Day of Hope Banquet
Sun Myung Moon
September 17, 1974
Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, I am very happy to be here tonight. Thank you very much for coming.
First of all, I owe you an apology. As you were coming in to this banquet tonight, Mrs. Moon and I wanted to greet you and shake hands with each one of you to express our heartfelt welcome. But my staff advised against having a receiving line, for if we were to shake hands with all of the more than 1,700 guests, no time would be left for the banquet. I regret not being able to meet each one of you personally. So to compensate for that, may I now shake hands with one gentleman and one lady among you as representatives of all guests tonight? Secondly, I owe you another apology. During the last several weeks, hundreds of energetic young people from all over the world have been working in your city of New York. And this already noisy city of New York was made even noisier-all in the name of God, of course.
I am the one responsible for that. Furthermore, there have been many posters, and newspaper, TV, and radio ads announcing my meeting at Madison Square Garden tomorrow night. So I am sure that in this city by now almost everyone must be asking, “By the way, who is that Rev. Moon? Is he running for Senator, or something?” That question is well answered to night: Here I am, Rev. Moon. But I am not running for Senator.
New York is indeed a city of wonder. Amazement and astonishment never cease in this city. When I first came to New York and mingled with the rush hour crowd on Fifth Avenue, 1 discovered a strange fact. I saw that all the people were walking with their heads down. So I thought that New Yorkers must be very humble, meek, and saintly, showing their inner respect to Al mighty God by keeping their heads bowed even during the busy rush hour.
Months later, however, I found a more practical reason why New Yorkers walk with their heads down. As you know, New York is a city of skyscrapers. Millions of tourists come here to see them every day of the year. Those tourists walk around with their heads up, looking in awe at the Empire State Building and other great skyscrapers. Unless you watch out, your toes will be stepped on by those fascinated tourists, and your fashionable Madison Avenue shoes will look miserable by the end of the day. So New Yorkers, who are well accustomed to those majestic buildings, must look down and watch out to keep from getting stepped on.
But then I thought that the first and second reasons why New Yorkers have their heads down should be equally true. What the city of New York needs most today is God. And in order to have God, people must have humble and meek minds. Only when we have a reverent attitude can God come into our hearts and into the city of New York. Let us make God real in the heart of New York, so that even during the rush hour on Fifth Avenue His presence will be so real that we cannot but bow our heads in thanksgiving and gratitude.
I love each one of you deeply and dearly, because I know God loves America and the American people-and I love God. Long before the birth of this nation, God was already preparing the North American continent, quietly setting it aside for His special dispensation.
In His divine will, at His appointed hour, God has raised up one great nation upon this blessed land-the United States of America. In such a short time, within only 200 years, God and the American people together have brought forth one of the most miraculous achievements in history. This miracle is great evidence that God’s abundant love has been poured out upon this great land of America. And God, who loves America dearly and deeply, must especially love this city of New York, because New York is the greatest city in America, distinguished citizens of this great city of New York. Therefore, God-who loves America and loves your city of New York must love each one of you deeply and dearly. So I think God must be present with us here tonight.
I am really overwhelmed to be welcomed by this great and distinguished gathering in New York, in this beautiful set ting. I am deeply honored to meet you here. My heartfelt gratitude goes out to you, and I am truly thankful that you all came. What makes our meeting here unique is not that we are meeting in the grand setting of the Waldorf-Astoria, but because we are here in the name of God. In a very real sense, God is our host tonight.
If I were to end my greeting to you at this point, then actually you still would not know very much about Rev. Moon. I am sure that you have come here to see me and hear me. And I would also like to leave you with a clear impression.
Therefore, if you would permit me, in the next few minutes I would like to leave you with a few grains of thought as a memory of my visit to your great city. Would you permit me to do so?
What is the most precious thing in your life? No doubt, the most precious things for you are happiness, joy, freedom, peace, and your ideals. This is common to all human beings. Therefore, throughout history, all people, regardless of their race or time, have sought true happiness, joy, freedom, peace, and certain ideals. Also, all of us have an innate desire to have these precious things last for eternity, be unchanging and absolute. Because man has set his goals and ideals so high, he seldom attains them easily in the reality of life here on earth. Our world is always changing, and each man’s stay here on earth is brief. Many have sought happiness, joy, freedom, peace, and their ideals, but very few have found them.
Having searched for eternal happiness in vain, we have to arrive at the conclusion that to find what is eternal, unchanging, and absolute, we must seek those things from an eternal and unchanging and absolute source. How can we find such a source? Is there such a source? Yes! It can only be Almighty God.
