'As a Peace-Loving Global Citizen'
the Autobiography Text
FUTURE OF KOREA
FUTURE OF THE WORLD
Global Harmony Starts on
the Korean Peninsula
I miss my hometown so much
that I visit it often in my dreams.
My hometown is far beyond Seoul,
in Jeongju, North Korea.
It is an area that
has both mountains and sea.
Wherever I am,
and whatever time it may be,
my heart is always reaching out
to that place where there is
love and life.
All of us are born into
our parents' lineage, and
as we grow up we are nourished
by our parents' love.
We cannot forget our hometowns
because that is where the ground
is soaked with our parents' love.
That is why, the older we get,
the more we miss our hometowns.
It is where our roots are
and where we must return.
It is difficult for people
to cut themselves off from things that
are fundamentally important to them.
In 2004, I ended my activities
in the United States
after thirty-four years and returned to
the Korean peninsula,
where heavenly fortune resides.
We are not aware of the exact time
when morning becomes noon.
Neither are we aware of the exact time
that evening becomes night.
In the same way,
human beings have no way of knowing
the moment when Heaven does its work.
That is how it is
with our lives as well. Our moments
of success and failure all pass us by
without our being fully aware of
exactly when they began to unfold.
The same is true with nations.
We cannot know the moment
when good or evil comes to a nation.
Heavenly fortune is a force
that moves the world; it is a principle
that makes the universe go around.
Though we may not know it,
there is clearly something called
heavenly fortune, which
the One who created this world
uses to conduct His providence.
moves in perfect accordance
with its own order.
All beings in the world
bear within them a certain principle
that is put there even before they exist.
When a baby is born,
no one has to teach it how to breathe
or to open its eyes.
The baby does these things
without being compelled.
Things that happen on their own
hold within them important keys
to the secrets of the universe.
Many natural phenomena
seem to just happen on their own.
In reality, though,
they don't happen in this way.
natural phenomena in the universe
is a directional force that
we are not aware of and
do not understand.
This is the same with the forces
of fortune in the universe,
or heavenly fortune.
As the universe turns, it is certain
that there will be
a period of powerful fortune.
If we understand the principle
of the universe whereby
spring follows winter and
is then followed by summer, then we can
foresee a bright fortune for Korea
after a long winter of misfortune.
Those who are wise
will align themselves with the laws
and rhythms of the universe.
When I was in America I would often
fish in the Hudson River near my home.
I have been a very skilled fisherman
since I was a young boy, but there were
days on the Hudson when I could not
catch so much as a tiny minnow
and had to return home disheartened.
Fish have paths that they travel and
they pass along those paths.
If we don't know where these paths are
and what times they are on these paths,
we won't catch any fish.
Just because there is water,
it does not mean that
there will always be fish passing by.
A person who doesn't understand this
could keep his line in the water
all day and all night,
and it won't do him any good.
The same is true with heavenly fortune.
If we don't have an eye to see the future,
we will not see heavenly fortune,
even if it is staring us in the face.
That is why it is important
to have a keen understanding
of heavenly fortune and
an ability to sense its movements.
developed throughout history
in a westerly direction.
Egypt's continental civilization
gave way to the peninsular civilizations
of Greece and Rome and
to the island civilization of Britain
before moving on
to another continental civilization,
this time in America.
Civilization continued its westerly move,
crossing the Pacific Ocean to Japan.
The movement of civilization
didn't stop there.
The force that raised Japan up
to such a great position
is now moving to the Korean peninsula.
Civilization is about to come to
its fruition on the Korean peninsula.
For Japan's island civilization
to link up with the continent,
it must pass through a peninsula.
Asia, of course, has other peninsulas,
but only Korea possesses
sufficient foundation to inherit
The Korean peninsula is in a most
exquisite geopolitical position.
It faces Japan and the United States
across the Pacific Ocean.
This is the reason that Korea has been
a focal point in the power struggles
among the world's great powers and
has suffered a great deal as a result.
During the cold war,
we fought for our very existence
in a war against communism.
Even now, the concerns and interests
of the world's great powers continue
to involve the Korean peninsula, so
Korea remains a divided country
unable to be completely at peace.
The time has come
when the Korean peninsula, where
the interests of the great powers collide,
will take on an important role in preventing
conflict between these countries.
