, even if itís pouring rain. Some companies, especially on the East Coast, might hold your household goods hostage to a sudden, sharp increase in their fees.
If youíre not moving right in, most companies use vaults (huge plywood boxes) to store your property. But some new (and perhaps cheaper) outfits will create a giant mound with all your stuff, piling it next to many other peopleís, filling up some dingy warehouse.
How will you know which company to use? Do your research first!
The same goes for your new neighborhood. Experts suggest an inspection of the area by day and night, touring the schools and shops, and chatting it up with local residents. A few blocks either way can make quite a difference, and youíd never know it from a street map.
The right to move is an essential freedom. Itís the ability to choose for oneself, and live and work in the best possible location. Its lack would be inconceivable to most Americans, yet this right was denied people for much of history. In some repressive societies, it still is.
Not surprisingly, a few Americans (with too much time on their hands) have taken this to extremes. For example, in claiming that a "Constitutional right to travel" means they donít need a driverís license. The police do not agree . . .
Mass migration has changed the face of the globe. The western hemisphere was probably settled more than once, and by people of different racial backgrounds. Europe was swept, again and again, by its easternmost peoples, when they were forced to move west by marauding nomads out of the Asian steppes.
Today, in Asia and Africa, millions are leaving rural areas to crowd into burgeoning cities. There, they can make some money, and experience the larger world. Due to this trend, agriculture, water usage, manufacturing, and much else has changed. When you phone any corporationís 800 number, chances are youíll be talking to a former villager in India. (Foreign Policy magazine is a great source of information.)
The phenomena of Islamic extremism is, in one respect, an outgrowth of this urban migration. Young men are leaving behind the sedate, traditional Islam of their home villages. Itís promptly replaced by a compelling, aggressive version, preached by media-savvy clerics. (Now would be a good time our peaceful Muslim friends to counter those Wahhabi firebrands on the airwaves.)
Most nations are highly restrictive of immigration. A handful of impoverished countries welcome immigrants, but they arenít exactly popular destinations. Only one place, the United States, has let immigration get totally out of hand. Hundreds of thousands of Mexicans sneak across the southern border, most of find honorable work, and a few to join vicious gangs.
Even today, more than three years after 9-11, thousands of potential terrorists are also crossing. Due to a pitiful lack of facilities, the Border Patrol has to release most of the OTMs ("other than Mexicans") they do catch. Ignoring their legal summons paper, most of those guys just vanish into society. In California, such men now comprise a large percentage of prison inmates. Others, mainly women, are enslaved in brothels and sweatshops.
Ideally, the Earth is a place without borders, where all people can freely visit their brothers and sisters in other lands. However, until criminality and terrorism are only dark memories, wiser people had better get things under control! (Michelle Malkin writes brilliantly on this subject, and sheís not afraid of controversy.)
As the ideal becomes reality, such issues may yet remain for a while. The future Heavenly Nation will become a very popular destination. In fact, thatís the main idea! Itís not supposed to be an exclusive, isolated Utopia; but an open, practical example for the whole of humanity. Yet itís still going to be a specific physical location, with limited material resources. Thus, how would it handle these issues?
Folks usually move to seek a better life. Sometimes, they find it. Please keep in mind that, "Wherever you go, there you are."
Many years ago I lived in a picturesque rural area. A young couple bought the acreage north of ours, and sited their new house atop a forested mountain. I helped a little, when they built the place. It was a real work of art, with a fantastic view of the Pacific Ocean.
Unfortunately, they quarreled often, and soon divorced. Neither wanted to remain, so they sold the land, after spending hardly any time there.
You cannot escape internal problems by moving, and what-and-where ever your new residence is, the place itself cannot improve you, or guarantee your happiness.
No dwelling, large or small, can remain comfortable if the people within are unsettled. In their relationships, or more fundamentally, in a spiritual sense. What to do?
As any religious leader can tell you, itís time to get right with God. For we Unificationists, thatís not done in isolation. The Principleís Foundation of Substance make this clear. In practice, that means itís time to get moving with the Providence.
We have a broad range of choices. You can Ďharvest the fieldsí near your home, or far away. You may work as directed by church leaders, or under individual initiative. (Donít kid yourself about this -- begin with their knowledge and assent). Act in concert with a larger group, or using your own special talent and ideas.
Chances are, your local Pastor would ask you to participate in several activities. Maybe even the ones you are genuinely inspired about. Rev. Moon himself spoke most highly of two American brothers, Lee Shapiro and Richard Panzer. Both men -- working nearly alone -- created unique, and very effective, projects.
By exposing the truth about the marxist Sandinistas, Mr. Shapiroís documentary helped alter the course of history. He sacrificed his life while filming more, in Afghanistan. Mr. Panzer remains hard at work, and heís achieving great results, promoting sexual abstinence among youth.
The ideal awaits. Eventually weíll all get settled in our own home town, surrounded by our beloved tribes. Weíll each be connected to God, and right in line with the Providence. That way, even if we migrate to distant stars, weíll always be at home.
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