Foreword to “As a Peace-Loving Global Citizen” – autobiography of Sun Myung Moon
March 1, 2009
Chung Pyung, South Korea
A steady spring rain fell last night, ending a winter drought. It was so nice to have had the rain, that I spent all this morning walking about in the garden. The ground had that fragrant aroma of moist earth I had missed all through the winter, and the weeping willow and cherry trees were showing signs of new spring buds. I felt I could hear the popping sounds of new life sprouting here and there around the garden. Before I knew it, my wife, who had followed me out, was picking young mugwort shoots that had managed to poke their heads up through the dry lawn. The night’s rain had turned the whole world into a fragrant spring garden.
No matter how much commotion may be in the world, when the calendar turns to March, spring is on its way. The older I become, the more it means to me, that in nature spring follows winter and brings it flowers in full bloom. What am I, that God in each season, allows flowers to bloom and the snow fall, so that I might know the joy of being alive? Love wells up from the deepest recesses of my heart, and I am overcome with emotion. I am moved to tears to think that everything of real value has been given to me freely. In my life I have circled the globe many times over in my efforts to bring about a world of peace, and yet it is here in this garden in spring, that I am able to taste real peace. Peace, too, was given to us by God, but we lost it somewhere and now we spend our lives looking for it in all the wrong places.
To bring a world of peace, I have spent my live going to the most lonely and secluded places. I met mothers in Africa who could only watch helplessly as their children died of hunger, and I met fathers in South America who lived by a river full of fish but couldn’t feed their children because they didn’t know how to fish. All I did was giving them a small amount of food, but they granted me their love in return. Intoxicated with the power of love, I cultivated virgin forests and planted seeds. I cut down trees to build a school, and I caught fish to feed hungry children. I was happy even as mosquitoes bit me all over as I fished all through the night. Even when my feet were sinking knee-deep into mud, I was happy because I could see the shadows of loneliness disappear from the faces of my neighbors.
Seeking the shortest path to a world of peace, I devoted myself to inspiring change in the political process and to changing people’s ways of thinking. I met President Gorbachev of the Soviet Union as part of my effort to bring reconciliation between communism and democracy, and I met President Kim Il Sung of North Korea for a serious discussion on how to bring peace to the Korean peninsula. I went to a United States in moral decline and played the role of a fireman responding to a call in an effort to reawaken its Puritan spirit. I dedicated myself to solving various conflicts in the world. For the sake of reconciliation between Muslims and Jews, I did not hesitate to go to Palestine at a time when terror was rampant. I have gathered thousands of Jews, Muslims and Christians together in forums for reconciliation. And I have organized peace marches. But conflict continues.
I see hope though, that an age of peace is about to be inaugurated in Korea. The Korean peninsula has been trained through endless suffering and the tragedy of division, and I can feel in every cell of my body, that a powerful energy has been stored here and is ready to burst out. In the same way that no one can stop a new season of spring from coming, no human power can stop heavenly fortune from coming to the Korean peninsula. The people of Korea need to prepare themselves, so that they may rise with the tide of heavenly fortune, when it arrives.
I am a controversial person. The mere mention of my name causes trouble in the world. I never sought money or fame but only spent my life speaking of peace. The world, though, has associated many different phrases with my name, rejected me and thrown stones at me. Many are not interested in knowing what I say or what I do. They only oppose me.
I have been unjustly imprisoned six times in my life — by imperial Japan, in Kim Il Sung’s North Korea, by South Korea’s Syngman Rhee government and even in the United States — and at times I was beaten so hard that flesh was torn from my body. Today, though, not even the slightest wound remains in my heart. Wounds easily disappear in the presence of true love. True love is a heart that gives and gives, and wants to continuing giving. True love is a heart that even forgets that it already gave love, and gives love again. I have lived my entire life intoxicated in such love. I wanted nothing aside from love, and I threw my entire being into the effort to share love with my impoverished neighbors. At times the path of love was so difficult that my knees buckled under me, but even then I felt happy in my heart dedicated to loving humanity.
Even now I am filled with love that I have not yet been able to give. It is with prayer, that this love will become a river of peace saturating the drought stricken land and flowing to the ends of the earth that I now place this book before the world. Recently, a growing number of people have been seeking to know more about me; interest apparently increased around the world following the near-tragic helicopter accident last year. For the sake of those who are curious, I have looked back on my life and recorded my candid recollections in this book. As for the stories, that could not be included in this volume, I hope there will be other opportunities for me to convey them.
I send boundless love to all those who have put their faith in me, remained by my side, and lived their lives with me, and to my wife Hak Ja Han Moon, to whom I am deeply grateful for struggling with me, to scale the most difficult peaks.
Finally I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to Eun Ju Park, president of Gimm-Young Publishers, Inc., who poured out much sincerity and dedication in the process of bringing this book to publication, and to everyone in the publishing company, who invested their sweat in editing this book.
Sun Myung Moon
Chung Pyung, South Korea
March 1, 2009