God is the Source of life. Not only that, God is also the Source of happiness and joy, the Source of freedom and peace, and in deed the Source of love and all ideals. It may surprise you, however, to hear that to have these precious things is God’s desire, too. God is seeking happiness, joy, love, and His ideal to be fulfilled for Himself also. However, as long as God is alone, He cannot experience them. They remain dormant within Him. The fulfillment of these goals can only be realized when a subject finds an object, and they unite in a reciprocal relationship of give and take, stimulating and complementing each other. Under that condition alone can these noble goals be attained.
The words “love” and “ideal” are without meaning when one is alone. Love demands someone to love and someone to be loved by. Hope or any ideal needs to be shared with someone. Love and ideals have meaning only when a reciprocal and complementary relationship of give and take has been established.
You may try to be happy by yourself, try to be joyful, try to be loving. But you can never attain these things when you are alone.
This is a universal truth. It even applies to Almighty God. As long as God remains alone, even He cannot fulfill these goals by Himself. Even Almighty God Himself needs someone to be in the position of an object to Him, someone to love and to be loved by. For that reason, God created man as an object to God. God wanted to establish the reciprocal relationship of give and take with man so that He could be constantly stimulated in love and joy by that relationship. Have you ever thought that even God is helpless without you? Have you ever thought you are that precious and important in the sight of God?
Tonight I have had the pleasure of meeting many distinguished couples, husbands and wives. Let me ask you a question. Some years ago, when you were looking for your ideal mate, what was your standard? Did you want to have somebody who was better or superior to yourself, or somebody who was inferior to yourself?
You don’t have to answer. The answer is obvious! Everyone is seeking someone better than himself or herself, because we all want to be associated with someone most ideal, someone perfect. We all know we may have some failings, some imperfections. But human desire always reaches for the highest. We all seek to have our dreams realized in our life partners.
Furthermore, as parents, do you want your children to be inferior to yourself, or would you want them to be superior to you? A father or mother would want unconditionally for their children to be better than themselves.
The other day, I saw a newborn baby. The parents of the baby are a very good looking couple, yet the baby was not too handsome. She almost looked like an Idaho potato. But I said to that young couple, “Well, your baby is more beautiful and more handsome than her mommy and daddy!” Do you think that mommy and daddy were mad at me? No! On the contrary, they said, “Thank and they beamed from ear to ear.
Why do we have traits and desires that work like this? All of our human characteristics come from one origin. We are the reflection of God. We act like we do because God acts that way. Our minds work the way they do because God’s mind works that way.
That’s the way God is! That’s the way we are. We are like God, and God is like us. When Almighty God created man as His object, He wanted to have the very best. Just like any parent, God wants the very best for His children. He wants His children to be even better than Himself. The Heavenly Father wants His sons and daughters to be even better than Himself.
Yet man has not really known this most simple but profound truth. We did not realize that God is our Father, and that He truly has parental love for us. He wants His children to be even better than Himself. We are that important, that precious in the sight of God. This is the ultimate value of man s life-that we are God’s sons and daughters. And we have never understood that!
Since God is the eternal God, unchanging and absolute, when He created man He wanted man, His object, to be eternal, like Himself. He wanted man, His object, to be unchanging, like Himself. He wanted man, as His object, to be as unique and absolute as Himself.
So when we come to the realization that God is of this nature, then we realize that there can be no question about eternal life. The eternal life of man is more than real. Since God is eternal, He intends for His object to have eternal life, also. That is the logical conclusion.
By now, we know why God created man. We know that God is the Subject and we are His objects. Whenever there is a subject and object, there is the possibility of two different kinds of relationships between the two. One is a selfish relationship, where one dominates the other for the benefit of himself. The other is an unselfish relationship, where one gives himself wholeheartedly for the benefit of the other. So when we think of these two kinds of relationships, which one would be God’s choice? God knows that a selfish relationship is self-destructive. Nothing can flourish based on selfishness. Selfishness eventually leads to self-extinction. God knows that an eternal and prospering relationship can never come about through selfish taking. So God’s choice was to have an unselfish relationship. He built the universe upon the base of unselfishness.
I see here in this audience many very prosperous and distinguished-looking gentlemen. We all generally have some pride and some ego. And I’m sure that every one of you has a certain pride in your own accomplishments. However, I want all you men to know that God, when He created man, did not create him to live for man’s own sake or for man’s selfish purpose. Man was created for somebody else-for woman. Yes, God made man for woman. Are you disappointed, men? Well, you should not be. Without woman, man leads himself into self-destruction.
