Chairman?s Address at the International Leadership Convocation 2005
Rev. Dr. Chung Hwan Kwak, Chairman IIFWP and IIPC|
Washington DC, United States
April 10, 2005
Distinguished leaders from China, India, Japan, Korea, Mongolia, Russia, the USA, and other nations. Welcome to this International Leadership Convocation, sponsored by the Interreligious and International Federation for World Peace. Together we will consider the theme, ?Leadership for Global Transformation: Exploring the Vision, Methodology and Best Practices Necessary for Lasting Peace.?
Rev. Dr. Chung Hwan Kwak, Chairmain IIFWP
On behalf of the Founder, Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon, it is my honor and privilege to address you this evening. Let me begin by thanking you for attending this very important convocation. You represent leading nations in our world. If the leaders and peoples of these nations work together in a unified, cooperative and unselfish way, for the sake of peace, truly our world can be transformed. That is why you have been invited to this conference.
It is our fervent desire that, by your participation here, each of you will be stimulated by a great sense of hope and opportunity for lasting peace. I hope that when you return to your countries, you will take with you a renewed commitment and determination to carry out your important work, for the sake of your family, your nation and the world.
?Leadership for Global Transformation? is our convocation theme. This is an ambitious goal. However, it is not an impossible goal. Leaders with vision, and the courage to act on their vision, can transform the world. We have seen this occur many times in history. At the IIFWP, we are very serious about this mission, and we believe, that with your help, we can succeed in establishing a world of lasting peace.
To establish a universal realm of lasting peace, we need a vision, methodology and practices that are centered on an unselfish purpose. In addition, we need leaders who not only talk about ideals and vision, but who embody these ideals in their character and apply them in their lives.
During this convocation, we will share the vision of the IIFWP, which is rooted in the teachings of its Founder, Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon. As a very young man he received God?s call, and, through an intense period of search and striving, he discovered the most essential truths concerning the fundamental nature of reality, the root causes of human conflict, and the way of restoration and lasting peace. These teachings have inspired millions in every nation of the world, and with each passing day there is growing recognition and appreciation for the profound significance of his vision and methodology for peace-building. Dr. Moon was born in 1920. He lived through the time of Japanese occupation of Korea and World War II; imprisoned six times, he spent nearly three years in a North Korean Communist prison camp, and would have died, were it not for those 16 nations that joined the United Nations forces at the time of the Korean War. Launching it from a desolate refugee camp in Pusan, he has built a movement whose presence is felt throughout the world as an agent of peace.
Two core principles are at the center of his teaching. The first is true love, or the principle of living for the sake of others. True love calls each of us to love not only our own family and friends, but also strangers, and even our enemies. The second is the principle of unification; that is, the principle that calls us always to seek to harmonize and unify those who are divided or dwelling in tension or conflict.
Just as the natural world we see around us operates according to natural laws and principles, there are also laws and principles that govern the way of life of human beings. Like natural laws, these have their foundation in an original and ultimate reality, God.
Just as there is a physical world that we observe with our physical senses, there is also a spiritual world. Together, in their entirety, the physical world and spiritual world form the cosmos. The center point of the cosmos is God, the origin and creator of all things.
Just as works of art are expressions of the inner character of an artist, our world is an external expression of God?s own inner character. God?s purpose of creation was to establish a realm, external to Himself, that was an expression of His own heart and character and will.
Most of all, God willed that human beings become full expressions of His own essential nature; that is, expressions of true love. The deepest core of God is the realm of heart, the origin of true love. God is the source, origin and true owner of true love. He is the invisible True Parent. Like parents who live for the sake of their children, God created human beings to be His children.
The nature of love is such that it can only be fulfilled in the context of a relationship. A subject partner, seeking to express and fulfill the need and desire for love, must have an object partner with whom to share the experience of love. Without an object partner, love is not fulfilled. A husband without a wife cannot fulfill the experience of conjugal love. Parents without a child cannot experience parental love. Likewise, God cannot fully realize the ideal of love without an object partner. Human beings were created to be God?s object partner, to be God?s sons and daughters. Only in this way can God fulfill His own ideal of True Love. Only in this way can human beings, each one of us, fulfill our own ideal of True Love.
It is important to point out that knowledge of God and, more importantly, relationship with God, are not merely philosophical or academic concepts. God is a living reality, and our understanding of God has a very practical impact on the way we understand and act in our world.
God created human beings with the ideal of True Love in mind. First of all, God wants each individual human being to be a unique, complete and perfected expression of His heart and character. That is, God wills that each human being develop their heart, conscience, character and creativity in such as way as to be a manifestation of God?s ideal.
