As A Peace-Loving Global Citizen: Episode 65
As A Peace-Loving Global Citizen: An Autobiography by Rev. Sun Myung Moon
Chapter 8: New Vision for Youth
Find Your Purpose, Change Your Life, pg 237-239
CHAPTER 8 New Vision For Youth
Find Your Purpose, Change Your Life
When we meet someone new, we are always curious about who he or she is. God has the same curiosity about each human being. He is especially curious about young people, and it brings Him great joy when He gets to know them intimately. Why is this? It is because our youth is the most important and beautiful period of our lives. This period should be a time of tranquility as one prepares for the future. The process of growing to maturity is a building block that opens the way to a new era.
It is difficult to find young people today who are passionate about their lives. We find so many young people who, with no goal or purpose for their life, are just wandering around. All great leaders in history had a definite sense of purpose in life from the time they were children. From childhood, they nurtured that purpose held within their hearts and exerted great energy to achieve it. Whether they were sleeping or playing with their friends, these great leaders geared every youthful action toward preparing for the stage they would stand on in the future. Is that how you are living your life?
We are all created to be great men and women. God did not send us into this world without purpose. When God created us, He invested His complete love into each person. So we are all created for greatness. Because God exists, we can accomplish anything.
I became a completely different person when I began to love God. I loved humanity more than myself and was more concerned with the problems of others than with the problems of my family. I loved everything that God created. I deeply loved the trees on the hills and the fish in the waters. My spiritual senses developed so I could discern God’s handiwork in all things of creation.
As I was changing my heart to conform to God’s love, I also strengthened my body so that I could fulfill my mission. I wanted to be ready to go anywhere, anytime that God called on me. I played soccer and did boxing, some traditional Korean martial arts, and wonhwado, a form of martial arts that I developed. In wonhwado, the athlete moves his body in a smooth, circular motion, almost as in a dance. It is based on the principle that greater power comes from circular motion than moving in a straight line.
Even now, I begin each day with stretching exercises for my muscles and joints and a breathing exercise that I developed. Sometimes when I am traveling around the world on speaking tours, I may not have time for these exercises in the morning. Still, I will find the time, sometimes while sitting on the toilet. I never miss a day of exercise. When I was young, thirty minutes a day was plenty, but now that I am older, I have increased it to an hour a day.
In 2008 I was involved in a helicopter crash. The helicopter was suddenly surrounded by black rain clouds and in an instant crashed onto a mountainside. The helicopter rolled over, and I was left hanging upside down by my seatbelt. Instinctively I tightly grabbed the armrests on both sides of my seat. If I had not been so diligent in my exercises, I think I would have broken my hip the instant I was suspended upside-down. The body is the container to hold a healthy spirit. It is important for us to be diligent about training our bodies.
Few students go to school because they like to study. They usually go because their parents tell them to, not because they look forward to studying. As students continue to study, however, they gradually learn to enjoy it. From that point, they will start to study on their own and find their own path. An interest in learning is a sign of maturity.
Parents cannot wait until their children mature enough to study on their own. They tell them, “You have to study. Please make up your mind to study,” and put pressure on them. Parents do this because they know that children need to study in order to prepare for the future. They worry that if their children don’t study at the proper age level, they will face the future unprepared.
There is, however, something more important than studying to prepare for the future. Before unconditionally focusing entirely on studies, young people must realize what they want to do in life. They must make a determination to use their talents to help the world rather than just serve themselves. Many young people today seem to be studying just for study’s sake. Unless you have a purpose in life, your studies will lack the passion needed for happiness.
Once I came across a Korean student working hard on his English schoolwork. I asked him, “Why are you working so hard to learn English?” He answered, “To get into a university.”
What could be more short-sighted? Getting into a university is not a purpose. A university is a place to go to study particular subjects in the course of pursuing a larger objective. It cannot be the objective itself.
Also, do not define your life goal in terms of how much money you want to make. I have never received a salary, but I managed to eat and stay alive. Money is a means to do something, not the goal. Before you make money, have a plan for spending it. Money gained without a prior objective will soon be wasted.
Your choice of occupation should not be based only on your talents and interests. Whether you become a firefighter, a farmer, or a soccer player is up to you. But what I am referring to transcends your occupation. What kind of life will you lead as a soccer player? How will you live as a farmer? What is your objective in life?
To set your objective is to give meaning to the life you will lead. If you're going to be a farmer, then you should set your objective to test new agricultural methods, develop better species of crops, and help eradicate world hunger. If you're going to be a soccer player, then set a meaningful objective such as to heighten your country’s image in the world or to establish soccer camps that will nurture the dreams of economically deprived children.
To become a world-class soccer player takes incredible work. If you do not have a definite purpose in your heart, you will not be able to endure the difficult training required to reach the top. Only if you have an objective will you have the power to maintain your course and live a life that is a cut above those around you.