The Role of Sports in Creating World Peace

The Role of Sports in Creating World Peace

Sun Myung Moon
June 12, 2002
Seoul, Korea

Respected guests, Ladies and Gentlemen: It gives me great joy to be able to share this meaningful time with you today.

In particular, I would like to express my deepest gratitude to those leaders participating in the 17th World Cup co-hosted by Korea and Japan, who are honoring this rally with their presence in spite of their busy schedules. Today, the twelfth of June, is the thirteenth day of the World Cup. Soccer fever is heating up around the world. Each day, we see the drama of competition played out in the midst of upset and upheaval, joy and disappointment. In the midst of this, a celebration of friendship and excitement is unfolding that transcends race, ideology and national boundaries.

As we gather here today, we must think deeply about how to work through sports to bring peace to all humanity.

The Bible says, “Blessed are the peacemakers; for they shall be called the children of God.” (Matthew 5:9) Throughout my life, I have attended God in the context of religion, academia, media, culture, the arts, sports and other fields by putting these words of the Bible into practice in accordance with the will of Heaven. My life of more than eighty years has been a continuous offering of sincerity and dedication for the establishment of God’s will and His ideals of freedom and happiness and the realization of a world of peace.

As you are well aware, through its long history the world has tried to bring about peace by every possible means. But it is not a problem that can be solved by the political, economic or military power of any one country.

The fact is that there needs to be a fundamental truth, an ideology of peace, that can by applied to families, clans, peoples, nations, the world and even the cosmos.

The world of true ideals, true love, true life, true lineage and true peace is God’s ideal of creation and is also the long-cherished desire of humankind. But when we speak of ideals, happiness, love and peace, we must begin by inquiring as to the origin of these. Here, the fundamental truth is to be found in a life of serving, sacrificing, and living for the sake of one single reciprocal partner. The fundamental principle of the orderly existence of the universe, is that, like God, each and every being exists for the sake of other beings.

The omniscient God is the king of wisdom. By His wisdom, He created worlds of beings in such a way that subject and object partners have to live for one another in order to bring about true love, true happiness and true peace.

All beings are interconnected and possess dual purposes. At the center of each entity, there are dual purposes. There is the purpose relating to its internal character (sung sang) that seeks the good of the larger whole, and there is the purpose relating to its external form (hyung sang) that seeks the entity’s own preservation and comfort. Exemplifying the internal purpose, the action of protons and electrons make it possible for an atom to exist. Atoms, as positively and negatively charged ions, form molecules. Nutrients composed of such molecules make it possible for plants to grow. As plants multiply, they provide food for animals. Also, oxygen and carbon dioxide are exchanged between animals and plants. Bees and flowers coexist with each other. If we observe the heavenly bodies, we see that the sun and its planets engage in a give and take action that allows the planets to revolve around the sun at a precise distance while maintaining their own rotation.

Early in my life, I realized that there is a fundamental truth of the universe: all beings exist for the sake of others. This truth applies everywhere, so when applied to the parent-child relationship, true parents come to be and true sons and daughters come to be.

It is an undeniable truth that the state in which parents and children can achieve happiness comes about only when the family members live for the sake of each other. Existing for the sake of others is a fundamental principle of the universe. Only when we stand on this principle can we complete all happiness, all peace, all ideals and all love.

If we expand the principle of living for the sake of others, we can transcend nations and ethnicity and bring about a world of peoples who live for the sake of others. Without a doubt, such a world would be the world of perfect true love, true ideals, true peace and true happiness that humanity has long hoped to achieve. If we hold onto the principle of living for the sake of others, we can go anywhere.

If you go to spirit world having practiced a life of true love, of living for the sake of others, on earth, you will be able to receive God’s blessings for eternity. This is because God is the central being of heaven and earth. You will discover then that there is no happiness greater than this. It is vital for us to understand that a being that lives for the sake of others takes the central position in its environment, and because it is central, that being has the capability to develop a unified environment and a world of peace.

Today, there are many religions with many different scriptural texts. But their core teachings all boil down to the words, “live for the sake of others.” What are the characteristics of a true religion, a religion of love, a religion of ideals and happiness that can lead people to peace? You already know the answer: the religion that says it will sacrifice itself for the sake of the individual, for the sake of the family, for the sake of the clan, for the sake of the people, for the sake of the nation, for the sake of the world, for the sake of heaven and earth and for the sake of God is a true religion, an ideal religion, a religion that can lead the world’s people to peace and happiness.

