Jin Hun (Park) Moon (husband of Un Jin Moon)

In Search of the Ideal Family

This address was given at the ninth World CARP Student Convention held in Seoul on August 27th, 1995.

Thank you for coming here today to celebrate the ninth World CARP Student Convention. This year, we are a part of the World Sports and Cultural Festival, celebrating the excellence of both body and spirit. In the next few days, many of the world's leading scholars, diplomats, athletes and artists will meet as we are in conferences and competitions involving hundreds of people of all ages from all over the world.

Impressive though these events may be, the International Holy Wedding Ceremony, the Blessing of 360,000 couples is the most awe-inspiring of all. Many of you gathered here today are going to participate in the Blessing. You will be pledging yourselves, together with hundreds of thousands of others, in a worldwide affirmation of the virtue of marriage. The Blessing is the dedication of two people not only to each other, but to their families, nations, to the world and to God.

But for most people, the Blessing is probably something of a modern day enigma. They ask, "How is such an event possible? How is it that such a controversial movement has persuaded people to cross the barriers of race, nation and religion and participate in this tremendous event? What is its meaning?

Change as never before

We are living in an age of unprecedented hope and opportunity for world peace. Since the fall of communism just five years ago, the world has been changing at breakneck speed. Freed from the cold-war specter of nuclear holocaust, the nations and peoples of the earth are drawing closer and closer together. Korea was once called the "hermit kingdom" but it is now a major crossroads of the world. Our gathering here is a symbol of how we are truly becoming a global village. As the barriers that separated us disappear, we realize how strongly we are dependent upon each other for our mutual well-being.

Even more striking is the technological and communications revolution, the opening of the information superhighway. New words are coming into our language almost every day: e-mail, the Internet, the World Wide Web, hypertext, windows, gophers and other strange inhabitants of the world of virtual reality. With a laptop computer, a student can research materials from a library on the other side of the planet and e-mail work to his professor without having to even visit his university. Add a cellular phone, and he can do all of this while fishing on a peaceful riverbank. Now that's progress!

An entirely new dimension of life is emerging that is revolutionizing and changing every aspect of our lives. We are lucky to be living at this most exciting time in history and to witness this remarkable change.

A Reality Check

Yet at the very same time as this great potential for world peace and harmony appears within reach, the sobering reality is that the human race is facing one of the gravest challenges in our history. Tremendous problems, both external and internal, are eating away at our well-being, like a hidden malignant cancer. The end of the cold war, for example, has not meant the end of war or

conflict. The gap between the rich and poor nations is widening. Disease, famine, conflict and a host of other problems continue to bring misery to large parts of the human family. Racism is yet another scourge that refuses to go away.

More troubling than any of these grim problems, however, is the moral decadence which is slowly destroying every nation. Divorce, child abuse, promiscuity, and homosexuality are relentlessly assaulting the family, the basic unit of society itself. The breakdown of the family is directly linked to the inexorable rise of crime and violence. The terrible emotional consequences of a broken home shatter the lives of millions of innocent children every year.

Some of society's ills, like poverty or disease, may be cured by economic assistance or technical breakthroughs in medicine and nutrition. But the breakdown of the family is not a problem that we can expect to be solved simply through economic or social programs. Indeed, advanced societies are the very ones most affected by the disease of immorality.

Something is deeply wrong

The fact is that there is something deeply wrong with human life. There seems to be some fundamental conflict inside every person, leading to personal distress, family collapse and ultimately threatening to tear apart society itself. Where does this problem come from? How can it be solved? No one has known what to do with this disturbing question.

For the greater part of this century, the followers of Marx and Lenin were confident that they knew the answers. They would remodel society based on a new view of the human as a material being. But after seventy years this unsuccessful experiment has been rejected. Once the truth of communism's injustices and failures could no longer be hidden, the end came quickly.

Western-style democracy also has serious shortcomings. The fight for freedom has too often become perverted to the pursuit of selfish individualism. But freedom without responsibility is no freedom at all. In fact, many societies are today trying to defend themselves from what they perceive to be the harmful influence of Western culture.

What about religion, so long the protector of moral values? Sadly, the great religions have lost their confidence. Religious leaders hesitate to boldly denounce evil . Indeed, some of the worst of today's conflicts have their roots in religious dispute. Young people, though desperate for spiritual truth and inner happiness, are increasingly finding the established traditions irrelevant.

With so many retreating from public commitment and social responsibility, the world is facing a terrifying absence of effective moral leadership. We desperately need a group of people, even if small, who can lead the world with a new vision. The world is slipping into moral chaos and we have to reverse the tide.

This is the task that we CARP members must set before ourselves. As young people, we are inevitably going to be the leaders of the future. We are the ones who must take responsibility to meet the challenge of our time and overcome it.

That is why CARP members from around the world are offering themselves for public service and self sacrifice. This summer, for example, members of World CARP in America completed an ambitious community service program. They brought hope to the lives of thousands of disadvantaged people.

That service was offered quietly and humbly. But it was recognized by governors, congressmen, mayors and community leaders as precisely the example that young people need to be setting today. They testified that CARP members had restored their faith in America's youth.

