Truth is My Sword, Volume II
by Bo Hi Pak
4. Early Sufferings Lasting Victory
Gleaning examples from the Little Angels Dance Troupe and the inception of the Little Angels School in Korea, Dr. Pak illustrates that the most powerful force in the universe is the power of love. He explains the vision behind the many projects he initiated in the United States.
Mike Leone couldn't find any place for sale. We couldn't rent a dormitory either, so we have secured an eight-room apartment in one building. We have to settle for that place because we couldn't find anything better. It lacks a large hall like this and a large kitchen, so I know there is a lot of inconvenience and difficulty. But still, economically and in terms of location, I felt it was the best choice. So we decided to rent that one.
But I am dreaming about building a Sun Myung Moon Christian Crusade building in New York. We have the International Training Center at Belvedere, we have Barrytown, and in Washington we have the national headquarters. Next we are looking for the Sun Myung Moon Christian Crusade headquarters, an important part of our movement. This will be equivalent to, let's say, Billy Graham's Evangelical Association headquarters. Eventually we will have our own independent sound department, our own publicity department, printing department, and public relations department. One wing will be for the New Hope Singers, another for the Korean Folk Ballet, and probably later other dancers from other parts of the world, say Spanish dancers, Mexican dancers, or African dancers. In the great cultural building in the center we will have a grand piano, musical instruments, orchestra rooms, individual practice rooms, and a dancing hall. This is my dream.
Every day I think about this. Do you know why? If you dream hard enough, long enough, the dream will come true. We have a Creator and we are the co-creators. God created you and me and gave us the power to create. Do you know where creation begins? It begins in your thoughts. The most powerful single force available in this universe is the power of thought. That is what faith and belief are all about. The message of Christ is that all things are possible. We can realize this power in our life. This is why positive thinking is very important. If you have frustrated, negative thinking in your mind you are already doing the work of destruction in your life. Destruction begins in your thoughts. Look forward, have some vision, set a goal. If you think hard enough, it will come true.
I will give you one illustration. When the Little Angels began in 1962, we didn't have even one room to practice in. So we rented a small hall in one of the suburbs of Seoul. The roof leaked when it rained, and we had to patch up the hole and make a new floor. This is how the Little Angels began.
When the Little Angels school opened, we sent advertising out to parents to send their children to be trained under our auspices. When the parents came to see the school, they were absolutely stunned. They turned around and left, never to return. It was utterly impossible for them to believe that any group could be nurtured and trained in this small cubbyhole and then go to America, England, or France and bring the Korean culture all over the world. No one would believe it. They wouldn't entrust their children to us.
Three Bitter Years
So I had an awfully difficult time enlisting students for the Little Angels. The only people who came were members of the church, who had faith. Unfortunately, at that time every member was struggling, so their children had not had a good education for their talent. They were like sticks. They didn't know how to move. They didn't even know how to bend their elbows. We trained these children with faith for three bitter years. I was a military attaché in Washington at that time and was trying to open up a path for the tour. I described Korea as a country with a beautiful cultural heritage, but no one believed me. So I went back to Korea and produced a very amateurish film because we didn't have money to put into a professional film. But I needed a film to explain what they could do.
At that time, when Americans heard about Korea, they first thought about the war and, second, that it is a poor country with orphans and lots of refugees and lots of communists. This was the image of Korea in Americans' minds. So when I talked about culture from Korea, they were almost thinking, how could they have such a good jewel. But the true image of Korea, as you and I know, is that it has a peace-loving culture and people who are very, very deep and are philosophical and religious.
Do you know that the major religions in Asia consummated in Korea? In other words, Asiatic religions enjoyed their golden age in Korea. Let me give you an example. Buddhism started in India but never really blossomed there. Even now Buddhism is not strong in India. Buddhism moved from India to China to Korea. In Korea, during the Silla dynasty about 2,000 years ago, Buddhism reached its golden age. Then we exported Buddhism to Japan, and Japanese monks and scholars came to Korea to learn from Korean monks and scholars. There is now more and more evidence that the ancient Japanese culture was influenced by Korea.