As a result it will be in a position
to lead the rest of the world
into prosperity and peace.
comes with tremendous responsibility.
Now that the Korean peninsula
has come into its heavenly fortune,
it must play a role
similar to a ball bearing, making sure
that these countries
not only do not collide with each other
but instead cooperate closely
for the sake of
the prosperity and peace of the world.
The functions of a ball bearing are
to hold the axle of a machine in place
allowing the axle to rotate freely.
Korea needs to maintain
smooth relationships with the great powers
and thus become a ball bearing that
to rotate freely throughout the world.
For a long time I have been making
for Korea to play this role.
I supported the glasnost policies
of President Gorbachev
and pushed the goal of improving relations
with the Soviet Union.
I also supported the reform
and openness policies of Deng Xlaoping
in China, starting in the late 1980's.
I began my work in China by supporting
to establish a college of engineering.
Even after the Tiananmen Square incident,
when foreign capital was leaving China,
we remained in China and invested
hundreds of millions of dollars
in Huizhou, in Kwangtung Province.
I did not
do this just for economic reasons.
I am a religious person,
not a businessman. A religious person
is someone who sees into the future
and prepares for it.
Russia, China, Japan, and the United States
must earn to cooperate with each other
while using the spiritual bearings
of the Korean peninsula.
The Korean peninsula is destined to become
the axis for world peace.
When I began working
to improve relations between Korea
and the Soviet Union and China,
I discovered that Korea did not even have
something as basic
as a Russian or Chinese dictionary.
Very little was going to get done
as long as we could not understand
each other's languages.
When I heard that there were groups
of academics who had the foresight to begin
work on a Chinese-Korean dictionary
and a Russian-Korean dictionary,
I supported these two projects.
The Chinese-Korean Dictionary Project
was led by Professor Il Shik Hong
of Korea University's Institute
of Korean Culture,
and several professors in the university's
Russian Studies Department were behind
to publish a Russian-Korean dictionary.
are playing crucial roles in the exchanges
between the two Koreas and China and Russia.
When a rock sits
atop the highest mountain peak,
once it begins to fall
it will fall all the way to the deepest
part of the valley.
This describes the changing fortunes
of Western civilization.
It is common knowledge that the West
achieved incredible development
through the use of science, but
now moral decay is sending it down
to the depths of the valley floor.
The valley floor is the East, which
has been developing a spiritual culture
for thousands of years.
the Korean peninsula is the place
where Eastern and Western cultures meet,
as well as the place where
continental and oceanic cultures meet.
The historian and philosopher
put forth a cyclical theory
of the rise and decline of civilizations
that took dim view of democracy
and described it as
the type of government that is leading
Western civilization into decline.
He argued that
Democracy is driven by money
and that Democracy's corrupting power
and its signs of moral decline
include the rise of materialism and
cults of science.
Looking at today's Western culture,
it appears that some of his thoughts
The Atlantic civilization
that has prospered until now
is clearly facing a new era, the era of
a Pan-Pacific civilization
that is on the rise. Asia,
with Korea poised to take a central role,
the lead actor in a new world history.
Two thirds of the world's population
lives in Asia.
All the world's major religions
began in Asia. It has long served
as humanity's spiritual root.
It is inevitable
that the Western and Eastern civilizations
come together in harmony
on the Korean peninsula.
As the world rapidly changes, heavenly fortune
is moving in Korea's direction
at an ever-increasing speed. However,
if the Korean peninsula is to properly
perform its important role
in leading the world to harmony and peace
during an era of chaos, then
it must prepare itself well.
It must do away with a past marked
with prejudice and selfishness
and greet the new age with clear eyes
and a new heart.
From Suffering and
Tears to Peace and Love
There is deep meaning in
the tragic history that the Korean people
have experienced up to this point.
Korea has suffered a great deal because
it is destined to become the foundation
from which world peace will emerge.
Because it has endured suffering
and difficulty for such a long time,
Korea can now become the central nation
from which God brings peace to the world.
Even though Koreans have experienced
countless hardships, we have never
made anyone our enemy or hated anyone.
Several of our neighbors have caused
difficulty for us, but we have never
made them our irreconcilable enemies.
The Korean people have developed
a culture of heart that enables us
to forgive our enemies.
It takes mastery over oneself
to love and accept an enemy.