Elsewhere, CARP members have been working hard in a variety of significant programs. In the former Soviet Union, CARP has developed a new morals curriculum for high school students. It is already being taught in schools from Moscow to Vladivostok. In China, we are assisting with the creation of a values education program. CARP has brought students from North and South Korea together in dialogue for the first time in decades. In South America, government leaders in several nations are directly encouraging their top students to participate in CARP programs. In fact, wherever you go, you will find CARP members trying to take responsibility for change and reform.

Despite all these efforts, we still have a long way to go. And how can we be confident that CARP can succeed where so many have failed?

A new vision is needed

What makes us confident is that we have a profoundly different worldview to guide us. That vision comes not from the realm of politics, economy or science but from the inner world of heart and spirit. This is the significance of the Divine Principle, the teaching and lifework of our founders, the Reverend and Mrs. Sun Myung Moon.

Rev. Moon is a true visionary, who can not only see a better future but is willing to act to bring it about. He has spoken at length of the future world of the 21st century. He has called for the equalization of technology between the nations of the developed and developing world; and embodied that philosophy in the many enterprises he has founded. A few years ago, he spoke here in Seoul about the need for free travel throughout the world. He next proposed and backed the International Highway Project to link all nations together.

He has also called for the leaders of the world's religions to unite, meeting many of them in person. He has published a book of sacred scripture showing the close relationships between all faiths. He is developing an international university, a United Nations college, committed to promoting education for global responsibility instead of just local or national interests. He has been training young people to love the ocean and know how to use its resources to end world hunger. Through these and many other projects, he has been working diligently to contribute to a brighter future for the world.

Above all, however, he has been tirelessly teaching the necessity of fundamental moral change in the lives of young people. This will happen through the transforming power of the Divine Principle and the Blessing.

One of the many aspects of his teaching is that we human beings are created to live by conscience. Each one of us has within ourselves an inner guide, ceaselessly directing us to do the right and the good and to shun wrong. Yet we all know how difficult it is to truly follow our conscience even for one day!

One reason for this moral confusion is that our society has become obsessed with material pursuits. People are more interested in striving for wealth, power, and possessions than for personal spiritual maturity. But this is a wrong ordering of priorities. It is like the body leading the mind in an individual. The problem is exacerbated in this time of moral relativism. Good and evil are not fashionable words today. Right and wrong are sometimes said to be merely a matter of opinion.

In the midst of this moral chaos, Reverend Moon has been an outspoken champion of the absolute values which proceed from God, our creator. He teaches that we should follow those universal spiritual laws with absolute faith, love and obedience.

To do this, our invisible mind and conscience must discipline and channel the energies of our physical body. This means taking a stand in a world full of temptation where instant gratification is the norm. There is a common saying that before attempting to rule the world, one should first learn to rule oneself.

Search for the ideal family

The spiritual path does not stop at the level of the individual. In fact, we cannot reach maturity alone. God created us to relate with Him and with each other in true love. And He established the ideal family as the school where we are to learn what that love is.

In the family, our first experience of love is of course from our parents. Who can forget their mother's love? As we grow, we learn to be filial to our parents and by extension loyal to our teachers, our society and our nation. Next, we learn a different kind of love in relationship with our brothers and sisters. This reciprocal relationship is the basis on which we learn to develop lasting friendships and fidelity and commitment to our spouse.

Finally we become parents ourselves. We are then faced with the challenge of loving unconditionally. Rev. Moon has offered the following definition of unconditional true love, which is also God's love: To give, to forget that you gave, and to give again and again. When we learn true love in our family, it becomes the treasure we pass on to our lineage, the future generations.

Today, however, spiritually and emotionally immature individuals create families which are inevitably unstable and far from the ideal. All the conflicts which rage within the individual reappear with more intensity on ever widening levels, from the family to the nation and the world. Instead of being a school of love, today's family has become for many a training ground for despair. The search for the ideal family is, therefore, of fundamental importance to all of us. Without it, we can never attain world peace.

In search of the paradigm

Our founders Reverend and Mrs. Moon have dedicated their entire lives to the realization of the ideal family. This is why people all over the world regard them as True Parents. When the whole world mocked them for even making the attempt, they were offering silent tears and making unknown sacrifices to patiently lay the foundation. They desperately sought to discover that which is true, absolute, unchanging and eternal, and to live by that standard.

As True Parents, they are today calling upon all of us to inherit the eternal tradition of the Blessed Family, living in absolute faith, love and obedience. The Holy Wedding that will take place the day after tomorrow is witness to this determination. Can such an event happen by chance? Is it merely a feat of organization? Not at all! It is the result of a lifetime of dedication and sacrifice.

For the first time ever in human history, hundreds of thousands of couples will dedicate themselves all at once to live for the sake of others, for the world and for God. Among all of these people, we CARP members should be the ones who make the most sincere effort to inherit the founder's example of unconditional giving.

Today, therefore, I want to ask each and every person present to determine to uphold our founder's tradition. Let us act according to the principle of self-sacrifice and living for others. Let us unite our minds and bodies and follow our conscience. Above all, let us work together to create ideal families and communities of true love. In this way, we can harness all the wonderful opportunities of today and build the bright new world of tomorrow.

Thank you for your attentive listening. Especially for those of you participating in the Blessing, may I offer you my heartfelt wishes for a long life of love, happiness and prosperity. May God bless all of you and your families. 

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