As A Peace-Loving Global Citizen: Episode 35

As A Peace-Loving Global Citizen: An Autobiography by Rev. Sun Myung Moon
Chapter 4: Launching Our Global Mission
Our Future Lies with the Ocean, pg 125-128

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Our Future Lies with the Ocean 

As I toured the world, no one knew I was making plans to develop economic foundations on a worldwide scale. As the church grew and the number of missions increased, the amount of funds we needed to support these activities increased dramatically. We needed income. As I toured forty-eight states in the United States, I gave much thought to the kinds of businesses that could support the activities we had planned.

What came to my mind then was that Americans eat meat every day. I checked the price of a cow. I saw that a cow that costs a small amount in Texas could cost several hundred dollars in New York. But when I checked the price of tuna, I discovered that one bluefin tuna cost more than four thousand dollars. Tuna lay more than a million eggs at a time, whereas a cow will have only one calf at a time. It was clear that catching tuna would be a much better business endeavor than raising cattle.

One problem was that Americans did not eat much fish. The Japanese, however, were extremely fond of tuna. There were many Japanese living in the United States then, and expensive restaurants operated by Japanese sold raw tuna at a high price. Gradually some Americans were learning to enjoy raw fish and started to like eating tuna.

The earth where we live is covered more by ocean than by land. The United States borders the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and therefore has plenty of fish. Also, beyond the three-hundred-twenty-two-kilometer limit, no country has territorial claims on the ocean. Anyone can go out to catch fish. In order to start a farm or raise cattle, we would need to buy land, but there is no need for that in the ocean. All we needed was one boat, and we could go as far as necessary in order to catch fish. The ocean is filled with things to eat. Also, on the ocean surface, there is an active shipping industry. Ships carry things made in countries all over the world to be sold elsewhere. The ocean is a treasure trove that guarantees humankind a bright future. That is why I teach that those who are concerned with the future of humanity must be concerned with the oceans. When we can love and inherit the oceans, we inherit the future.

We purchased several boats in the United States. These were not the large ships that might be seen in a travel brochure, but fishing boats about ten to twelve meters in length. They could chase tuna and not have major accidents. These boats were placed in Washington, San Francisco, Tampa, and Alaska. We also purchased a ship repair facility.

We did a lot of our own research. We placed one boat in each region and measured the water temperature. We checked to see how many tuna were caught each day and placed the data on a chart. We didn’t just take data that experts had created previously; our members went out on the water themselves to gather the information. The results of studies done by university-based researchers in the area were used as a reference. In addition, I went to those areas, lived there myself, and checked them out. No data were more accurate than what we gathered. We went to a lot of trouble to conduct this research, but we did not keep it to ourselves. Instead, we shared it with the fishing industry. We also developed new fishing grounds. If too many fish are caught in one area, it depletes the fish population. It is important to go to new areas. Within a short time, we had made a major impact on the U.S. fishing industry.

We entered the business of catching fish on the open sea. Our idea was that one ship would go out to sea and catch fish for at least six months without returning to port. When the ship had all the fish it could carry, a transport ship would go out to it, take its fish, and resupply it with food and fuel. The ship had large refrigeration facilities in which it could store fish for a long time. The name of our ship was New Hope, and it was well known for being able to catch many fish.

I took that boat out myself and caught tuna. People were often afraid of getting on boats. When I suggested to young people that they get on a boat, their first reaction was often one of fear. “I get seasick,” I often heard them say. “All I have to do is get on a boat, and I start getting woozy and I feel like I’m going to die.” So I got on the boat first myself.

From that day, I went out on the boat almost every day for seven years. Even now, when I am ninety years old, I like to go out on the ocean whenever I have the time. Now, there are more and more young people who say they want to go out on the boats. More women also say they want to do this. With any task, if the leader does it first, the people follow. As a result, I have become well known as a tuna fisherman.

It would have been of little use, however, if we had only caught the tuna. We also needed to be able to sell it at the right price. We created a tuna processing facility and even sold the tuna ourselves. We put the tuna in large refrigerated trucks and went out and sold them. If selling was difficult, we started our own seafood restaurants and sold the tuna directly to consumers. Once we had our own restaurants, people could not ignore us.

The United States has three of the world’s four largest fishing grounds. Three-quarters of the world’s fish population live in waters near the United States. Yet, the United States has relatively few commercial fishermen, and its fishing industry is extremely underdeveloped. The government has taken many measures designed to support the fishing industry, but they have not had a major effect. The government offered to sell boats at a big discount on the condition that buyers use them for three years, but few people took advantage of the opportunity. How frustrating this is!

When we started to put money into the fishing industry, it caused a stir in each port where we went. This was not surprising since communities prospered wherever we invested. Our work, ultimately, was to pioneer new worlds. We were not simply catching fish. We were taking paths not taken by others. How exciting it is to be a pioneer!

The ocean changes constantly. They say people’s minds change morning and night, but the ocean changes moment to moment. That is why the ocean is both mysterious and beautiful. The ocean embraces everything in heaven and earth. Water vapor can condense at a particular spot, form clouds, and then become rain and fall back down.

I am very fond of nature because it never deceives. If it is high, it becomes lower; if it is low, it becomes higher. In every instance, it adjusts its height to become level. If I am sitting holding a fishing pole, it seems as though I have all the time in the world. What is there on the ocean to stand in our way? Who is there to make us hurry? We have a lot of time for ourselves. All we need to do is watch the ocean and talk with it. The longer a person spends on the ocean, the greater the spiritual aspect of his life will become. The ocean, however, can be calm one minute but then quickly change its face and send us strong waves. Waves several times the height of a person will rise up above the boat as if to devour it. A strong wind will tear at the sail and make a fearful sound.

Think of this, though. Even when the waves have risen and a fearful wind is blowing, the fish in the water have no trouble sleeping. They give themselves over to the waves and don’t resist them. This is what I learned from the fish. I decided not to be afraid, no matter how strong the waves were. I let the waves carry me. I made myself one with the boat, and we rose with the waves. Once I started doing that, my heart was never shaken, no matter what kind of waves I came up against. The ocean has been such a wonderful teacher for me in my life that I created the Ocean Challenge program to give young people the leadership training the ocean provides.


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