The Things We Want To Be Proud Of
Reverend Sun Myung Moon
October 25, 1981
Translator – Sang Kil Han
Everyone has a name, and everyone wants to be proud of his name. Each person also wants to be proud of all the parts of his body-his limbs, his eyes, and all his faculties. Someone who doesn’t think he is attractive wants to find something which he thinks will make him more attractive. A woman might wear accessories, like earrings, rings, necklaces, for instance, to make herself look more beautiful.
People want to extend their sense of pride to include their parents, wanting to be proud of the way they look and behave. They count their merits by the ways in which they are good or not so good. They also want to be proud of their brothers and sisters and other relatives.
After that, we want to be proud of the things we own, such as our home or automobile. We also want to be proud of our country. Most people stop right there at the level of the country; they don’t know how to think beyond that level. Today many people feel they cannot think about anything other than themselves, not even their parents, and certainly not their country. But if the world is one, then that world should be their country. In that case, Americans would not only be proud of Niagara Falls, but would also take pride in the great falls in South America and Africa, which are even grander than Niagara. Americans could be proud of the Himalayas, as well as the Rocky Mountains.
The greater a person is, the longer is the list of things in which he takes pride. A person of narrow vision cannot see far away, no matter how much he may want to. Naturally he will have to find a source of pride close at hand. But when a person has broad vision, he can look out to far distances and can have more things to be proud of.
What kind of people can we be proud of in history? No matter how great or how unimportant people may be, the basic pattern of life is about the same for everyone: we eat three meals a day, we sleep so many hours, we get married and have children. Great or small, people all live according to these same basic patterns. Then how do we decide who is the great person and who is the lesser person?
Comparing a person who lives for his country with a person who lives for the world, which can we say is the greater person? Even though we do the same work side by side with each other, if one person is thinking about a larger purpose then he is certainly greater than the others.
People can be proud of things higher and greater, or wider and deeper than themselves. People talk about the Rocky Mountains as the highest part of America, and of Death Valley as the lowest point. Someone who hasn’t been there might imagine that it is some extraordinarily deep gorge, but it is not very impressive when you actually see it. This is one example of how people want to be proud of something which is high and deep, or wide and great, something which lasts a long time.
What is it that you would like to have pride in as Americans? Perhaps you are proud that America is such a big country, but bigness has very little value when you realize that here many people are fighting each other. Families fight amongst themselves, communities are divided according to income, and black and white people don’t trust each other. When you find these things, then the size of the country really doesn’t matter. What kind of people are living in America, then-big people or small people? Are the majority of Americans only concerned with trifling things?
Before you speak of any person as being great, you have to think about the meaning of greatness. Of all the people throughout history, we can speak of only four greatest saints, Jesus, Mohammed, Confucius, and Buddha. Did they have big, fancy houses and lots of possessions? No, all of them were persecuted and despised in their own time. Jesus said, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have their nests, but the son of man has nowhere to lay his head.” Is that characteristic of a great man? During his time Confucius was like a “nameless dog” as he put it, the way people pushed him around. He didn’t have a regular job, but chose to beg for his food and to travel, teaching and learning. Buddha was born into a palace as a great prince, but he gave up all that and embraced hardship instead. He went to the mountains to pray and discover spiritual truth. No one really wants to live a difficult life, but these four men chose such a life, and today everyone considers them great.
Does the definition of greatness change according to the times? Is it guaranteed that the criterion for greatness will never change simply because Americans vouch for it? Who is the central figure, the master of America? If it were God, would America be as it is today? It must be someone other than God! Maybe you say that the media is the master of America, but does anyone want to live for the sake of the media? Is money the master? Even the almighty dollar goes up and down in value. Do you want a master which changes morning and evening?
It would be good if the master of America was its tradition of great thinking, and everyone who wanted to live according to that great thought or vision would be the central figures of this country. When I ask who should be the central figure of America, I will agree with you if you reply that it should be someone who lives according to the great thought of America, and who wants to broaden it to include living for the world. When we ask the same question of the world, people will perhaps answer in the same way, regardless of whether they are good or bad.
