As A Peace-Loving Global Citizen: Episode 66

As A Peace-Loving Global Citizen: An Autobiography by Rev. Sun Myung Moon
Chapter 8: New Vision for Youth
Embrace the World, pg 240-243

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Embrace the World

Setting a goal in life is similar to planting a tree. If you plant a jujube tree in your front yard, you will have jujubes in your home. If you plant apple trees on the hill behind your home, then they will produce apples. Think carefully about your choice of goals and where you intend to plant them.

Depending on the goal you choose and where you plant it, you can become a jujube tree in Seoul or an apple tree in Africa. Or you can become a palm tree in the South Pacific. The goal you plant will bear fruit in the future. Think carefully where the best place is to plant your goal so that it will bear the best fruit.

When you are setting your goal, be sure to consider the entire world. Consider Africa, which continues to suffer from poverty and disease. Consider Israel and Palestine, where people continue to aim their weapons at each other and fight over matters of religion. Consider Afghanistan, where people barely keep themselves alive by raising poppies used to make harmful drugs. Consider the United States, where extreme greed and selfishness have contributed to the global economic crisis. Consider Indonesia, Haiti, and Chile, which have suffered from earthquakes and tidal waves. Imagine yourself in the context of those countries, and think which country and which situation would be most appropriate for you. It may be that you are best suited to India, where a new religious conflict may erupt. Or it could be Rwanda, which languishes in drought and hunger.

In setting a goal, students shouldn’t be so foolish as to decide that because a country is small, like Korea, it isn’t worthy of your goals. Depending on what you do, there is no limit to how large a small country can become in the global arena. Its national boundaries could even disappear. Whether you do good work on the large continent of Africa or in the small country of Korea, your goal should not be restricted by size. Your goals should be about where your talents can have the most impact.

Think of the world as your stage as you decide what you want to do in life. If you do, you will likely find many more things to do than what you were originally dreaming about. You have only one life to live, so use it to do something that the world needs. You cannot reach the hidden treasure on an island without adventure. Please think beyond your own country, and think of the world as your stage in setting your goal.

During the 1980s, I sent many Korean university students to Japan and the United States. I wanted them to leave Korea, where tear gas canisters were being fired almost daily, and let them see a wider world with greater variety. The frog that lives at the bottom of a well does not realize there is a bigger world outside the well.

I was thinking globally before that word even entered the Korean language. The reason I went to Japan to study was to see a wider world. The reason I planned to work for the Manchuria Electric Company in Hailar, China, and learn the Chinese, Russian, and Mongolian languages, even before Korea was liberated, was to enable me to live as a global citizen. Even now, I travel by plane to many places in the world. If I were to visit a different country every day, it would take more than six months to visit all of them.

People live in many countries, and they all live in different circumstances. There are places where there is no water to cook rice with, while other places have too much water. Some places have no electricity, while some countries are not able to consume all the electricity they produce. There are many examples of how something is lacking in one place but overabundant in another. The problem is there are not enough people focused on equalizing the distribution.

The same is true with raw materials. Some countries have an abundance of coal and iron ore in surface deposits. They don’t even need to dig into the earth. All they need to do is shovel the coal and iron ore from these deposits, which are easily accessed. Korea, however, has a critical shortage of coal and iron ore reserves. To dig out anthracite coal we need to risk our lives to go thousands of feet underground.

Africa has many places where bananas grow naturally in abundance, and they could keep people from starving. But there is a lack of technology and lack of access to productive land, so not enough banana plantations are created. Korea’s climate is not suited for growing bananas, and yet we grow them. This technology in Korea could be very helpful in solving the problem of poverty in Africa. It is similar to the way South Korean technology for planting corn has helped relieve starvation in North Korea.

The phrase “global leader” is now in vogue in Korea. People say they want to become fluent in English and become global leaders. Becoming a global leader, however, is not just a matter of a person’s fluency in English. The ability to communicate in English is nothing more than a tool. A true global leader is someone who is able to embrace the world in his own bosom. A person who has no interest in the problems of the world cannot become a global leader, no matter how well he might communicate in English.

To be a global leader a person must think of the world’s problems as his own and have the pioneering spirit that is needed for finding difficult solutions. A person who is attached to a secure and fixed income, or dreams of having a pension after retirement and a comfortable family life, cannot be a global leader. To become a global leader a person must consider the whole world to be his country and all humanity to be his brothers and sisters and not be overly concerned that he does not know what the future may hold for him.

What are siblings? Why did God give us brothers and sisters? Siblings represent all human beings around the world. The experience of loving our brothers and sisters in the family teaches us how to love our fellow countrymen and love humanity. Our love for our own siblings expands in this way. The family whose members love each other is a model of how humanity can live together in harmony. Love among siblings means that one sibling is willing to go hungry, if necessary, so that his brother or sister can eat. A global leader is someone who loves humanity as he loves his own family.

It has been a while since we first heard the phrase “global village.” Yet, the earth has always been a single community. If a person’s goal in life is to graduate from a university, get a job with a company that will pay him a high salary, and lead a secure life, then that person will have the success of a puppy. But if he dedicates his life to helping refugees in Africa, he will have the success of a lion. The course that is chosen depends on the heart of the individual.

Even at age ninety, I continue to travel around the world. I refuse to rest from my mission. The world is like a living organism in that it is always changing. New problems are always arising. I go to the dark corners of the world where these problems exist. These are not the places with beautiful views or comfortable amenities, but I feel happy in places that are dark, difficult, and lonely because that is where I’m fulfilling my mission, my purpose, and my goals.

My hope is that Korea will produce global leaders in the true sense. I hope to see more political leaders who will lead the United Nations to fulfill its purpose and more diplomatic leaders who will stop the fighting in areas of conflict. I hope to see someone like Mother Teresa who will take care of those wandering and dying on the streets. I hope to see peace leaders who will take on my mission of pioneering new solutions from the land and sea.

The starting point is to have a dream and a goal. Please have an adventurous and pioneering spirit. Dream dreams that others dare not imagine. Set goals for yourselves that have meaning, and become global leaders who will bring benefit to humankind.


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