Many of the ladies are smiling! But don’t worry, men. We won’t lose anything, because God created woman not for s sake, but to serve man!
Women throughout the world have one thing in common. They always try to make themselves beautiful, putting on expensive makeup, arranging their hair, wearing beautiful dresses, and even doing beauty exercises! And for what? For themselves? No, for the delight of men!
Let’s say a lady gets all dressed up and goes out to some social event. If only other women comment on her beautiful dress, she will soon be disturbed and think that something is wrong with her. What she is looking for is a compliment from a man. And if all the men there were just crazy about her dress, her hair, or her beauty, she would indeed feel that she was in heaven, on “cloud.”
God gave us five senses and sense organs-eyes, ears, mouth, nose, and so on. And the purpose of all this is so that we can relate to an object, or someone else. Actually, these organs are not working for you, but for your object.
We have not realized this fundamental truth, that God created everything in this universe to be complementary. All things are made for other things.
Then what is the ideal couple, the ideal husband and wife? Well, after the wedding, the newlywed bride and bridegroom go on their honeymoon. At first everything is usually most romantic. They confess their love to each other, saying, “I love you so much.” They say, “I love you so very much.”
You are more than my life. I was born solely for you. Even unto my death, I love. These are all most unselfish sentiments. But the problem comes when those pledges don’t last more than three days!
However, if any married couple ever carried out those promises, and truly loved each other unselfishly, then that would indeed be the ideal couple-the ideal husband and wife in the sight of God. You know we are to live for each other. We are to ex change our lives. We are to fulfill each other’s lives. This is the beauty and happiness of life. You by yourself can never fulfill your own life. The universe is not made that way.
What is the definition of a patriot? I know Americans respect and admire Abraham Lincoln. Why? He is respected because he is a patriot. A patriot is one who gives himself unselfishly for the benefit and well-being of the nation, and for the welfare of his own countrymen. That is the true patriot. And Abraham Lincoln surely was such a man. He gave himself even to death for his country.
According to this same principle, who could we say is the greatest man in all history? Who is the Saint of all saints? There is one who surpasses all others: Jesus Christ. Yes, Jesus Christ was indeed the Saint of all saints, because he set the supreme example of a giving, loving, and unselfish way of life. And he is the one who said, “Love your enemies.”
He really lived that principle. He even gave his life for his enemies. The Bible teaches this one principle from cover to cover, this selfless way of life of God. Jesus said there is no greater love than being able to lay down your life for your friend-or for your enemy. From the very beginning, God has been constantly working to bring humanity into the knowledge of this selfless way of life. One day God will bring the perfection of that kind of life on this earth. That will be the day of the Kingdom of God. To this end, throughout history God has been using all good religions of the world as His tools, His instruments to teach mankind the knowledge of God’s selfless way of life. It is for this reason that all good religions have one teaching in common: selfless love, the selfless way of life. The essence of the teachings of good religions is love and sacrifice.
Then what is evil? What is unhappiness? What is sorrow? What is despair?
Nobody wants these things. These are the products of the exact opposite of the way of God. In selfishness there is no peace. In hatred and selfishness there is no joy. In selfish greed there is neither harmony nor unity.
In the beginning, God created a world of goodness in which only His unselfish way of life would prevail. That was His ideal. However, the master of evil came into being and twisted the way of life around, from unselfish giving to selfish taking.
The first woman, Eve, was subjugated by the selfish love of Lucifer, the fallen angel. And Eve subjugated the first man, Adam, with a selfish motive, plunging all humanity into the darkness of selfishness and greed. This reversal of God’s principle was the beginning of evil.
All evil came from selfishness. A world of greed and self-destruction was the result, and history has often been a nightmare. That characterizes the world in which we live today.
You might be thinking, “Rev. Moon, your ideas sound good, but I’m afraid you are too idealistic. How could a totally unselfish world be possible?”
Let’s look at the practical side of it. Let me ask you another question. Suppose there is someone who truly loves you, one hundred percent unselfishly. Oh, you are a happy person! You are bubbling with joy because of the knowledge that someone loves you so much. You want to give something back to that person to show that you love him, too. Isn’t that right?
Would you be stingy about returning that love, so that you discounted 40 or 50 percent of the amount of love you receive and kept that in your pocket, only returning 50 percent to him? Or would you like to out-love that person and try to give more love than he gives you? What is your reaction?
I know your answer. You want to give more. You want to out-love that person. It is human nature never to be stingy about love. So when there is someone who truly loves you, you always want to do more for that person. You want to make him happier. Do you agree with me? An unselfish deed always brings an unselfish reward. Isn’t that so?