The ability to love one's enemy comes
only after an individual is victorious
over his own internal conflicts.
People who are persecuted are the closest
to God. To understand God's heart,
one must experience His tearful heart.
Even a person who
normally would not shed tears
will do so if he loses his family
and his country. He would desperately
plead with God in tears.
Suffering difficulties causes one
to have a heart that sheds tears and cries,
but it is through this type of heart
that one can receive God's blessing.
to a heart that is soaked with tears.
become a land of heavenly fortune
because so many tears have been shed
within the hearts of its people.
Korean people honor their ancestors.
No matter how hungry we may be,
we will never sell the land where
our ancestors are buried
in order to buy food.
Historically we have maintained
a way of thinking that respects Heaven.
We are a modern, civilized nation that
still honors the world of the spirit.
When we accepted Buddhism and Confuscianism,
they gave rise
to a beautiful religious culture.
Christian and Muslim traditions
have begun to thrive here as well.
All these religions
live without conflict within Korea.
They blend together and coexist peacefully.
What is it that
has made us such a unique people?
From ancient times
we have always had religious minds
and our hearts have always been open
to receive the Word of God.
In addition, Koreans
have always placed a high priority
on education and excellence.
As a result, the Korean language and
the Hangeul alphabet are considered
teasures handed down by Heaven.
Our language is rich with adjectives
and adverbs that can be used to express
the human heart.
I love the alphabet that we use.
I am very fond
of the term Hunminjeongeum, which means
"correct sounds for the instruction
of the people." This is the original idea
of Hangeul (Korean letters).
It has such a beautiful meaning.
The excellence of Hangeul has survived
for centuries and continues to
contribute beauty to human communication,
even in this digital age.
To me it is truly amazing that
through a simple combination of consonants
humans can communicate and even imitate
all the sounds of creation.
For the past thirty years, I have been
telling the members of our church
in other countries to prepare
for the future by learning Korean.
Recently, the term hallyu,
or "Korean wave", was coined in China
by journalists to describe the rapid spread
of Korean popular culture throughout Asia.
The popularity of Korean pop music,
TV dramas, and movies has generated
a large increase in the number of people
learning the Korean language.
There are now people in Japan,
Mongolia, Vietnam, and even Africa
who can speak Korean.
This is certainly not a coincidence.
The soul dwells within language.
The reason the Japanese tried so hard
to eliminate the Korean language
during their forced occupation was
to destroy the soul of Korean people.
The fact that people around the world
now speak Korean means that
the heart and soul of the Korean people
are thriving in today's world.
It is because of heavenly fortune
that Korea's cultural influence
continues to grow.
The Korean people
never want to burden others.
When I was in America, I saw
the stubborn character of Korean people.
The United States is a country that
has many types of social safety nets,
but Koreans almost never
want to take advantage of these.
Rather than relying on
the support of the government,
they find ways to earn money in order
to raise their children and take care
of their older parents.
This is how Koreans show self-reliance.
I also see this in the missionaries
that we have sent across the world.
They don't fear going to a country
they know little about.
This is true not only for missionaries
but also for businessmen.
Once they are given a mission,
no matter where that mission may take them
in the world, they drop everything and go.
They are not indecisive or reluctant.
Koreans have such an enterprising spirit
that they can go anywhere in the world
and live a productive life.
Our suffering history has taught us
that no obstacle is too great.
We have learned to face the worst kinds
of situations and overcome them.
When there is a neighborhood celebration,
people compete for the best spot
to view the celebration.
This is a very self-centered kind
The person who quietly sits down
in the worst seat
will be the leader of the coming age.
Anyone who worries first
about putting food in his own mouth
will be a failure in the coming age.
Even if we
are going to eat only one spoonful,
we must think of others first. If we are
to receive the heavenly fortune
that is coming to the Korean peninsula,
then we must be aware
in the deepest part of our hearts that
"others" are more valuable than "myself."
In the past, everything we loved
was taken away from us.
During Japan's forced occupation,
our country was taken away.
Our country was split in two, and
we were forcibly separated
from our loving parents and siblings.
So Korea became a land of tears.
Now, however, we must cry for the world.
From now on, rather than
shedding tears for ourselves, we must
shed tears more sincerely and more
desperately for the sake of the world.
This is what we must do
on the Korean peninsula if we want to
continue to receive heavenly fortune.