Peace is a term that arises in a reciprocal context. The same is true of happiness. No one can experience happiness alone. Knowing this, we conclude that the happiness of the entire universe begins with each individual’s effort to unify. Peace and all ideals begin from and are connected to the point where each of us tries to become unified.

Human works alone will not bring about peaceful ties among people. Why is this? Fallen people seek only their own benefit. They try to use each other for their own purposes. Each person pursues his or her own interest and accumulates as many goods as possible. Is this not true of you who are here today? Even successful members of Parliament, those well respected in their community and people in leadership positions scramble to increase their power and advance their interests. In the world until now, this has been the essential basis of our lives. In the environment of a world woven by people living for their own sake, conflict will never end.

Here, let us observe the structures of our own bodies. Did the eye come into being so that it could live for itself? Was the mouth created for its own sake? No, each was created for its reciprocal partner. Did the ear come into being for its own sake? No, it was created so that it could hear for the sake of the whole body. Was the nose created for its own sake? Our hands were not created just to serve their own purposes. In fact, the sexual organs of men and women were not created for men and women themselves. Instead, the husband’s sexual organ was created for the sake of his wife and the wife’s for her husband. This is where peace begins: at the point where each person tries to live for the sake of another. A mother’s body is structured so that it does not just serve her own purposes but also so that she can exist for the sake of her husband and children.

Throughout our lives, my wife and I have worked together in many different areas to bring about one peaceful world, a world in which people live for the sake of others. Representative examples of this are the interreligious, international, inter-NGO activities and education of both ruling party and opposition party that we are conducting in order to bring down the barriers of race, religion, national boundaries and language. Another is the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, which promotes the true family movement and pure love movement.

In the academic field, efforts in the higher education and practice of the philosophy of peace are being made at the University of Bridgeport in the United States and Sun Moon University in Korea. In the media field, The Washington Times in the USA, The Segye Times of Korea and Sekkai Nippo in Japan, and other media organs throughout North and South America, have created a network. This soon will expand to 185 countries and contribute greatly toward bringing the world’s people together.

This is a rally of leaders in the world of soccer. Soccer fever is sweeping Korea and Japan and the entire world has come together in a festive atmosphere.

Ultimately, though, the proper way for world of sports is that the Olympics and the World Cup should guide the world’s people along the way of reconciliation and peace. Occasionally, there is cause for concern over money and power combining to contaminate the pure spirit of athleticism. It is necessary to examine carefully whether salaries offered top players are excessive and whether wealthy parties are engaging in unethical speculative or monopolistic practices.

In an effort to contribute toward world peace through sports, I have invested in the development of soccer in Korea by founding the Il Hwa professional soccer team some time ago and more recently, I had Sun Moon University begin a soccer team. In Brazil as well, we are managing the CENE and Sorocaba professional soccer teams.

My interest in the management of soccer teams goes beyond business pursuits. My first priority is to teach sportsmanship to young people of the university soccer teams, so that they can be trained to join professional teams and contribute to world peace through sports.

It is well known that soccer began in England. It was developed at Eton College, a school for the sons of aristocrats, where, in addition to knowledge, physical fitness was considered an important quality for leaders. Because of the importance of teamwork in soccer, however, it did not take long for soccer’s popularity to grow beyond the aristocracy and encompass the larger society.

Even if one player is exceptionally skillful, it is still difficult for a team to win unless the other members can back up this individual. The ball is round and can roll this way or that, but the ball is honest and it rolls where a player kicks it. There is a principle of purposeful community underlying the game of soccer. In this game, there is no way for established powers to use trickery to preserve their own position. Neither is there an order according to which teams are allowed to score goals. In soccer, it does not matter whether a country is large or small, strong or weak. Goals are scored honestly, bringing joy and happiness to everyone. In soccer, there is only the energetic communal harmony that comes from team play.

Soccer and other sports, as well as the entirety of leisure culture, have developed over a long period of time. Sports were originally created in order to create strong bodies and maintain safe societies. Today, they have developed globally and bring enjoyment and enrichment to the lives of billions of people. So, it is important that we seek ways by which sports can contribute to the achievement of peace for all the world’s people.

