The Words The Kwak Family

The Starting Point Is Within Us

Chung Hwan Kwak
June 17, 2007

On June 17, in his capacity as Chairman of UPF, Rev. Kwak addressed the participants of the International Leadership Conference in Hawaii. The content reproduced here is drawn from the second half of that speech.

The love that is to exist between neighbors, citizens and coworkers, as well as between people of different nationalities, cultures and religions, has its basis in the family. The love that should exist between members of the society; the nation and the world is an extension of the love between brothers and sisters within the family. However, when marriage is not centered on God and exists outside the realm of God's blessing, it leads to the loss of true sibling love.

This tragic pattern is expressed in the story of the family of Adam and Eve and Cain and Abel. In that original family, after Adam and Eve fell away from God, they gave birth to children. However, without God, they could not establish a family of true love and could not be true parents to their children.

Consequently; their first son, Cain, killed their second son, Abel, even though Abel's heart was relatively pure. This story provides an archetype for our most basic human problem. As we examine today's conflicts between nations, religions, races, ethnic groups, political ideologies and economic classes, we see the recurrence of the Cain-Abel pattern.

How could it be that Abel was slain by his own brother? In the absence of God's true love, jealousy; resentment, feelings of hate and the desire for revenge grew strong. Acting on these feelings, Cain killed Abel.

We see this pattern repeated throughout history, and it is this very pattern that must be brought to an end. How do we do this?

Most importantly; we must understand God's will and align ourselves with God's providence. In this way, we must develop the capacity to provide true leadership, as restored Abel-like people. the essence of the Abel-like person is the impetus to live for the sake of heaven and for the sake of others. The Abel-like person attends God and practices generosity; compassion and forgiveness. We are called not only to become Abel-like but also to develop Abel-like institutions, such as governments, businesses, NGOs and religions. In fact, Father Moon encourages UPF to become an "Abel-type" United Nations, "offering its efforts for peace to heaven and ceaselessly living for the sake of others." Abel's task is to find the way to love and heal the heart of Cain and to promote reconciliation through love and forgiveness.

Due to our separation from God, we have lost our connection to one another, our connection to the spiritual world and our connection to the natural world. We lack what is most essential to true leadership, namely; the true love that is centered on God. Given this reality, how can we move forward and create a world of true and lasting peace?

That is the purpose of this conference. We will learn principles and methods that will allow us to move from a state of hostility and conflict to a state of peace, from resentment to reconciliation, and from inimical relationships to relationships of true love.

The starting point and front line of peace is not to be found in some external institution or situation. The starting point is within me. The question we each must ask is Can I recognize and overcome the corruptions within my own heart? Before I ask my neighbor to change, I must look deep within myself, understand my own faults, repent and set out on a course of self-correction.

We do not start down the road to peace from the United Nations or from the White House. We start the work of peace building in our own home, and with those who are near and dear to us, our own family. If I cannot successfully establish peace within my own family. how can I dare expect to establish peace among strangers who are filled with hate toward one another?

Father Moon teaches us that peace is only possible if we each come to develop the strength to love our enemy. Only true love has the power to conquer resentment and overcome the stubborn human tendency to perpetuate and multiply the wrongdoings that have been committed against us or those we love. True love calls us to learn the art of forgiveness and to forge a path of reconciliation. All of us must learn to universalize the objects of our love. That is, we must move beyond thinking that "my people" are only those of the same skin colon or sex, or ethnic background, nationality or religion. The circle of "my people" must expand to include and embrace even the stranger and the enemy.

When we imagine God's viewpoint, don't we think of God's vision and love as being large enough to include and embrace the whole of humanity? This is the vision of UPF: to establish one family under God, beyond the barriers of religion, nationality race, ideology and ethnicity.

Is this an easy task? No, working to reverse the course of history is an awesome challenge. It is the most difficult, yet absolutely necessary path, we must take. That is why the great peacemakers throughout history have often suffered, endured persecution, and were even killed. This has been the course of Abel. If there were an easier way; surely we would go that way. Military power alone cannot bring lasting peace. Economic or political power alone cannot bring about a just peace. Peace only comes on the foundation of true love. No adversary submits willingly to raw power or coercion. Rather, peace only comes as we love and serve the adversary. This is the vision and mission of the Ambassadors for Peace movement. I hope that through this conference, you will come to recognize several important points:

First of all, please understand the destructive nature of promiscuity, sexual immorality and family breakdown.

Second, I ask that you find ways to get involved in the mission and work of the Universal Peace Federation. Help make this institution an "Abel UN," a global movement that practices the principle of living for the sake of others, and builds bridges of peace across the divisions of our broken world.

Third, let us work together to promote interfaith harmony and cooperation. With this in mind, let us encourage religious leaders from every faith to further the development of an inter-religious council at the United Nations. After all, this is religion's mission, to build a world of lasting peace.

Fourth, please support Rev Moon's bold call for the Bering Strait Peace King Bridge and Tunnel project, not merely for the sake of trade and development, but for the sake of peace and cooperation between East and West. If the major powers and corporations, along with the religions and NGOs, join together in this effort, we will be beating our swords into plowshares on a global level. The world truly needs each and every one of you. We are living at a critical turning point in history, a time of global crisis. Let us turn this crisis into opportunity. Let us reverse the tide of conflict, and lead the way toward reconciliation and co-prosperity for all God's children.

We are living at a moment of great opportunity a time when we can achieve what has not been possible before in history. The world is waiting for a movement that embodies the ideal of true leadership, guided by universal principles, a movement that is inclusive of people from all the world's faith traditions, cultures, nationalities and races. 

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