Your deeds of love will, never be lost. When I love Mr. Pak with 100 percent unselfish love, then that love will not only reach its destination, but it will also bring back 100 percent love, plus interest. Love forms a circular motion of give and take, and each time it brings back more love. It goes round and round, each time increasing the amount of love returned, creating endless motion. Circular motion alone can go on for eternity. Circular motion alone can bring prosperity. In His wisdom, God set the principle of eternity in circular motion. Therefore, all of God’s creation sustains its life in circular motion. When there is interaction of give and take of love in oneness, there is harmony and stimulation. The result will be joy, freedom, and prosperity. Each action of give and take returns the original investment plus interest coming with it. This is the way to become prosperous.
We commonly hear parents say to their children, “Be good. Be nice to others. Be a good man, and you will be blessed.” This is very abstract advice. What does it mean?
What is the definition of a good man? Essentially, he is a selfless person, a God like person. And one who lives in God’s selfless way will never diminish himself, but become prosperous in the sight of God. The more you practice the way of life of God, the more you resemble God, the more you become God-like. When you practice God’s way of life, you will emerge as a leader in your own world. You will become the central figure, just as God is the central figure of the entire universe.
Let’s say that in a household there are 10 members-two parents and eight children. Let’s say the youngest son serves each of the other nine members of his family in the most loving, selfless way. Even though he is the youngest son, he will gain a central position in the family. He is earning more respect than anyone else, including the mother and father.
Why? Because that young son is truly practicing God’s way of life. He is most nearly in God’s position in his family, so he becomes the central figure.
So when you occupy the central position by love, by serving others, then in your own universe everyone seeks your influence. They will voluntarily come under your dominion. Actually, this is God’s principle. It is only by serving, by unselfish giving, that one can truly dominate-not by power, not by force.
People do not like to be dominated. But this is because they usually try to dominate for selfish purposes. Everyone actually wants to belong to somebody who loves him. Everybody seeks to belong to the source of love. This is human nature.
There is another most important reason why we have to serve. What are the most precious things in your life? I said love and your ideal. Again, life is fulfilled when we find love and our ideal. But we cannot generate that love by ourselves. We cannot fulfill that ideal alone. We cannot have these by ourselves.
The essential value of love and the ideal which fulfills our lives comes from others, comes from the objects. We are in a position of receiving. Therefore, we should be humble and meek, because we are in the receiving position. Our duty is to give our love unselfishly for sake, to fulfill their lives. We must then wait to receive their love to fulfill our own lives. This is the very core of the truth, the fundamental truth of God’s way of life. Once we know this, it becomes our yardstick, the criterion by which we can judge and evaluate this world. With this principle we can tell where a person stands. Besides this world of ours, there is another world we are to live in-the spirit world-which the Bible calls heaven. When we arrive there, we will all see that heaven operates according to God’s principle. We will see there the perfection of God’s way of life.
Actually, this physical world is just our temporary home. We are visitors here on earth. Our eternal and true home is the spirit world. Therefore, while we are here on earth, we must recognize that this is our unique opportunity to prepare ourselves to be worthy of that heaven. We cannot be any better in heaven than what we have been on earth. How much we live God’s way of life here on earth determines our place in the eternal heaven.
So once you begin to live according to God’s way here on earth, you are already living in heaven. There are no boundaries between the life you live here on earth and the afterlife. This is why Jesus said that the Kingdom of God is “in the midst of You can live in the Kingdom of Heaven right now, right here!
Life for God is living for others, making one great circle of service. For example, I serve my family, my family serves the purpose of the society, and society is the servant to the nation. The nation is a servant to the world. The world, in turn, is to serve God. And God lives solely for you and me, for His children.
He is our Father, our True Parent. His sole concern is love. We must wake ourselves up and realize that God is our Father, and that His sole concern is to love us-to love me.
No one minds domination by unselfish love. No, we are all seeking to be dominated by love.
If America could make herself that kind of place, where God’s heavenly way of life could prevail, then America would truly dominate the earth in love. And the rest of the world would be only too happy to seek America’s influence. We must create heaven right here in America, and give that heaven to the rest of the world.
When we mention the Unification Church, with that big word, “unification,” many people start lo shake their heads. They say, “Unification? Well, so many people have tried. So many saints have tried. So many philosophers have tried. So many scientists have tried. So many military leaders have tried. But nobody has succeeded in bringing about oneness in the world, or establishing unity and harmony. Rev. Moon has a great idea, but it will not work. I feel sorry for him, because I know he will be disappointed.
