As A Peace-Loving Global Citizen: Episode 69
As A Peace-Loving Global Citizen: An Autobiography by Rev. Sun Myung Moon
Chapter 8: New Vision for Youth
Dreaming of a Peaceful World, pg 250-253I
Dreaming of a Peaceful World
For years, I have called for a world where all religions live together as one, all races live as one, and all nations exist as one. Yet, for thousands of years, history has seen the continuous increase of divisions. Each time a different religion was adopted or a new regime came into power, more boundaries were drawn, and wars were fought. Now, however, we live in an age of globalism. For the sake of the future, we must become one.
One way I propose to facilitate that is through the International Peace Highway, a huge undertaking. It will link Korea and Japan by an undersea tunnel and create a bridge or tunnel across the Bering Strait that separates Russia and North America. These great links can unify the world. When the highway is completed, it will be possible to travel by car from Africa’s Cape of Good Hope to Santiago, Chile, and from London to New York. There will be no roadblocks; the entire world will be interconnected like the way the blood vessels function in the body.
The world will become one integrated community, and everyone will be able to travel freely across international borders. Borders that give free passage to anyone will lose their significance as borders. Something similar will be true for religion. As the frequency of exchange among religions increases, greater mutual understanding will arise, conflict will disappear, and the walls of separation will crumble.
When different types of people live together in a single global community, barriers between races will come down. Interaction between races will occur despite differences in appearance and language. This cultural revolution will bring the world into one.
The ancient Silk Road was not simply a trade route that people used in order to sell silk and buy spices. It was also a vehicle for the peoples of the East and West to meet and for Buddhism, Islam, and Christianity to meet. These different cultures intermingled and gave rise to a new culture. The International Peace Highway will play a similar role in the twenty-first century.
Rome could thrive because all roads led to Rome. This is a good illustration of the importance of roads. When a road is built, people use it to travel. It is used to transport culture and ideology. That is why when a road is built it can change the course of history. When the International Peace Highway is completed, the world can be physically bound together as one. The road will make this possible. I cannot overemphasize the importance of bringing the world together. Some may think that this is an idea ahead of its time. Religious people, however, foresee the future and prepare for it. So it is only natural that we are ahead of our time. The world may not understand us and may cause us to suffer, but religious believers must persevere to lead the way to the future.
Completing the International Peace Highway will require the cooperation of many nations. China, which was a victim of Japanese aggression, may not welcome the idea of being connected to Japan by a highway. Japan and Korea, however, cannot connect to the rest of the world without going through China, so we need to make efforts to win China’s trust.
Who will do this? Those of us who take spiritual ownership over the International Peace Highway in the twenty-first century need to take the lead in this effort.
How about bridging the Bering Strait? It will cost a great deal, but this should not cause concern. The amount of money that the United States has spent in Iraq would be more than enough to build such a bridge. We must stop waging war and forcing people to suffer. It is perverse to start wars and squander hundreds of billions of dollars. The time has come for us to beat our swords into plowshares and our spears into pruning hooks.
The International Peace Highway is a project to bring the world together as one. To become one means more than simply connecting continents by tunnels and bridges. It refers to an equalization of the world’s standards of living. When someone monopolizes a technology and keeps the profit entirely for himself, the balance of the world is upset.
The International Peace Highway will rearrange the current inequality by creating access to existing natural and human resources. This will bring about a leveling of wealth. Leveling means that a little is taken off places that are high and added to places that are low. As a result, the two have the same height. This will require sacrifice from those with greater material possessions or knowledge. Building a world of peace cannot be done with one-time charitable acts or donations. Only sincere love and continuous sacrifice is capable of creating a world of peace. We must be willing to offer everything.
Building the International Peace Highway does more than just provide the world with a physical means of communication. Human beings are created so that their mind and body become one. Something similar is true for the world we live in. The world can be completely unified only when there is both physical communication and communication of heart.
For this reason, I have been working for the reform and renewal of the United Nations for many years. Of course, the United Nations has done much for world peace. All Koreans are grateful for its efforts in preserving our freedom during the Korean War. However, today, more than sixty years after its founding, it seems to be losing sight of its original purpose and is in danger of becoming an organization that works for the interests of a few powerful countries.
In 2005, I founded the Universal Peace Federation in New York and immediately afterward embarked on a world tour to a hundred cities to deliver a peace message about a new future for the United Nations and the world. The United Nations was created to solve the conflicts that arise in the world, so it must put the world’s interests before the interests of one side or the other. It only leads to further conflict when a powerful country insists on its own way and uses force to pursue it. Unfortunately, the United Nations today is unable to do much about such situations.
In this light, I have proposed a restructuring of the United Nations as a bicameral institution. In addition to the General Assembly there should be a religious, or cultural, assembly or council. This body would consist of respected spiritual leaders in fields such as religion, culture, and education. The members of this interreligious assembly would need to demonstrate an ability to transcend the limited interests of particular religions and cultures and to speak for the spiritual and moral purposes of all humanity. I maintain that the two chambers, working together in mutual respect and cooperation, will be able to make great advances in ushering in a world of peace.
Some may oppose this, saying, “Why should religious people become involved in world affairs?” My answer is that the world today is in a period when the participation of religious people is crucial. Those who have achieved deep self-awareness through religious practice are needed now more than ever.
Only truly religious people can stand up to the unrighteousness and evil of the world and practice true love. Only when the knowledge and experience of political leaders are combined with the wisdom of interreligious leaders will the world be able to find the path to true peace.
Each day, I set out on my path with renewed determination to achieve that goal. My prayer is that every person on earth will be reborn as a peace-loving global citizen, transcending barriers of religion, ideology, and race.