However, God did not create human beings as fully developed spiritual and physical beings. Human begins grow to maturity over time, and the completion of that growth process only occurs if human beings fulfill their own portion of responsibility. Just as we grow physically by means of sunlight, air, water and other nutrients, we also develop morally and spiritually as we relate to God?s words of truth, follow our conscience, and as we live for the sake of others. In this way we strengthen our mind and conscience. On the other hand, if we disobey our conscience and fail to develop spiritually and morally, our body dominates our mind and we fail to fulfill God?s ideal for the individual. When this happens, we cannot become God?s object partner of true love.
A fully developed individual is one whose heart is close to God?s and who practices true love. In such an individual, the God-centered mind and conscience guide or direct the actions carried out by the body. A son or daughter of God is one whose mind and body are unified and centered on God?s true love.
God?s ideal of creation, however, is not for individuals alone. God?s ideal for human beings has its highest expression in the ideal of marriage and family. This is the second aspect of God?s purpose of creation for human beings.
God created human beings with the dual characteristics of mind and body. In addition, He created them according to a pair system, as man and woman. Individual human beings, whether a man or a woman, do not, by themselves, fully express God?s ideal. Rather, the unity of a man and a woman in an eternal marriage of true love is the fuller expression of God.
On the foundation of the individual development and maturity of an individual man and an individual woman, God?s principle of creation calls for the Blessing of marriage. The Blessing of God brings together a man and woman as husband and wife before God. God created not only the character, but also the sexual organs of man and woman with great care, as complementary, each seeking the other for the sake of love, life and lineage. The love of a man and a woman, consummated in a sexual union, establishes an eternal oneness of love, life and lineage. When children are born from such a love, we experience the blossoming of parental love, children?s love and sibling love between brothers and sisters.
The family allows for the fullest expression of God?s heart of true love in the relationships of husband and wife, parents and children, and brothers and sisters. Furthermore, as the family of true love expands, we establish the extended family or tribe, the wider community of families, society, and eventually the nation and world.
God?s original ideal is to establish an ideal world as one unified family of humanity. This ideal world is simply the extension of a single, original ideal family. The family is the paradigm and model for all human relationships in the wider society, nation and world.
Finally, included in God?s purpose of creation is an ideal of the relationship between the human family and the entire created world; that is, the environment. God intended for human beings to inherit His heart of love and, in turn, to care for and respect the entire created world. While God has blessed human beings with a capacity to take dominion of the environment, that capacity is to be guided by the same wisdom and love which God has toward all that He created.
Of course, the world of God?s original ideal is not the world we experience and observe. We inhabit a world of selfishness, where true love is not practiced and honored, and conflict prevails. The origin of this fallen world takes us back to the time of God?s original creation and the original family. Within that family, the ideal of true love was violated and lost. The chaos, suffering and conflict of history followed. And since that time, God has sought to restore human beings and fulfill His eternal and unchanging ideal of true love. The world of selfishness must be transformed into a world of true love. A world of conflict must be transformed into a world of peace. It is for this reason that God has sent the prophets and saints of history, and ultimately the messiah and savior. This is why He has sent Rev. Moon.
God stands in the position of the invisible True Parent, True Teacher and True Owner. It is our mission in life to manifest these attributes in our own lives. We are each to become a True Parent, a True Teacher and a True Owner. This is the mission that Father Moon has pioneered.
As individuals we are to develop a capacity to become a True Parent in the family, living for the sake of our spouse and our children, and then applying that same heart of true love to all people. We are also to become a True Teacher, living according to God?s words of truth, becoming an embodiment of God?s truth, and communicating that truth to others by our words and deeds. Finally, in relation to all the physical world, we are called to be a True Owner.
As a True Parent we are to manifest a heart of true love, beginning with our own spouse and children. We live for the sake of others within our family, with a desire that each member of the family becomes greater than myself. A True Parent then extends this heart of true love to all people, living for the sake of others, practicing respect, care, compassion and justice even for strangers and enemies, and not merely for one?s own children.
What are the implications of such an attitude, grounded in an understanding of God as True Parent. First, being a True Parent serves as a foundation for human rights, for as a True Parent we seek to treat each individual person as a son or daughter of God. Also, a True Parent will always seek to establish balance. When there is division and conflict, a True Parent seeks harmony and cooperation. When there are significant inequalities among people, a True Parent works to bring balance. A True Parent does not have a concept of enemies, but only of others who are lost and yet to be found. A True Parent understands that true solutions to our most critical problems must begin in the realm of the heart. While the use of violent means to achieve ends may be necessary in certain extreme cases, generally speaking a True Parent works to achieve ends non-violently, through service and consistent unselfish love.
What is a True Teacher? A True Teacher is one who is a being of true moral character, one who lives according to the truthful guidance of the conscience, and who understands and practices the norms of true love, living for the sake of others. Most importantly, a True Teacher affirms and applies the principles of purity and fidelity in relation to the order of true love. A True Teacher testifies to God?s truth, and the norm and order of true love.
