As A Peace-Loving Global Citizen: Episode 57
As A Peace-Loving Global Citizen: An Autobiography by Rev. Sun Myung Moon
Chapter 7: Future of Korea, Future of the World
From Suffering and Tears to Peace and Love, pg 207-209
From Suffering and Tears to Peace and Love
There is deep meaning in the tragic history the Korean people have experienced up to this point. Korea has suffered a great deal because it is destined to become the foundation from which world peace will emerge. Because it has endured suffering and difficulty for such a long time, Korea can now become the central nation from which God brings peace to the world. Even though Koreans have experienced countless hardships, we have never made anyone our enemy or hated anyone. Several of our neighbors have caused difficulty for us, but we have never made them our irreconcilable enemies.
The Korean people have developed a culture of heart that enables us to forgive our enemies. It takes mastery over oneself to love and accept an enemy. The ability to love one’s enemy comes only after an individual is victorious over his own internal conflicts.
People who are persecuted are the closest to God. To understand God’s heart, one must experience His tearful heart. Even a person who normally would not shed tears will do so if he loses his family and his country. He would desperately plead with God in tears. Suffering difficulties causes one to have a heart that sheds tears, but it is through this type of heart that one can receive God’s blessing. God comes to a heart that is soaked with tears. Korea has become a land of heavenly fortune because so many tears have been shed within the hearts of its people.
Korean people honor their ancestors. No matter how hungry we may be, we will never sell the land where our ancestors are buried in order to buy food. Historically we have maintained a way of thinking that respects Heaven. We are a modern, civilized nation that still honors the world of the spirit. When we accepted Buddhism and Confucianism, they gave rise to a beautiful religious culture. More recently, Christian and Muslim traditions have begun to thrive here as well. All these religions live without conflict within Korea. They blend together and coexist peacefully. What is it that has made us such a unique people?
From ancient times we have always had religious minds, and our hearts have always been open to receive the word of God. In addition, Koreans have always placed a high priority on education and excellence. As a result, the Korean language and the Hangeul alphabet are considered treasures handed down by Heaven. Our language is rich with adjectives and adverbs that can be used to express the human heart.
I love the alphabet that we use. I am very fond of the term Hunminjeongeum, which means “correct sounds for the instruction of the people.” This is the original idea of Hangeul (Korean letters). It has such a beautiful meaning. The excellence of Hangeul has survived for centuries and continues to contribute beauty to human communication, even in this digital age. To me, it is truly amazing that through a simple combination of consonants and vowels humans can communicate and even imitate all the sounds of the creation. For the past thirty years, I have been telling the members of our church in other countries to prepare for the future by learning Korean.
Recently, the term hallyu, or “Korean wave,” was coined in China by journalists to describe the rapid spread of Korean popular culture throughout Asia. The popularity of Korean pop music, TV dramas, and movies has generated a large increase in the number of people learning the Korean language. There are now people in Japan, Mongolia, Vietnam, and even Africa who can speak Korean.
This is certainly not a coincidence. The soul dwells within language. The reason the Japanese tried so hard to eliminate the Korean language during their occupation was to destroy the soul of the Korean people. The fact that people around the world now speak Korean means that the heart and soul of the Korean people are thriving in today’s world. It is because of heavenly fortune that Korea’s cultural influence continues to grow.
The Korean people never want to burden others. When I was in America, I saw the stubborn character of Korean people. The United States is a country that has many types of social safety nets, but Koreans almost never want to take advantage of these. Rather than relying on the support of the government, they find ways to earn money in order to raise their children and take care of their older parents. This is how Koreans show self-reliance. I also see this in the missionaries we have sent across the world. They don’t fear going to a country they know little about. This is true not only for missionaries but also for businessmen. Once they are given a mission, no matter where that mission may take them in the world, they drop everything and go. They are not indecisive or reluctant.
Koreans have such an enterprising spirit that they can go anywhere in the world and live a productive life. Our suffering history has taught us that no obstacle is too great. We have learned to face the worst kinds of situations and overcome them.
When there is a neighborhood celebration, people compete for the best spot to view the celebration. This is a very self-centered kind of behavior. The person who quietly sits down in the worst seat will be the leader of the coming age. Anyone who worries first about putting food in his own mouth will be a failure in the coming age. Even if we are going to eat only one spoonful, we must think of others first. If we are to receive the heavenly fortune that is coming to the Korean peninsula, then we must be aware in the deepest part of our hearts that “others” are more valuable than “myself.”
In the past, everything we loved was taken from us. During Japan’s occupation, our country was taken away. Our country was split in two, and we were forcibly separated from our loving parents and siblings. So Korea became a land of tears. Now, however, we must cry for the world. From now on, rather than shedding tears for ourselves, we must shed tears more sincerely and more desperately for the sake of the world. This is what we must do on the Korean peninsula if we want to continue to receive heavenly fortune. When we do this, the heavenly fortune on the Korean peninsula will then spread out to the world. Korean people have a great opportunity to be at the center of an era of world peace.