Would you answer my question by replying that you can’t speak for the world because you are not that big? Perhaps all you care about is your husband or wife and your family. Are you like a woman whose vision is so small that she nags her husband if he merely steps outside her boundary? When I see women in New York walking their dogs on the streets, I wonder why they love their dogs so much. I have concluded it is because the dogs listen to them! Some of them have dogs so big that they could pull the women along behind; would they love their dogs so much if they didn’t obey them? I doubt it.
Typically a man wants to ride a horse that can jump high and run fast, but a woman wants a dog who will follow her around. Mother also worries when one of the children wants to ride a motorcycle or a horse, or shoot a gun, worrying that he will get hurt. But I feel they should do those things if they want to. If you have to arrest a gangster, you must be able to ride a motorcycle to catch him. It’s not worth the risk if you are just going to show off, but if you are working for the country or the world, you can’t avoid doing those things. Do you women want husbands who tremble at the sound of a motorcycle, or who will jump on and take off? It’s great to do those things for the sake of the world, but not for oneself.
Everyone could agree that a great man is the one with a thought and vision so big that it is admired by all the best minds. The person who embodies the greatness of all the saints would be the greatest person of all. If such a person appears, not only philosophers but also scientists and laborers and miners would be proud of him. Would you travel a great distance to find and follow him, even leaving your country and family behind? Even if your husband or wife threatened you with a gun for leaving? What if your parents and teachers also criticized you for doing that? Even though Americans are often bad, at least you have a spirit that directs you toward greatness.
Come to think of it, everywhere I have been in the world when I saw people walking in a funny way, they always turned out to be Americans! Usually they also looked disorderly in appearance. The fact that you laugh at hearing this shows you agree with me! A Japanese would rather die than behave that way. In that respect Americans are great-as long as they have confidence in what they are doing, they don’t mind what other people think. But unfortunately, not everyone who dresses and walks in a funny way is great. The key point is for whom we are doing something. Even if he is wrong, if a person is confident that he is working for the sake of the world then there is hope that he will be a great person.
If people fall in love everywhere they go, living loosely, can we call them great Americans? If Americans went around the world teaching others to live for themselves, we could not approve. Americans revolt against taking good advice that they don’t like; instead they say, “I have my own way. You can do what you like.” Such people don’t want to find the right way, but only want to go their own way.
When I came to America I was asked, “Why don’t you do things the American way?” The only reason we don’t smoke or drink or go to disco dances is that we know it won’t help America. The American way is easier than the way we are taking; we deliberately chose a different way because we knew that the other road only led to decline. As soon as Americans see some benefit in going a different way, they won’t mind getting their long hair cut, for instance. In itself that is a small thing, but it could be enough of a change to show there is hope for America. Young people of the world will also follow if they see hope there, and then cutting one’s hair will have great meaning.
People have accused me of sending good young people out fund raising for my own gain, but the truth is exactly the opposite. I have not received benefit from America; America has received benefit from me. How long will it take Americans to realize this simple fact? I only endure persecution because I know that teaching you these things is the way you will be elevated and give benefit to the world. We have broader thinking and higher ideals than other people, and we will endure, determined to do this for the rest of our lives. Here we find the elements of greatness.
One of my children was delighted when he found the word “Moonie” in the dictionary; it said that Moonies are followers of Reverend Moon. How many of you have regretted being a Moonie from time to time? Let’s get everything out in the open! Don’t just hold your hands up a little, but thrust them up high! Maybe the consciences of those people who didn’t raise their hands are not clear. Even I have to raise my hand! Sometimes I have wished I wasn’t a Moonie. The only reason I never thought about leaving the Unification Church is that I knew without me the world could not find the right way. It is normal to find a hard life regrettable, but I think seriously about the world and spirit world. On the other hand, you care more about yourself and your family than about the world and God. I could have refused to come back to America to face this indictment, but that would have meant forsaking America, and thus the entire free world. I couldn’t turn my back on the center of God’s providence, through which He wants to lead all mankind. Instead, I have to fight this case and win and show people the right way. That is why I came back. Later on people will understand what I did and say I was great for acting this way.