This comes as a shocking revelation to the proud Japanese. Japan is such a powerful country and is a leading country of the world. But they have found that many things of the culture of Japan were given by Korea. For example, in Nara a large ancient tomb was uncovered from thousands of years ago. When that royal tomb was uncovered, they found that all the cultural elements in it, even dress, reflected Korea's heritage. This is just one instance. Many scholars say the origin of the Japanese culture was influenced primarily by Korea, so now the Japanese have many conflicting feelings. Maybe their ancient ancestors came from Korea. They feel nostalgia for how their ancestors lived. This is one reason Japanese tourists like to come to Korea. It is very difficult to get airplane reservations from Japan to Korea. In many cases they think they are visiting the ancient homes of their ancestors, particularly in the Silla dynasty. The Silla dynasty was truly the golden age of Buddhist civilization. We have in Korea the most fantastic temple. Many people go there and are amazed by the beauty and art and the books written in those days.
Confucianism started in China. But a great Confucian scholar was found in Korea. He deepened Confucian philosophy and developed a bible. Confucius himself didn't write too many books. Somebody had to enrich the thought of Confucius, and those who did this were Korean scholars. So the golden age of Confucius was also in Korea. This is historically accurate.
The Christian philosophy began in Asia Minor, then went all over the world, to Europe, America, Japan, and Korea. Korea has become one of the most Christianized countries in the world. Billy Graham evangelized all over the world, but no crusade could compare to the crusade he had in Korea. Even common people, not just those who are Divine Principle members, can understand the ideal of the coming of the Lord of the Second Advent in the form of True Parents. The words of True Parents are new words. Before Jesus, there were no such words as "Heavenly Father." People said the idea that God is fatherly was impossible. To the Jewish people at that time, that was the worst thing you could say. It was the worst blasphemy. How can you say God is my father? They thought it was such an insult to God. This was a revolutionary declaration.
Life of Shimjung
Today the word is True Parents. We are using new words, particularly the Korean word "shimjung" (heart). Heart in the Korean language is not exactly the same as heart in the American language. Shimjung is much deeper than the meaning of heart in English. It is two words-True Parents and heart-these are the terms of the new parents. Only the True Parents and Christ could bring this. This is the beginning of the new age. We are now moving into the new age of True Parents. So in this respect, due to Korea's cultural heritage and philosophical depth, there is a providential reason why Korea could be chosen as the third Israel in the modern-day dispensation. It is logical. God prepared for a long, long time. It did not just happen accidentally.
Let's go back to my main theme. The American people don't have the slightest idea about this kind of cultural and religious heritage. All American people can think about Korea is war, refugees, divided nation, and so forth. When I brought the Little Angels to this country, I had an awful time. Back home we had an awful time. Here in America we had an awful time. All over the place we had an awful time. There was no joy, no comfort, at all. But somehow the dream thrust me forward, particularly the concept of the Divine Principle.
Many people ask me how I could conceive of such ideas as the Little Angels, the Korean Cultural and Freedom Foundation, Radio of Free Asia, and the Children's Relief Fund. Normally Koreans didn't think like this. They are busy taking care of their own well-being. The country is small, and they are busy in little things. How can you even think you could reach that level? I told them, it is not me but the power of the Divine Principle. Without the power of the Divine Principle, I would be like any other Korean. The teaching of True Parents gives me a new concept of the world. The world becomes totally different. Rebirth is a real term. By myself, I am just a Korean. I always think of myself as a universal being and hopefully associated with the central dispensation of God. It was an automatic and natural thing for me to think big, at the level of the world. The world is one unit. Not Korea is one unit, not America is one unit, but the world is one unit. Naturally I can cook up what are crazy things in other people's eyes. I have dreams and constantly push those dreams forward.