To those people my answer is very simple. I tell them that I am not the one who will bring about unification. God is going to do that Himself! God created this world as one of unity and harmony. All we have to do is to restore it. Let’s make God real in our hearts and start to live His way of life! Let God do His job of unifying the world. All you have to do is to let God come into your heart and use you as His instrument.
The question is not whether unity is possible. The question is whether we have God in our lives or not. I am overwhelmed to see this wonderful, distinguished gathering here tonight. There are 1, 700 honored guests. I asked my New York commander, “How did you accomplish this?”
I know what they have done! These young people went out to meet you with unselfish motivation. I feel sure that you came here as a result of the sincerity and earnestness of these young people-and above all, because of their selfless attitude.
“Oh, I give up! These young people are impossible.” By this time you began to see something in their faces-something earnest, something not quite of this world. Your heart was telling you, “I must respond to these young people.” You would almost feel guilty not to respond to something so genuine, someone so unselfish.
I am sure that many of you came for that reason. Our Unification Church is here to proclaim God’s love and His way of life. We do not want to become just an organization. We do not want to become an institution. We want to be a movement that will live God’s way-not with our lips, but with our hearts and in our deeds.
In this day and age, God is looking for people who will live the truth. God is searching for serious-mindedness. God has been mistreated and abused throughout history. His name is spoken everywhere, but in vain. God is looking for single-minded fools people He can trust, people who can do crazy things for Him.
The Unification Church was born for that purpose. I tell you that our young people are serious about God. We want to be fools for God. And we are such fools that we are willing to give up everything for Him. Let me say one more thing in conclusion. You all have a Western cultural background. I have an Asian background. I have already become something of a controversial figure in Asia, and I am becoming controversial here in America.
There are people saying unkind things about me, things that are twisted and untrue. But one thing is certain. At least everybody is paying attention to what we are doing.
Now, the reason I come here is to serve-simply to serve. If I preach this way, and if I speak this way to the young people, and if we do not live these principles, then I am no good. Our movement is then no good at all.
But no matter how unkind people are to me, as long as we truly practice the way of life of God, then no other power can touch me or this movement and affect us even one iota. This is not any one man s movement, but God’s movement.
I came here to love America. Is it a crime to love America? Of course not. Love does no harm. America belongs to those who love it most. So, in a way, I am in a competition of love. I want to love America more than any American does. That is my dream, my challenge.
Why? I love America because the Father in heaven loves America and the American people, and I love God as my Father. I love America as my own country. In Him we are one. In Him we are truly brothers and sisters.
I hope you now understand why I said at the beginning of my talk, “To love each one of you deeply and dearly.” I said it, and I meant it-that in Him we are truly one people.
Yes, God created East and West as twins. Somebody has said, “Never the twain shall meet.” But God created these twins of East and West to meet, to stimulate each other with different flavors, different characteristics, different cultures, so that we could have more joy and further enrich our lives. This is our purpose of meeting, and we must begin to fulfill it.
I believe that nothing happens by accident. It is no accident that we have come here tonight. We have a job to do according to the will of God.
Yes, this world has many problems. People are needed who can help solve those problems instead of being part of the problems. We are to be such people, working as the champions of God. We can attack the problems of this world only with God, by practicing His way of life. Then we can truly bring the Kingdom of Heaven on earth. Since Jesus Christ shed his own blood for humanity, mam great martyrs and saints have served humanity unselfishly, giving themselves totally. But today is an extraordinary time in God’s schedule. Now God needs a committed champion of His own, more than at any other time in history. We are here tonight to renew our determination to respond to the call of God, to pledge our lives and our resources, and to pledge to have America realize God’s ideal here on earth. Let us commit our own skills, talents, and our very lives to this great purpose of God.
We are celebrating tonight, marking a new beginning for the challenge ahead of us-that is, to bring the Kingdom of God into our midst. Our challenge is to all become true citizens of the Kingdom of God. Our challenge is to make this New York, our beloved city, heaven. America herself can be heaven.
And when our life on this earth is completed, the record of how we lived will become the measure for how much heaven we deserve. This will be the standard:
The love you unselfishly bestowed upon your fellow man:
The service you willingly rendered for the benefit of others;
The sacrifice you courageously offered for humanity and for God.
The sum total of these deeds will be come your treasure for eternity.
These are the thoughts that I wanted to share with you tonight. May God bless each one of you, your homes, your work, and your great city of New York. And above all, may God bless America!