Americans feel that this country is the greatest, but I disagree; the world is greater and more righteous. Some members resist going to our Unification Seminary, feeling that they don’t want to study theories for two or three years. But if during those years they realize that they must work for the world and not just America, then that is good enough reason to go. Too often, Americans only want to do something they are good at, which can bring tangible results for themselves and their family; they see no reason to worry about the world. After graduating from the seminary and knowing the reasons why you should work for the sake of the world, you can return and do the things you wanted to do, but with an entirely new purpose. The same actions in life can be great or not great, depending upon the person’s motivation. No one likes to fight, including me, but if fighting communism is necessary for the sake of the world, we must do it. In the beginning people will not understand and will criticize, but when they understand they will deeply thank us.
I always followed this ideal, regardless of what people thought of me. I only cared about what was right and great. I don’t think of myself as a great man, but everywhere I go there are cameras clicking and people asking for my comments. Even when I was changing planes in Tokyo a CBS camera crew was there, insisting I make a statement. Why do people care so much about what I do? It is one thing to have a great thought and ideal but people can’t believe that someone can really carry it out.
How many of you American members would have gone to jail at some time if you had not joined Unification Church? I think hundreds, even thousands of you would have!
Now America must truly answer the question, “Who is that Reverend Moon?” You especially must know more precisely who I am. The words “Unification Church” are great words. Out of thousands of churches, there is only one Unification Church. I urge you never to be ashamed of that name. I pledged to ensure that this name was never a shameful one, so I was always on the front line, out in front of everyone else.
I created CARP and ocean church, developing the pattern and theory of fighting communism. I have created an industrial foundation from scratch. All by myself I made the plan for leading the world to God in every area. Many people have been treated unjustly by the New York Times, but I am the first one to organize a newspaper to outdo that famous publication. Do I get a salary for doing all these things? I forego any salary and work instead for the world, 24 hours a day.
Scholars around the world have their own ways, but I am showing them the need for unified effort. Theologians study one God but can do nothing to unite the hundreds of religious factions, while I am spending much money to gather them together in harmony. Would members of other churches ever imagine spending their own money on such things? The amazing thing is that even when we were being criticized the most, scholarly people still came to hear Divine Principle lectures.
Who is in the more difficult situation-I who am working for the world, or the leader who is working for the nation? Then why is it that the leader comes to me for help, instead of my going to him for help? We have to save everything in all directions. No one is self-sufficient now; everyone needs my help at this time.
Why does a religious leader have to worry about economic things and affairs of scholars? It is not for my sake or for the Unification Church. It is only for the sake of the world, to leave a tradition for coming generations. Can you be proud of what I am doing, whether or not people understand?
Am I a champion in catching tuna? I could give a seminar on the best way to catch tuna, and many people would come, since I have standardized a method and set the record. The Department of Fisheries has stated that Americans must find better ways of catching fish, but it will take them four or five more years to discover the method I have found. Our ship-building yard was persecuted, but now the government depends on us for enlarging the ship-building industry, and wants to use the boats I designed for off-shore patrolling.
You may think you can be proud of me, historically speaking, but I don’t think that way. If I felt proud of myself then I would walk arrogantly and boast, but instead I don’t even know when it is time to go to bed or to eat. Mother is always trying to educate me to think about my health and my age. When she calls me to lunch, however, I deliberately spend ten more minutes at what I am doing, and when she calls again I deliberately sneak away to do something else. When she asks me to come to eat on time, I tell her, “Yes, yes,” but I never keep that promise, and my conscience never bothers me!