In 1965 I brought the first team of the Little Angels to America, but nobody came to see them. It was a pity. Nobody came. In many cases, performers outnumbered the audience. How could I comfort the children? How could I tell the children the reason this happened? It was an awful job, and the beautiful thing was that the children trusted every word I said. They believed with beautiful, childlike, simple faith.
One week they did a Christmas show in a big theater I had rented. The first night only 12 people came, but the auditorium held 3,000 seats. I told them not to look at the people but at the seats and imagine that every one was occupied. Then I told them to think of one person as like an entire audience. In other words, you can perform in front of one person just like you perform in front of 3,000 people. Then you are real masters. The children responded beautifully. They danced and smiled. There was no sign of ending in tears. I was in the back of the theater looking at the children with tears running down my face. I was so sorry for them. I didn't know how to comfort them. But they comforted me. I didn't comfort them. They always comforted me. I felt judgment because the audience was so small and they sat there so cold. The children were working so hard.
Actually, the next morning the Boston Globe said Bostonians should be ashamed because they are part of a cultural people but didn't appreciate such a wonderful culture coming from a foreign land. One reporter had come to the performance and was shocked at the lack of audience for such a beautiful show. The next day everybody came. That was one big, big advertisement. I thanked God that He is so truly on our side, looking at the children and pitying them just as I did.
During that time (1965), I had a dream that one day I would like to have a beautiful cultural center, such as cannot be found anywhere in Austria or in America, not in terms of money or gigantic size but expressing some real heritage and beauty. Here in Washington there is the Kennedy Center and in New York the Lincoln Center. I wanted to create something even more unique than the Lincoln Center, something better than the Kennedy Center. The Kennedy Center cost $75 million. I don't have that kind of money, of course, but somehow even with spending only $1 million or $2 million there must be a way to make it unique and different so it can be a focal point of the world's culture. I dreamed this. Of course, we are always struggling. I expected nothing but debt, but how can you go into debt year after year? I was almost $25,000 in debt. But I did not show any sign of this to the children. I did not express any shadow of doubt. In the minds of the children they had every right to really express themselves freely. But I knew in my heart our project was in trouble.
A Timely Check
So I sent the children back and came to our Washington office, a small cubbyhole. On Christmas Day I was suffering in my office because I didn't want to show too much suffering at home. That anguished Christmas morning, a special delivery letter came from the Kenneth Allen Enterprise in New York. I opened it and a $5,000 check and a letter fell out. The letter said, I know you are in trouble, but I love the Little Angels so much. Kenneth Allen provided the first year's bookings, and managers always take their commission first. That commission came to $5,000. Of course, they didn't make any money; they spent a lot of money for promotion and so forth, but Kenneth Allen told me in his written letter that he wanted to turn over every penny, somehow hoping that this money would help save the cause. "The cause is such a beautiful one, I don't want to have that project die." I gathered everybody in my office and really cried.
Another miracle came from the Reader's Digest of New York. I had written 12 famous people of America a letter and explained about the Little Angels, the cause, and how beautiful they are. I selected 12 wealthy people, 11 of whom never responded. Only one response came, from Mrs. Lila Atchison Wallace, founder of the Reader's Digest. She read my letter and later told me she was struck by the fire and spirit that letter had. She said the Reader's Digest had started the same way as the Little Angels, 49 years ago. Her husband, Dwight Wallace, got the idea of digesting a vast amount of reading material and presenting it to readers in a form that would enable them to comprehend it.
As a college student, Wallace talked about his idea with some professors and writers, but everybody laughed at him. That idea wouldn't work, they said. He discussed the idea with his fiancée. She was the only one who responded to the idea and told him, if you have a dream and the conviction, then fulfill it. They printed the first issue of Reader's Digest in the garage of a simple farmhouse in Pleasantville, New York. You can imagine how they struggled. They really knew what it was like to pioneer, and yet 49 years later they have become a gigantic empire. Their publications go all over the world in 14 languages; 28 million copies are sold every month. The contribution they have made to the American culture and the world's culture is incredible. Reader's Digest is concerned with health, education, enlightenment, and entertainment.
