Unification News for October 1998

The Role of Youth for Peace and Unification in the 21st Century

by Ajay Rai-Great Britain

In December 1997 in Beijing, China, I joined with 350 students, professors and young people from all over the world to participate in this providential event organized by CARP and the Youth Federation for World Peace. The main theme was "The Role of Youth for Peace and Unification in the 21st Century." Sub-sessions on other themes looked at issues on the environment, science, family ethics and the prosperity of northeast Asia, in particular the unification of the Korean peninsula.

Beijing is probably one o the few places in the world where both North and South Koreans can come together for dialogue and exchange. It is indeed neutral ground. This is important because in one respect this conference was an expansion of the whole Jacob-Esau dynamic on the national level. I was privileged to be there, and in reflection, I think my role was to be so to speak as one of the servants or event cattle that Jacob sent ahead of himself before the moment of his encounter with Esau.

My job however was not simple. As chairman of Session Three, entitled "The Present Society and Family Ethics," I was in the spotlight for a few fluttering hours. This turned out to be quite interesting, as I am not your typical English gentleman; but there I was sitting in front of the Union Jack with my audience looking back probably more confused than I was. In this session, essays were presented by Italy, Taiwan, Hungary and Thailand, as well as Great Britain.

A cultural festival was held to conclude the seminar. Eleven brave brothers and sisters represented Europe in a performance which included techno-disco dancing and the singing of "Stand By Me," "Lean On Me," and a multi-lingual version of the European anthem, "Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee." This was put together in the late hours of the night before, but with a touch of the British sense of humor, and all went down well in the spirit of unification.

In comparison, the North Koreans came prepared with the complete performance-including stage cuesto instruments and props combined for a real show which brought the filled banquet room to its feet. Of course, there were some professionals in the group, but isn’t that what the vision of this meeting is all about-to bring the best of the world’s future generation of leaders together to share their intellects and offer their talents, but most of all to give their hearts to one another: "Brother love binds man to man." One nation’s sense of patriotism can definitely rub off on others, as I learned through this experience. Seeing is believing, and if you can see it from the moon then you have no choice!

The Great Wall of China is most definitely more than just a wall. It stretches 1200 km and it cost millions of lives to build. It is the legacy of a great culture which I could not help but compare to Noah’s ark-crazy perhaps, but inspired. On our sight-seeing schedule there was also the Forbidden City, now known as The Palace Museum, underground tombs (which are in fact empty boxes!) and the most serene temples and palaces, sitting atop the Beijing skyline. Alas, I had no camera, but these are memories that I will not forget.

Giving and forgiving

At times the giving being done by the South Koran participants, who were mostly second generation, was painful to observe. By this I mean it was beyond normal everyday justification, and I, being an observer, was challenged as to whether I would do the same were I in their shoes. It was these young adults who truly made this providential event a success. The first generation played their part in organizing it, but they were not able to melt hearts in the way that the hope and innocence of the second generation did. Through this, young and old could cry together, forgiveness was no longer an issue and the Principle was personified.

No doubt there will be a fifth seminar, a sixth and more. It is my hope that these will develop and expand the foundation of the past four. There is always room to improve, and I strongly encourage anyone who is thinking to participate in the next one to get involved as soon as possible. Remember, this is open to all students, and Rev. Won Pil Kim’s definition of being young is simply someone who wants to take responsibility. True Father even defines the age bracket as extending up into the late fifties! So come on! With strong hearts, open minds and willing bodies we can achieve our great goals. The good things that we have been waiting for are already on the way.

Ajay Rai is the president of CARP in Great Britain.. Reprinted from Today’s World.

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