As a Peace Loving Global Citizen – “Forward”
A steady spring rain fell all last night, ending a winter drought. It was so nice to have had the rain that I spent all this morning walking about in the garden. The ground had that fragrant aroma of moist earth I had missed all through the winter, and the weeping willow and cherry trees were showing signs of new spring buds. I felt I could hear the popping sounds of new life sprouting here and there around the garden. Before I knew it, my wife, who had followed me out, was picking young mugwort shoots that had managed to poke their heads up through the dry lawn. The night’s rain had turned the whole world into a fragrant spring garden.
No matter how much commotion there may be in the world, when the calendar turns to March, spring is on its way. The older I become, the more it means to me that in nature spring follows winter and brings with it flowers in full bloom. What am I that God, in each season, allows the flowers to bloom and the snow to fall, so I might know the joy of being alive? Love wells up from within the deepest recesses of my heart, and I am overcome with emotion. I am moved to tears to think that everything of real value has been given to me freely.
In my life, I have circled the globe many times over in my efforts to bring about a world of peace, and yet it is here in this garden in spring that I am able to taste real peace. Peace, too, was given to us by God, but we lost it somewhere and now spend our lives looking for it in all the wrong places.
To bring a world of peace, I have spent my life going to the most lowly and secluded places. I met mothers in Africa who could only watch helplessly as their children died of hunger, and I met fathers in South America who lived by a river full of fish but couldn’t support their families by fishing. At first, all I did was simply share my food, but they granted me their love in return. Intoxicated with the power of love I went on to plant seeds and cultivate forests. Together we caught fish to feed hungry children, and these trees were used to build schools. I was happy even as mosquitoes bit me all over as I fished all through the night. Even when I was sinking knee-deep into mud, I was happy because I could see the shadows of despair disappear from the faces of my neighbors.
Seeking the shortest path to a world of peace, I devoted myself to inspiring change in the political process and to changing people’s ways of thinking. I met then-President Mikhail Gorbachev of the Soviet Union as part of my effort to bring reconciliation between communism and democracy, and I met then-President Kim Il Sung of North Korea for a serious discussion on how to bring peace to the Korean peninsula.
I went to a United States in moral decline and played the role of a fireman responding to a call in an effort to reawaken its Puritan spirit. I dedicated myself to resolving various conflicts in the world. In my work for peace among Muslims and Jews, I was not deterred by rampant terror. As a result of my efforts, thousands have gathered for rallies and peace marches, with Jews, Muslims, and Christians all joining together.
Sadly, however, the conflict continues. I see hope, though, that an age of peace is about to be inaugurated in Korea. The Korean peninsula has been trained through endless suffering and the tragedy of division, and I can feel in every cell of my body that a powerful energy has been stored here and is ready to burst out. In the same way that no one can stop a new season of spring from coming, no human power can stop heavenly fortune from coming to the Korean peninsula and spreading throughout the world. People need to prepare themselves so that they may rise with the tide of heavenly fortune when it arrives.
I am a controversial person. The mere mention of my name causes trouble in the world. I never sought money or fame but have spent my life speaking only of peace. The world, though, has associated many different phrases with my name, rejected me, and thrown stones at me. Many are not interested in knowing what I say or what I do. They only oppose me.
I have been unjustly imprisoned six times in my life-by imperial Japan, in Kim Il Sung’s North Korea, by South Korea’s Syngman Rhee government, and even in the United States-and at times I was beaten so hard that the flesh was torn from my body.Today, though, not even the slightest wound remains in my heart. Wounds easily disappear in the presence of true love. Even enemies melt away without a trace in the presence of true love. True love is a heart that gives and gives and wants to continuing giving. True love is a love that even forgets that it already gave love and gives love again.
I have lived my entire life intoxicated in such love. I wanted nothing aside from love, and I threw my entire being into the effort to share love with my impoverished neighbors. At times, the path of love was so difficult that my knees buckled under me, but even then I felt happy in my heart, dedicated to loving humanity.
Even now, I am filled with love that I have not yet been able to give. It is with a prayer that this love will become a river of peace saturating the drought-stricken land and flowing to the ends of the earth that I now place this book before the world. Recently a growing number of people have been seeking to know more about me. For the sake of those who are curious, I have looked back on my life and recorded my candid recollections in this book. As for the stories that could not be included in this volume, I hope there will be other opportunities for me to convey them.
I send boundless love to all those who have put their faith in me, remained by my side, and lived their lives with me—and especially to my wife, Hak Ja Han Moon, to whom I am deeply grateful for struggling with me to scale the most difficult peaks.
Finally, I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to Eun Ju Park, president of Gimm-Young Publishers Inc., who poured out much sincerity and dedication in the process of bringing this book to publication, and to everyone in the publishing company who labored in editing the words I spoke so that the often complex content could be easily understood by readers.
– Sun Myung Moon, Cheongpyeong, South Korea, March 1, 2009
- What touches your heart most from this forward?
- Even as a man of such love and a dedicated peace maker, why do you think True Father faced such controversy? How did he deal with it?
- Take 5 minutes to jot down how you might describe your relationship with True Parents right now. Then share with the group how you might want it to look like at the end of the semester.
This week we invite you to take some time to think about True Father and your best memories or experiences (internal or in person) with him. If you don’t have any, consider someone you can ask to share their personal experience (Could be your family, friends). Reflect about it in your journal and share with your study group the next time you meet!