Mrs. Wallace said the Little Angels are like another version of Reader's Digest. They uphold the general idea of children's purity and serve as good ambassadors through their cultural heritage. I can see your pioneering spirit and want to be part of it. She gave $25,000 without seeing the Little Angels. This is faith. So you know what I am saying. I am not just giving lip service if I say, when you really have a healthy dream and dream hard enough and long enough, a miracle comes.
The next year the Little Angels could come here because of that gift. Mrs. Wallace came to see the Little Angels and was absolutely flabbergasted. I thanked her in a most heartfelt way. She said, don't thank me. It is sheer joy to help a project like this. Of all the many millionaires and billionaires in America, I have not seen one yet except Mrs. Wallace who is truly humanitarian, who is a wonderful spiritual person and can see value immediately. She is a wonderful Christian woman. She knows where money should be spent.
After that every year in the month of April she sent $25,000, which covered the airplane fares of the Little Angels. If we came and made no money, at least transportation was provided; we wouldn't be stranded. I wrote a two-page letter about my dream of the school. To draft that letter I spent several weeks in prayer and a few days of writing, because I was putting my heart and soul and mind into making every word shine. I wrote her about my plan to build the cultural center in Korea. Mrs. Wallace is a difficult person to see. It is not easy to invite her to dinner or even to visit her. My heart was so overwhelmed, and I was not in a position to properly describe it to her because I was so excited. I thought a letter would do the job better. She wrote me back and sent $25,000. That one person gave over half a million dollars to the Little Angels program in the last eight years. That is how the Little Angels survived.
There was only one person who did better than Mrs. Wallace. Without our Father we would never even have conceived it; construction would never have begun. But thanks to a person like Mrs. Wallace, it is well under way. The next time I go back to Korea, I will bring you beautiful pictures. The dedication ceremony of that particular building was attended by the prime minister of Korea, and the groundbreaking ceremony was attended by the first lady, Mrs. Park Chung Hee. Father blessed the building and dedicated it in prayer. He holy salted it, and the next day the prime minister came.
The first phase of construction is completed. The school is already open now. The second phase of construction is going on with Father's help, and the third phase is going to be the auditorium, where not only the Little Angels can perform but all the fine performers of the world can come to Korea to perform. It is like a state theater. President Park can come there and have a state dinner, and the Little Angels can perform. Father can give special banquets at which the New Hope Singers can perform. Yes, you will come there and perform. We have not built it yet so wait a little, but we do have lodgings. You don't appreciate these facilities in America, where they are available everywhere, but in Korea finding that kind of kitchen and that kind of facility is not easy. Refrigerators and freezers-those things are not available. I had an extra hard time creating something like this in Korea, but it is coming along. So when you come to Korea with the Korean Crusade, you are not going to stay at any hotel or small house. You are coming to our cultural center. You will be treated like royalty. It is your home in Korea. We have showers, there's no problem; you have elbow room there.
President Park gave that land amidst the children's park, which is almost 100 acres of land. We are right in the corner of the children's park, so when you look out there is a view far better than this college campus has, much more spacious, even though it is not our land. We can see the beauty of the trees and flowers. You cannot find any other place like this in Korea. This is really a heavenly spot, and President Park allocated it. Of course, we were meticulously diplomatic and worked very hard. All these years, my specialty was other people's hearts. My secret is not to have a strategy. No strategy is the best strategy. As a genuine person, you pour out your heart and soul; that is the best strategy. Just go as you are; you already are the children of God. Have conviction that you are unselfish and your dedication is clear. Like Jesus, don't worry about what to say. God will give you what to say. Just bring your genuine self without a strategy. That is always best; even with the president of Korea that worked the best. I met Mrs. Wallace once and that worked the best. I have met President Nixon, prime ministers, the queen of England, all these people, and that strategy works the best. Even in selling and witnessing, all you need really is no strategy; give your genuine entire weight to the selling or witnessing. That will bring the greatest result.
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