What are implications of practices related to a True Teacher? A True Teacher protects the integrity of the family as the foundation for peace in the society, the nation and the world. Also, a True Teacher does not misuse any position of distributing information, but remains committed to truthfulness. Thus, in politics, in business and marketing, in law, in the media and in the entertainment industry, truthfulness and the absoluteness of norms are upheld. In this way, the public, and particularly the next generation are not savaged by untruths and moral relativism. A True Teacher understands that education must not only be concerned with career development, but more essentially with moral development.
A True Owner is one who relates unselfishly, responsibly and compassionately to all things. A True Owner understands that all physical things are the property of God. Property and materials things should never be misused or exploited for merely selfish purposes.
Corruption that is rooted in greed and selfishness has very serious consequences for our world, and often undermines the possibilities for peace and human development. A True Owner never misuses public money, and never seeks to acquire wealth for personal use that is far in excess of what is needed; rather, any excessive wealth acquired is allocated to the benefit of others.
The essential point is that God?s original ideal is for human beings to be His sons and daughters, and to be God-like. To be a True Parent, True Owner and True Teacher is to resemble God, and as we resemble God the world can come to resemble God.
The most basic and deepest relationship of heart is that of parent and child. Such is the relationship that God intended to have between Himself and human beings.
It is God?s deepest desire that all human beings live together as one worldwide family. In fact, the divisions that have been created based on race, religion, nationality, culture, etc., bring sadness to God?s heart. For ultimately, He does not seek division, but rather unity, harmony, cooperation, and co-prosperity.
For this reason, as we work to transform the world, we must begin the work of overcoming man-made barriers, so that we can all live as one human family, centered on true love. This is God?s ideal of the Peace Kingdom.
Over the next few days we will have the opportunity to learn in some depth the teachings of Dr. Sun Myung Moon, True Father. Please take this opportunity with utmost seriousness. Almost 50 years ago, I first heard the teachings of Dr. Moon. I have observed him all these years, and, time and time again, I have been repeatedly reminded of the incredible depth, truthfulness and power of his vision.
Emerging out of a long history of sacrifice, suffering, persecution and even imprisonment, his vision and the movement he has established are poised to transform this world, creating a universal culture of heart and true love, establishing one worldwide family of all humanity, that takes us beyond the historical divisions and barriers that have blocked the way to universal harmony. A new day has dawned, and an era of peace has begun to arise.
During this convocation, you will be introduced to many projects and programs which are applications of the vision of Father Moon. These include many ?Peace Initiatives? in the Middle East, in Northeast Asia, and in South Asia. You will learn of programs in character education, HIV/AIDS prevention, marriage and family, business development, leadership training and sustainable development, and many others.
One particular initiative that is currently underway represents a most significant development of the IIFWP. I am referring to the Peace Council initiative. In October 2003, Dr. Moon launched the Interreligious and International Peace Council as a model institution of global governance. He even coined a new term for this initiative, the ?Peace UN.?
Up until recently the Peace Council has been functioning as a loose, informal coalition of Ambassadors for Peace who worked together on the national, regional and global level. At the present time, however, the Peace Council is shifting to a more formal structure. In fact, in each of the ten IIFWP regions, regional Preparatory Committees are being formed. These will be convened over the next two months to consider the charter, the rules of procedure, the code of ethics and a plan of action for the Peace Council. By mid-summer and in advance of the convening of the UN?s 60th General Assembly, we expect to have a provisional charter, and to have Peace Councils established on the national, regional and global levels. Already, Mr. Jean Ping, President of the General Assembly, has been fully briefed on this plan and awaits our mid-summer update. Leaders in all fields are being briefed, and their input welcomed.
With the emergence of the Peace Councils, the IIFWP itself will undergo a transformation in its own system of governance. In the process, we expect to become even more active and effective in addressing issues of critical concern to our world. Likewise, Ambassadors for Peace, whose relationship to the IIFWP has been rather informal up to this point in time, will become ?peace councilors? with clear responsibilities and tasks within the Council.
In the course of this Convocation program, you will hear more about the IIPC. Rest assured, however, that the Peace Councils have the potential to truly transform this world, bringing together leaders from governments, religions, faith-based NGOs, civil society, academia, business, the arts, sports, etc., all working together collaboratively for peace. It is an idea whose time has come. The dream is about to become a reality.
As we see a convergence of the ethics of the True Parent, the True Teacher and the True Owner with the strategic, activist and organizational power of the Peace Councils, we will witness the awakening of a truly revolutionary movement. I hope that each of you will play a part in its development and in the realization of lasting peace.
In conclusion, let me once again thank you for attending this convocation. I hope and pray that you will become the leaders that this world, and God, so desperately need at this time in history. Let us work together to build the ideal Peace Kingdom.
Thank you and God bless you, your families and your nation.
Send us your thoughts on this article.