As A Peace-Loving Global Citizen: Episode 41
As A Peace-Loving Global Citizen: An Autobiography by Rev. Sun Myung Moon
Chapter 4: Launching Our Global Mission
An Incomparable Inner Beauty, pg 145-149
An Incomparable Inner Beauty
My wife and I made a promise to each other after we were married. We agreed that no matter how upset or angry one of us might become, we would not allow anyone to think, “It looks like Reverend and Mrs. Moon had a fight.” We agreed that no matter how many children we might have, we would not let them see any signs that we might have had a fight. Children are God. Children are God with very small hearts. So when a child says, “Mom!” and calls, you must always answer, “What is it?” with a smile.
After going through such a harsh course for seven years, my wife became a wonderful mother. All the gossip about her disappeared, and a peaceful happiness came to our family. My wife gave birth to fourteen children, and she has embraced each one with so much love. When she is away from home on our speaking tours and mission life, she sends letters and postcards to our children every day.
While it was difficult for her to raise fourteen children over the course of over forty years, she never complained. Several times I had to be overseas when my wife was about to give birth. She had to bear such times alone. There were days when I could not do anything for her. Once a member wrote me about my wife’s difficult financial situation. There was concern over whether she was getting sufficient nutrition. Even then, my wife never complained about her difficulty. Because I sleep only two or three hours a night, she has dutifully done the same throughout our life together. These sorts of matters pain me to this day.
My wife has such a tremendous heart of love and care that she even gave a special ring I bought her to someone in need. When she sees someone in need of clothes, she buys that person clothes, or gives them some of ours. When she comes across someone hungry, she buys the person a meal. There have been many times when we have received presents from others that she would give away to someone else she felt needed them more.
Once we were touring the Netherlands and had a chance to visit a factory that processed diamonds. Wanting to express my heart of regret toward my wife for all her sacrifices, I bought her a diamond ring. I didn’t have much money, so I couldn’t buy her a large one. I picked out one I liked and presented it to her. Later, she even gave away the ring. When I saw the ring wasn’t on her finger, I asked her, “Where did the ring go?”
She answered, “You know by now I can’t keep something like that when someone has a greater need.”
On another occasion, I saw her pulling out a large wrapping cloth, and she was working quietly to pack some clothes. “What are you going to do with those clothes?” I asked her.
“I have a use for them,” she said.
She filled several wrapping cloths with clothes without telling me what she planned to do with them. When she was finished, she told me she was getting ready to send the clothes to our missionaries working in foreign countries.
“This one’s for Mongolia, this one’s for Africa, and this one’s for Paraguay,” she said. She had a slightly self-conscious smile that made her look so sweet when she told me. Still today, she takes it upon herself to look after our overseas missionaries.
My wife is the patron of the International Relief and Friendship Foundation established in 1979. It has done service projects in numerous countries, such as Congo, Senegal, and the Ivory Coast. The foundation gives food to impoverished children, medicine to those who are sick, and clothing to those in need. In Korea, she created the Aewon charity organization in 1994. Its activities include managing a canteen serving free food to the poor and supporting low-wage earners, the handicapped, children taking care of families in place of parents, and others. It also provides aid to the North Korean people.
My wife has also been active in women’s organizations for some time. The Women’s Federation for World Peace, which she established in 1992, has branches in some eighty countries and is in general consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations as a nongovernmental organization.
Throughout history, women have been persecuted, but I predict this will change. The coming world will be one of reconciliation and peace based on women’s maternal character, love, and sociability. The time is coming when the power of women will save the world.
Unfortunately, today, many women’s organizations apparently believe that standing in opposition to men is the way to demonstrate the power of women. The result is an environment of competition and conflict. The women’s organizations my wife leads, on the other hand, seek to bring about peace on the principle that women should work together, take initiative, and empower one another across traditional lines of race, culture, and religion to create healthy families as the cornerstone of the culture of peace. The organizations she works with do not call for a liberation of women from men and families. Instead, they call for women to develop and maintain families filled with love.
