The Words of Rev. Sun Myung Moon from 1997
Youth for the True Family, Nation and World
This is the text of the Founder's Address at the World Congress of the Youth Federation for World Peace at WCSF III, Washington, DC USA, November 27-30, 1997.
I am truly happy that we are able to hold the III World Congress of the Youth Federation for World Peace in Washington, D. C. , the capital of the United States, together with representatives from more than 130 countries.
It is particularly meaningful that this gathering is held as a part of World Culture and Sports Festival HI, centering on the 3. 6 million couple blessing ceremony.
This is not only because you pure-hearted men and women from around the world, transcending boundaries of race, religion and nationality, have been chosen to form the main pillar of the blessing ceremony. It is also because, ultimately, you young people are the ones who must put into practice the results of all the conferences being held during this festival in preparation for the 21st Century. I would like to express my heartfelt congratulations and gratitude to you YFWP members for dedicating your heart and soul in all areas and levels ,of society for the sake of bringing about world peace, and for the contributions you have made to that end.
I would particularly like to thank heaven and praise you for the fact that your activities, along with those of World CARP, the Women's Federation for World Peace, the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, and others have provided a worldwide realization of the true family ideal. This brought about the surprising result that the original blessing goal of 3. 6 million couples has been exceeded by tenfold, to 36 million couples, even going several million couples beyond that number. I hope that you members of the YFWP will work with even more enthusiasm to stand in the forefront of the blessing event as it is expanded in the future to 360 million couples.
Today, we stand on the threshold of the 21st Century. Already, in many places around the world people have begun the countdown to celebrations that will mark the beginning of the 21st Century. As humanity looks forward to the new century, their hearts are filled with fervent hope that this will be a time for a new world that is better than anything humanity has experienced at any time in the past-a world in which we are able to establish God's new family values of absolute true love.
In the history of the world, humanity's strong desire for an ideal of true love has been the motivating force for change. Because you young people pursue a loftier ideal of true family and possess a greater capability for realizing this ideal than anyone else, you are undoubtedly the initiators and principal actors in this time of major historical change. For this reason, you are the symbols of hope for a humanity that is opening the gate to the new century with an earnest desire that it will lead to the new ideal family.
During the course of history, there have been many literary works and recorded accounts giving praise to young people and to their roles and special characteristics. I think, however, that the roles and responsibilities of young people in the family, nation and world have rarely been of such critical importance as they are today, most notably in terms of a revolution for ideal families. Thus, I think it is very timely and appropriate that the discussions of this conference will focus on the theme, "Youth for the True Family, Nation and World. "
Today, families, nations, and even the world are facing serious dilemmas. The more that industry and technology develop around the world and people enjoy more conveniences, the more we find that the family institution that forms the foundation of our lives is being eroded.
According to data from the U. S. Census Bureau, the divorce rate in the United States increased threefold between 1970 and 1990 to the point where each year one couple in six divorces. Across the United States, 30 percent of children are raised in single-parent families. Even further, we see that the decadent, end-of-century phenomenon of same-sex marriage is becoming more prevalent.
There are reports that as many as 40 percent of American girls between the ages of 14 and 19 become pregnant. It is shocking to see that the rate of suicide among young people has dramatically increased 300 percent during the past 30 years. The breakdown of the family is cited as the most critical issue facing modem society. On the national level, too, the limitations of political power have been revealed in the face of drugs, violence, AIDS, chronic economic imbalances and other social problems that have accumulated everywhere in society.
The world today continues to agonize over issues affecting all of humanity, such as the threat of war and terrorism, discord among races, antagonism among religious groups and the destruction of the environment. We cannot ignore the continuing reality that many regions of the world experience the miseries of hunger and disease. If we evaluate these realities as being the outcome of all the ideas and activities that humankind has experienced during the past 20 centuries, then the result of this evaluation would be a failing mark. Thus all families, nations, and the entire world are urgently seeking change. As we enter the new century, it is imperative that we give priority to developing an awareness of our responsibility for bringing about change in the family, nation and world.
Our task is to establish for youth a new status as initiators of change and to open a new age for true families, true nations and a true world.
In a time when everything must be renewed, those who cannot make themselves new will decline and ultimately perish. A seed that fails to sprout at the appropriate time just rots away. When the new morning comes, we must put on a new set of clothes; when the new season arrives, we must arrange a new living environment for ourselves. What is most important here is that we ourselves must first be renewed as true families and true nations in order that we may harness the winds of change for the creation of a true world. Members of the YFWP, what is the one means by which we can renew ourselves, our families, our nations and our world, and change the flow of history?
As we stand on the threshold of the 21st Century, the ideology of true family, true nation and true world is opening up a new historical horizon as a basic philosophy for world peace. Reverend Moon has taught and exemplified this philosophy.
Originally, God's ideal of creation sprang from sacrificial true love that is capable of giving and forgetting and then giving and forgetting again. All of God's creative effort is sacrificial in that it involves the investment of His own power. Because the investment is motivated by the power of love, however, it returns to God in the form of joy that is tens of thousands of times greater.
If parents, motivated by true love, invest in and sacrifice themselves infinitely for their children, then the children will feel infinite gratitude for having received this true love. And the parents will experience great joy in place of their sacrifice. In this way, the power of sacrificial true love initiates give and take action that establishes an eternal relationship of joy and peace in the true family, true nation and the true world. It is here that the ideal world of eternal life is manifested.
