Truth is My Sword, Volume II
by Bo Hi Pak
Appendix 4 Larry R. Moffitt
Associate Publisher and Vice President of Tiempos del Mundo, an intrahemispheric Spanish-language newspaper for the Americas, headquartered in Buenos Aires; he was Executive Director of the World Media Association (1979-1997).
Whenever people discuss the life and work and ongoing contribution of Bo Hi Pak, there is generally mention of him as a genuine war hero and the consummate diplomat; and rightly so, for he has always been an excellent leader, a motivator of people, a fighter, and a healer.
His many accomplishments are what the world calls results, and though important, are eventually not as important to Dr. Pak as the vision behind the results. For Dr. Pak, ground is something gained and lost daily but vision goes the distance. Vision writes the final chapter. He could accurately be called a driven man, pushed by the energetic and capable engine of a good and worthwhile vision. A complete picture of the person must include abundant discussion of this aspect.
Many of us who have had the honor of working with him consider his genuine warmth and humanity to loom at least as large as all his other good qualities combined. There is a considerable group of us, most of us now in our 40s, for whom he remains one of the most genuinely nurturing leaders we have ever worked with.
In several of the speeches contained in this book, Dr. Pak will say that of all the titles and professional positions he holds (and they are legion), the work most dear to his heart is that which he performs as a special assistant to the Reverend Sun Myung Moon. It is the teachings of Reverend Moon, their capacity to heal conflict and serve as a guide for a moral lifestyle, that are the wellspring of both the vision that motivates Dr. Pak and his elevating leadership style.
Accompanying that vision is an epic frame of mind, an astuteness that includes an understanding that the struggle between good and evil in the world occurs with equal ferocity between the most powerful nations and ideologies as it does within the confines of each individual human heart.
Dr. Pak embraces a pliable sense of destiny, which allows infinite possibility for human initiative to alter the world's fate for the better. Quite simply, he wants goodness to win. This sense of the man comes through in this collection of speeches.
On a number of occasions he has been called upon to put his idealism and his personal safety on the line; to put up or shut up, ethically speaking. He has demonstrated the courage and willingness to face down the U.S. Congress and the government of his own country of South Korea when he felt it was necessary. On these occasions, he aligned himself with principles of honesty and unity and achieved a measure of victory and, later, the respect of those who opposed him.
For Dr. Pak, who has been handed the responsibilities of starting The Washington Times, Panda Motors, the World Media Association, the Summit Council for World Peace; establishing business ventures with North Korea; and dozens of others, his life has been the job of architect, enactor, overseer, and troubleshooter of many of Reverend Moon's projects. Thus the epic descriptions of Dr. Pak are not without merit for a man of Moses-like determination, parting the Red Sea over and over again, project after project.
His has not been a charmed life by any stretch of the imagination. There have been regrets and failures along the way to be sure, all of them useful in the instruction they have provided. More than in the successes, however, it is through observing how a person deals with failure that one can know the mettle of another. It is not falling down that makes a failure; it's staying down. Dr. Pak's "active soul," as Emerson termed it, is what gives him his value and makes it impossible for him to countenance staying down as a response to any setback.
Winter lasts a long time in Moscow and I remember the cold rain blowing outside the window of his hotel room in April 1990, as he conferred with his staff on the evening before Reverend Moon's meeting with
President Mikhail Gorbachev. In the contingent led by Reverend Moon were the former presidents and prime ministers of 60 countries. The collection of former national leaders were there to encourage President Gorbachev to keep the faith and stay the course, regardless of the cost, for political and social reform which the Soviet Union so desperately needed.
This was not long before the events that would bring an end to the Soviet Union, and the meeting in the Kremlin would be a significant historical footnote if it were allowed to happen. The question was, would it happen or wouldn't it? Many forces opposed the meeting.
The chill of the air added to the uncertainty we all felt late that evening as Dr. Pak conferred with his staff and we waited for the phone to ring, hoping for positive news from one of the channels through which we had initiated contact with the Kremlin. We went over the possible scenarios for the tenth time, to see if there might be some approach we had overlooked. Dr. Pak's resolve never flagged and he kept our spirits buoyed, though we were all fighting the effects of too little sleep and too much coffee.
At one point he looked at each one of the half-dozen of us gathered there, in a manner he would occasionally do, as though taking our temperatures. "You know this meeting has to take place," he said. Then he added quietly, understated, as though he gave us credit for already knowing it, "We must determine history."
To encapsulate the worldview of Bo Hi Pak, those last four words are as fitting a description as any.
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