My wife’s dream is to see all women raised as true daughters with filial hearts who can create peace at home, in our communities, in our nations, and in the world. The women’s movement being carried out by my wife serves the goal of true families, which are the root of peace in all areas of life.
During one of the most intense periods of my public work, our children had to live close to half the year without their parents. In our absence, they lived in our home, cared for by church members. Our home was always filled with church members. Every meal in our home had guests at the table, guests who always received priority over our children. Because of this environment, our children grew up with a sense of loneliness that is not experienced by children in other families. Even worse was the suffering they had to endure because of their father. Wherever they went, they were singled out as sons and daughters of “the cult leader Sun Myung Moon.” This suffering sent them through periods of wandering and rebellion, but they have always returned home. We were not able to support them properly as parents, but five have graduated from Harvard University. I could not be more grateful for their courageous accomplishments. Now they're old enough to help me in my work, but even to this day, I am the strict father. I still teach them to become people who do more than I do to serve Heaven and live for the sake of humanity.
My wife is a woman of incredible strength, but the death of our second son, Heung Jin, was difficult for her. It happened in December 1983. She was with me in Kwangju, Korea, participating in a Victory over Communism rally, when we received an international phone call that Heung Jin had been in a traffic accident and had been transported to a hospital. We boarded a flight the next day and went directly to New York, but Heung Jin was lying unconscious on the hospital bed.
A truck traveling over the speed limit as it came down a hill tried to brake and swerved into the opposite lane, where Heung Jin was driving. Two of his best friends were in the car with him at the time. Heung Jin cut the wheel to the right so the driver’s side took most of the impact from the truck. By doing so, he saved the lives of his two friends. I went to the place near our home where the accident had occurred, and the black tire marks veering off to the right were still visible.
Heung Jin finally went to the heavenly world in the early morning of January 2. He had turned seventeen just a month before.
Words cannot describe my wife’s sorrow when she had to send a child she had raised with love to the heavenly world before her. She could not cry, however. In fact, it was important that she not shed any tears. We are people who know the world of the eternal spirit. A person’s spirit does not disappear like so much dust, just because the physical life is lost. The soul ascends to the world of spirit. As parents, the pain of knowing that we would never be able to see or touch our beloved child in this world was almost unbearable. My wife could not cry; she could only lovingly put her hands on the hearse that carried Heung Jin’s body.
This tragic accident occurred as we planned for the betrothal of Heung Jin to Hoon Sook Pak, who was studying ballet. I had to speak to Hoon Sook about his departure from this world and find out from her what she wanted to do. I told her I knew it wouldn’t be easy or fair to her parents if she chose to go ahead with such a marriage. I told her it was best to forget the betrothal. Hoon Sook was adamant, however. “I am aware of the existence of the spirit world,” she said. “Please let me spend my life with Heung Jin.” In the end, Hoon Sook became our daughter-in-law fifty days after Heung Jin’s departure. My wife and I will never forget her bright smile as she was accompanied by a framed photograph of Heung Jin throughout the spiritual marriage ceremony.
It would seem that my wife would be devastated each time she faced such difficult situations, but she always remained unshaken. Even in the most difficult and unbearable circumstances, my wife never lost her serene smile. She always crossed over life’s most difficult peaks successfully. When church members ask my wife’s advice on raising their own children, she tells them: “Be patient and wait. The period when children wander is only temporary. No matter what they do, embrace them, love them, and wait for them. Children will always return to the love of their parents.”
I have never raised my voice towards my wife. This is not because of my character, but because my wife has never given me cause to do so. Throughout our life together, she has labored to care for me with complete, loving devotion. She is even the one to care for my hair. So this great saint of world affairs is also the best barber in the world. Now that I am old I make many new demands on her, and she always responds. If I ask her to cut my toenails, she will do it cheerfully. My toenails are mine, but I can’t see them very well. She sees them perfectly well, though. It’s a strange thing. The older I become, the more precious my wife is to me.