On the other hand, the family, nation or world that lacks such true love is nothing more than an empty shell, and will degenerate into a breeding place for all types of distrust, animosity and immorality. It is in the family that our pure true love grows and is perfected. The true family is the initial stage on which the different types of love, between true parents, true husbands and wives, true children and true brothers and sisters are put into practice and jointly grow to fruition.
The true family is the fundamental nucleus of a peaceful world, for it is here that we learn about God's true love through the love of true parents; it is here that we are trained by means of the true love of true brothers and sisters to acquire a universal love for the true nation, true world and all humanity.
Not only that, but the true family is the basic unit of historical linkage, for it is through true love being handed down from parent to child that the generations of the past, present and future are linked together in a consistent value system.
Just as we cannot expect infertile land to bear bountiful fruit, we cannot expect a family that has been destroyed to produce a person who will function appropriately in society and the world. Thus, each of you young people in this age is first of all to become the embodiment of true love and the principal actors in building the foundations for a true family culture and true family tradition.
Beyond the true family, it is in the context of the nation that young people are able to put their ideals and energies into practice. For this reason, the strength of a particular country must be measured not on the basis of its political, economic, or military might, or by its cultural influence but rather by weighing the temperament of that country's young people and their sense of patriotic loyalty. The young people are the sprout; if the sprout wilts, then the tree has no future. But what is the reality of young people around the world today?
The ultimate problems faced by all countries are those concerning young people.
Political, economic, social and environmental issues can be addressed through such means as institutional improvements and government funding. Laws, military power and economic strength, however, cannot solve the problems of youth. These problems cannot be resolved through coercion. There is no other way than for young people to be responsible for themselves. For that to happen, young people must lead sacrificial lives and become manifestations of true love, thus establishing their positions as masters of true love.
True love, which is the starting point of all ideals and whose action will continue eternally into the future, will serve as a force for young people that is more powerful than life itself. When young people acquire a new outlook on their country that is centered on true love, then that country will discover new possibilities for advancement. When diverse groups in the nation adopt an attitude based on true love, they will be able to rise above the limits of their conflicting interests and bring about a society of cooperation, harmony and progress.
The primary force that moves a country forward arises from true love in the form of sacrificial and patriotic loyalty. Among the numerous national heroes whom we respect today, there is not one who did not exemplify a life of patriotic sacrifice rooted in true love.
Also in today's world, there are many challenges arising from differences in region, race, religion, culture, custom, language and citizenship that we must overcome in order to bring about a united world of peace. If we view the world from the perspective of the creator of all things in the universe, that is, through God's eyes of true love, then we can see that the world is one despite differences of race, language, religion and ideology.
When young people dedicate themselves to sacrifice and service centering on God's true love, then they can start to solve world poverty and hunger and begin to heal the wounds caused by differences in economic standards and by feelings of animosity and hatred arising from different historical experiences.
True love is loving even that which cannot be loved. From this definition we can acquire a clear sense of direction for overcoming relationships of enmity and conflict. The philosophical tension between freedom and equality also can be resolved in the presence of true love.
Within the philosophy of true love, it is also possible to reconcile the historical conflict between God and humanity, as well as conflicts among human beings themselves. In true love, God gives and gives and then forgets that He has given. His only desire is to continue in the act of giving. It is this true love that will enable us to overcome selfishness and move forward into a world of harmony and prosperity.
The logic of true love is that the family sacrifices for the country, the country sacrifices for the world and the world sacrifices for the sake of God. This enables us to see beyond tribalism and national self-interest and to set our sights on an eternal world of peace.
More than at any other time in history, the problems we face today force us to view all the people of the world as sharing a common fate. Problems that arise in any particular region or between any two countries can have an immediate effect on the world's balance of power and on its economic supply and demand. As a result of advances in communications media, the lives of people around the world are separated only by hours, minutes, and sometimes even just seconds. Even at this moment, we can communicate our thoughts to the entire world simultaneously by logging on to the Internet. Through the more than 200 communications satellites in space, the world has already been brought together as one community, and the people of the world are living together as one universal family on Earth. The power and philosophy of true love is that, as a master key, it is capable of comprehensively unlocking problems of all individuals, all families and all nations of the world, thus bringing about universal peace on every level. And it is you, the youth of true love, who are to be the principal actors in putting such true love into practice. Purity, freshness, vigor, strength, courage, challenge, progress, sacrifice, endurance, ideals, hope-these are all words of blessing that are bestowed especially on true youth. These words manifest their real value for the first time when true youth practice true love in the family, nation and the world. Furthermore, true youth represent the substantiation of true hope.
It is a truth well established through history that only those who present a new vision and direction and put this into practice can become the principal actors of a new age.
Through a movement for absolute love and absolute purity, you should establish a true youth culture centering on true love. You must never forget that the greatest enemies of you true youth, who must protect the family centering on true love, are the social trends of moral degradation, including moral decadence and self-indulgence. The establishment of true families that will be the foundations of true love is the supreme task we face. This will determine whether humanity will survive or be destroyed.
From this standpoint, the movement for the future blessing of 360 million couples will be a global cultural revolution which the world must accomplish. Human survival itself is at stake. This event will establish the beginning of a new moral epoch such as has never before been seen in human history.
I firmly believe that when you, who are the true youth, become the embodiments of true love and the principal actors in the building of true families, true nations and a true world, then the coming 21st Century will unfold in a future of hope and vision.
Thus, in order to accomplish the 360 million International Blessing in the future, I would like to ask that you return to your countries, create supporting organizations, and enthusiastically work for this effort.
I pray that God's blessings may be with you. Thank you very much.
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