hoever recognizes the importance of peace in the life of the human being will surely strive and will achieve accord with all people and will cooperate with others for the sake of keeping peace among all peoples.
Home and family are the microcosm of the entire creation. The basic understanding of love and goodness finds its origin in the family. I first became acquainted with Dr. Sun Myung Moon and his wife about fifteen years ago, and ever since that day I have been paying close attention to their peacemaking efforts and works. The family, family values, the relationships among family members, and the path to harmony instead of conflict among the generations are all matters of fundamental concern in our world today.
Dr. Moon brings to light much of what is negative in the situation of today's families in this complex time. He says that in circumstances of political and economic uncertainty, ethnic and national conflicts, we must learn how to listen to and understand one another, and to find the pathway to consensus. If there is an atmosphere of stability in the family, then there will be civil peace and stability in the world.
I find myself reading over and over again articles written by Dr. Moon, and more and more I discover in them answers to questions that are deeply troubling me—about ideal marriage, mutual assistance within the family, the role of women, and companionship between younger and elder generations. When I am working out a program schedule or the general conceptual scheme of a project, the thought comes to me that truly everything is being done for the sake of people, for families, for the world as a whole—whether the conference deals with economic or social themes or is dedicated to the purpose of peacemaking. Living for the sake of others—a life of true love—that’s what it’s all about.
Recently there was a forum on the Voice of Our Youth. Young people came out and shared their lives, their ideals and their dreams; they also read some of their poems. Everything was expressed—pain, joy, occasional misunderstandings, love and fears. Youth are like that. The older generation passes on to them their own experiences, worldly wisdom and the will to survive. Yet the fact remains that life is a harsh reality.
The world in which we live can be a snare of extreme individualism, with all its striving toward material satiation. People, in particular youth, are wallowing in debauchery, drunkenness and vice. Sexual promiscuity, violence, decadence and acting with impunity are the guiding principles for a large sector of youth in many countries of the world. Dr. Moon put it well: "Our world has become virtually hell on earth, where the ideal of God’s creation, a perfect world, remains but a distant dream."
Dr. Moon indeed made a wise pronouncement about the value of mixed marriages. During the Soviet era, when all our republics treated one another like brothers and nobody paid attention to the color of one’s skin or hair, mixed marriages did not raise any eyebrows. The children of such marriages were more often than not gifted with unique talents and creativity.
Presently, people from more than 140 different racial and ethnic groups are living in Moscow. In the course of dreaming up and developing our programs, we strive to promote ethnic and cultural unity and social integration in our Russian capital city, preserving on the one hand people’s sense of their own cultural identity while on the other hand cultivating and inculcating our special, all-embracing Russian humanitarian culture. We are developing a system whereby we try to downplay ethnic and religious divisiveness and ethnocentric group mentality, seeking instead to encourage and build up a more integrating and all-encompassing attitude based on the values of the Russian culture itself and grounded in humanitarian, democratic principles.
Working with Muscovites, who represent such a variety of national and ethnic backgrounds, we are forming a new image of Moscow as the capital of a nation which is ready and willing to offer support and assistance to all who belong to Russia according to their need, regardless of their racial, ethnic or religious background. If we are able to get along with and understand one another here in Moscow, then our experience may be helpful to other regions of Russia as well.
The central theme of all our programs is the family, and our task in all our activities is the same: peace within the family—whether we speak about the nuclear family, the family of our society, or the global family of mankind. The purpose of any program is to create an atmosphere of mutual trust, bring back the human element in interpersonal and interethnic relationships, and promote tolerance among different nationalities and peoples.
All of our programs help encourage family integration that respects the outstanding and unique personality of each member as they form one home, with a special, unique atmosphere of love, respect and creativity. If in the home into which one is born there is goodness and mutual understanding then in our overall home, Moscow, there will likewise be peace and harmony.
Often in his speeches Dr. Moon raises the issue of the moral character of the younger generation. This is truly an important theme for consideration in any society. Yes, indeed, our society is sick. Social organizations such as the Universal Peace Federation, the Life Foundation, and other charitable organizations are uniting our forces and conducting international forums, conferences and various other projects under such themes as On the Borderline of Danger: Youth and Criminality, The Rights of Children and Youth in the Modern World, Children in a Multinational Home, Culture of Peace: The Ideology of the Third Millennium, and Extremism in the Youth Media.
Dr. Moon is right. There can be no perfection in ignorance. It is absolutely necessary to treat each person honestly and fairly. If we can unite our efforts, then mankind will be victorious. Our common culture is capable of facilitating peace in the spheres in which each of its citizens live, without barriers between races, religions and nations. This is, after all, what God desires.