The world stands at the dawn of a new millennium. Astonishing developments in information technology are bringing the ideal of one world family into reality. On the other hand, it is also true that the world faces a moral crisis with the danger that spiritual values will be destroyed. We must look to sports for constructive proposals on how to overcome hedonism and self-centered values among young people.

Sports employ rules to insure fair competition. Thus defined, competition differs from conflict; the two exist on different levels. Conflict appears in the savage and bloodthirsty law of the jungle by which animals live. Here, one side uses physical and military strength to negate the other side’s existence and annihilate him. Competition in sports is different from this. Rules are established, the winner is decided in accordance with these rules, and each side acknowledges the other. A gentlemanly spirit governs sports. As large numbers of people watch, the athletes demonstrate the attitude of fair play and sportsmanship as they compete based on their talents, abilities and strength. They follow the laws and rules that have been agreed upon, and they submit themselves to fair judgment by the referees.

Fair play is considered the most important aspect of the game. It requires obeying laws and following the rules. Breaking the rules and committing fouls result in the loss of points, expulsion from the game and the eventual loss of the privilege of participation. The offending players are punished. Athletes pour out all their energy, sincerity and courage for the sake of the victory and glory of the individual and his or her country. The victorious players receive a crown of laurels, a gold medal and a bouquet of flowers. They are congratulated with thunderous applause and their national anthem is played as their country’s flag is raised. Such a ceremony brings the height of emotion, the ultimate glory and a celebration for us all. The virtue of sports is when the loser does not dwell on his own disappointment, but applauds the accomplishment of the winner.

In sports, there is the beautiful fragrance of friendship and love among like-minded people. The beauty of the players appears when they demonstrate sportsmanship. They must work hard, shed sweat and tears and achieve incredible standards of skill. They must be trained in the virtues of fairness, proper order and etiquette.

The realm of sports has made large contributions to modern society. It has contributed to our physical and mental health and has provided excitement through skillful play. The love of sports can transcend religious dogma and political ideology. All people can become one through sports, so sports can spread a banquet of reconciliation and peace, where the hearts of all the world’s people can come together as one.

Though the Cold War has ended, the world is yet unable to throw off its common yoke of suffering. As the September 11 tragedy demonstrated, the world is in agony over conflict and strife between religious and ethnic groups. In addition, the world’s natural environment is being destroyed. Young people who are to be responsible for the future are becoming cynical, fascinated with materialism and hedonism, falling prey to drugs and abandoning civil norms.

In order to solve these problems, we need to graft the authentic spirit of sports onto a foundation of the truth that teaches us to live, like God, for the sake of others, and we need to put this spirit and truth into practice. In this way, we will be able to build a world of harmony, peace and unification.

For this reason, I am happy to announce the establishment of the Sun Moon Peace Cup. The Sun Moon Peace Cup is the Cup of the Sun and the Moon, the Cup of the Parents of Heaven and Earth and the Cup of Peace. May it shine forever with the light of pure love. The Sun Moon Peace Cup is different from existing trophies, for they exclude God, emphasize entertainment and idolize celebrity. We must know God and the spirit world thoroughly. We must walk the path of truth.

The Sun Moon Peace Cup will be a festival. It will bring together efforts toward the original world of God’s ideal in the fields of religion, science, politics, economics and sports, including the unique contributions of women and youth. In it, people will express their desire for humanity to come together as one large family. It will serve as a particularly important starting point for our progress toward the ideal of true peace centering on God’s true love, transcending barriers between races, countries, ethnic groups, religions and ideologies.

The Sun Moon Peace Cup will not only celebrate a healthy spirit of humanity. As our spiritual nature continues to develop, it will become a festival of internal and external reconciliation and harmony within the world community. It will be a place where people unite in one mind, as one family, and in one heart, to open the way toward God’s ideal of creation, a world of peace, freedom and happiness. I want to inform you that Pele has already promised to work with me for this great cause. I would like to ask FIFA, Pele Promotion and everyone here to take a leading role and contribute significantly toward the development of the Sun Moon Peace Cup. I pray that God’s love and blessing will flow abundantly upon you and your families. Thank you.