Of course I have to take care of myself, but there is no such thing as doing too much for others. Women of the fallen world would never like that kind of husband, would they? Should the husband follow that kind of wife, or be the leader in his family? Which husband is greater-the one who always listens to his wife, or the one who goes God’s way? At some time the women have to learn how to give themselves up. American Unification Church women must be different from ordinary women, but still have all the charms of women. It might be difficult, but our wives eventually go along with their independent-minded husbands, while ordinary American women get a divorce and go off on their own. I don’t want to see our men shedding tears and begging their wives to stay with them.
Why do I bring up this topic? I have observed you since the matching, and you constantly wonder when the Blessing will take place. Is it the right attitude for proud Unification Church members to constantly be thinking of marriage and family when there is still so much to be done? What will you be proud of in the future? What about having pride in not being able to get together even six or seven years after being engaged, and working hard in the meantime? When people see you come together and then go your separate ways, not knowing when you will see each other again, they will be astounded. In the secular world people kiss and act intimate in public, but you just shake hands and go your way, with no appointment to meet again. You don’t doubt each other and worry about who your mate will meet.
Are you women confident to educate and raise your men to be great? Through Divine Principle the Unification Church is making that kind of dream husband for you. If for one moment you feel that you like your fiancée but you don’t like the Divine Principle or our Unification Church life, then what kind of thief are you? You are trying to take something which does not belong to you. Now do you realize that such thinking is wrong?
You must realize the greatness of what you are doing. Imagine that God wants to give prizes to the exemplary husbands and wives in the world, from number one to one thousand. How many prizes will go to the Unification Church members? Not one couple outside Unification Church will qualify. You must realize how great this life is. All through history, no one could lift the heavy burdens of restoration, but now you are following me and together we are lifting them up.
One day recently in Korea I was inspired to hear about a certain man of important position. Ten years ago he came to the church and heard me talking about my plans for working in the world, never dwelling on all the problems I faced in Korea. He thought then that I was impractical, that my ideal was too high, but after ten years everything I said is proving to be true; and now he sees that he too should have been thinking that way. He sees that in only ten years I have moved quite high up, and my work will be everlasting.
Why don’t I take life easy now that I have an economic foundation and public recognition, instead of working even harder than when I was young? I don’t want to be proud of myself or admired by Americans or Japanese, or even the world. I want history to be proud of me as it moves toward God’s goal. History changes and develops, but follows a certain goal, so if I am doing something which history will be proud of then I will persevere. No matter how much white people recognize a white person, if colored people do not admire him then that person is not great enough yet. Whatever color a person is, he is great only if people of all races can be proud of him. What the Unification Church is doing is a source of pride for all mankind.
Each race will rise and fall in history, but I want to be the one person everyone can admire even as they go through profound changes. Whatever belongs to such a person will eventually be kept in a museum and will inspire people. Each part of the world will compete to have something that belonged to him. Do you have some small thing which could be displayed in that museum? Each of you will want to have at least one such thing which will be worthy of display.
What will your descendants feel as they look at your letter, or photo, or whatever you have there? Naturally they will come first to your portrait before they go to see paintings by famous artists. Am I too ambitious to feel this way? I am desperate to find even one small thing in you which you can leave behind. Maybe you feel I am your enemy for pushing you for this reason. However, we need something like that to leave for the education of future generations.
I have told you many times that the best teacher is the one with a strict standard which he never relaxes. Even when you do well I will never praise you, but will just push you to do more. In order to win the first prize here you have to compete with 200 million Americans; that is not easy. In just a few years you have to win the victory. You have to have a strategy to win over everyone at one time. There’s no such thing as suffering more than necessary in order to win the first prize.
God should be proud of you, on behalf of the entire spirit world. But before God can approve, everyone on earth should agree about you. What is it that history, all mankind and God can be proud of in you? It can only be your thoughts, your deeds in life and your true love. What is true love? For true love we first have to go beyond our personal and family level and think about the nation and world. Of course, one must love his own wife and children, but he must be able to go beyond that love when he thinks of his country and the world. Seminary graduates, raise your hands. If you want to live whatever lifestyle you choose and if you don’t want the Church to have much to say about your family life, is that true love? If you want to even go beyond the standard of the church for the sake of the world, that is true love. This formula applies to everyone, on every level.
According to this standard, am I a true leader or not? I am ready to dedicate our church for the sake of America; such a person has to be a true leader. The president can be a true president of America if he is willing to sacrifice America for the sake of the world. The true president of the world would be willing to dedicate everyone on earth for the sake of the billions and billions of people in spirit world. The person who wants to free God from all His fetters will receive God’s true inheritance. That is my concept in all things.
I practice this in my own family life, even though I know it is difficult for Mother and the children. It is not easy for my wife and children to keep pace with me; each has to try hard in his own way. But the primary principle is that the parent should do this first, before expecting it of the rest of the family. That requires being ruthless with oneself before others. This standard applies even to God, so as long as you maintain it yourself you don’t have to worry.
Whether your spouse is handsome or beautiful is not the question; the criterion is what standard he meets, not some romantic feeling. Even after marriage, the husband must first love his wife as a daughter and younger sister and mother, and then after those stages as his wife. That is the natural sequence of growth in an individual. A woman is first a baby daughter, then a younger sister, then she grows up to become a mother. She is a small branch of True Mother, so she must receive respect accordingly. Only then is she ready to be taken as a wife. The relationship cannot be forced in any other direction. First the man must cherish her as everything other than his own wife.
Do you brides-to-be feel this way? Do you have confidence and trust in your fiancées as in your own elder brothers and fathers? Do you men have such a heart toward your fiancées? Or do you only think of them as your wives in a physical way? This is how animals behave, having no sentiment or feeling. Are you more idealistic or animalistic? Until you meet this criterion, you cannot feel worthy of kissing or embracing your mate. You know in yourself which standard you meet. When you consider this standard, your conscience will make you bow your head. The same standard applies to women. Can you women think of your fiancées as your husbands before thinking of them as your younger brothers, sons and fathers? You must love and protect your spouse with your whole life. Knowing that your mate is the result of hard work and suffering, you can embrace him or her. He or she is the fruit of a great thought and effort, of sacrificial life. With that heart you can go even to the throne of God and no one can challenge you.
Realistically speaking, this is how we go to heaven, sacrificing our individual and family life for the higher goal. History and mankind and God are proud of Unification Church for teaching this, and only eternal love remains after that. Then everything necessary is accomplished. All of you must determine to reach that goal. Do you realize that the place you are sitting now, early on this Sunday morning, is where you will want to come and sit for two or three days in the future, shedding tears here?
I know that many Americans will visit the building where my trial is to be held and shed tears. When I went to the courtroom I had that kind of thinking. I want to do something for you and not be indebted to you; I want you to be in a much better place since joining Unification Church than before. Therefore, I am always thinking I must do more for Americans.
Do you like home church? Do you want to do it alone, or together? Can two become great at the same time? There is only one greatest person, not two, so should you go alone or together? You know it is difficult to become the greatest. Is it greater to work for the world, or for the nation? Would you then choose to work in America, or in another country? Would you go to a desert or to the jungle? Would you rather go to the part of Africa where white people are persecuted or where they are welcomed?
How much training do you need here to meet that challenge? You know what I will say to you even before you come; I keep telling you to suffer more and work harder, even if you feel it is impossible. Should you ignore or welcome that kind of teacher, even if it is painful? You feel like you are dying now, don’t you?
I am always pondering what I can leave behind in your minds, so that you can make new resolution. I want you to be convinced that you will not stop even if the world opposes you, knowing that someone will take over afterward. That’s the only thing we have to be proud of. I do not intend to give up, and you do not intend to give up, so we can be close. Everyone has his own cross to bear, which he cannot ask anyone else to take up. You have to solve that situation yourself and then help other people. Because of this thinking and way of life, everyone can be proud of Reverend Moon, and proud of you for resembling me. If you keep going in this direction, Americans will have to follow eventually, for it is the only way to survive and bring liberation to God.
God bless you.