When we do this, the heavenly fortune
on the Korean peninsula will then
spread out to the world.
Korean people have a great opportunity
to be at the center of an era
of world peace.
The Goal of Twenty-first
The twentieth century
was a time of tremendous change.
More happened in that hundred-year period
than during the past two thousand years.
It was the century
when there were two world wars and when
communism rose to great stength
and then disappeared.
It was also the century
when humanity turned its back on God
and buried itself in material things.
What about the twenty-first century then?
Some say that advances in science
have proven that many religious beliefs
are mere superstition
and irrelevant to the modern world.
I contend, however, that
the role of religion will always
be relevant as long as
the spiritual aspect of human beings
remains a reality and a world
of peace has not been established.
What is the purpose of religion?
It is to bring about God's ideal world.
The reason religions evangelize is because
they desire to increase the number
of citizens under God's sovereignty.
If everyone were to live
under God's sovereignty, we would have
a world of peace where there would be
no war or division.
The ultimate destination of the path
followed by religions should be peace.
God created this world out of a desire
for love and peace.
If we create division by insisting
that our own religion
is the only path to salvation,
we go against God's desire. God wants
everyone in the world to work for
peace, reconciliation, and co-existence.
If people say that coming to church
creates division in their family,
then I do not hesitate to tell them
that they should put their family first.
Religion is only a means
to bring about God's perfect world,
it is not an end in itself.
is to bring together all the points of view
that are now divided against each other.
The philosophy that will lead humanity
in the future
must be able to bring together
all religions and philosophies.
The days have ended when one country
stands at the forefront and leads humanity.
The era of nationalism has also ended.
If we continue
the era of people congregating together
only by religion or race, then
humanity cannot avoid a repetition of war.
The age of peace absolutely cannot come
unless we transcend
cultural customs and traditions.
No ideology, philosophy, or religion that
has influenced humanity in the past
is capable of bringing about
the peace and unification that is needed
for the future.
We need a new ideology and philosophy
that goes beyond
Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam.
For my entire life, I have
called on people until my voice is hoarse
to transcend their religious
factions and even their religions.
There are close to two hundred countries
in the world,
and each has its own national borders.
A border separates one country from another,
separated by borders cannot endure eternally.
Only religion can overcome national borders.
that should be bringing people together
have instead divided themselves
into many factions
that are busy fighting each other.
They have fallen
into a selfish thought process that
puts their religion or faction first.
They are oblivious to the fact that
the world has changed
and a new era of selflessness has dawned.
It will not be easy to tear down
the religious walls that have stood
for thousands of years, these walls must
come down if we are to advance
into a world of peace.
Religions and their factions must
stop their meaningless fighting,
find a middle ground
for their differing opinions,
and develop concrete ways
to advance the world of peace.
For humanity to be happy in the future,
alone will not be sufficient.
It is urgent that the struggles
of modern ideologies, cultures, and races
through interreligious understanding and
All my life I have made
the following appeals to the wide variety
of religious people I have met
around the world. First, respect
the traditions of other religions
and do everything you can to prevent
conflict and discord among religions.
Second, all religious communities
should cooperate with each other
to serve the world.
Third, the leaders of all religions
should work together to develop
a structure that will let us accomplish
our mutual mission
of establishing world peace.
The right eye is there for the left eye,
and the left for the sake of the right.
The two eyes together exist
for the sake of the whole body.
The same can be said
for every other part of the body.
Nothing exists for its own sake.
does not exist for its own sake
but for the sake of love and peace.
Once world peace is accomplished,
there will be no further need for religion.
The ultimate purpose of religion
is to bring about the reality
of a human community
filled with love and peace.
This is God's will.
It is not easy to create an environment
where people's hearts
are filled with a craving for peace.
Continuous education is the only solution.
This is the reason why I devote myself
to projects in the field of education.
We founded the the Sunwha Arts School
even before our church had developed
enough to stand on its own.
is a holy place where truth is taught.
What are the most important truths
that should be taught in school?
The first is to know God and recognize
His existence in the world around us.
is to know the fundamental origin
of human beings, our responsibilities,
and how to fulfill our responsibilities
for the sake of the world.
is to realize the purpose
for the existence of human beings
and to then create an ideal world
for that existence.
These things can be understood
only after they have been taught
with sincerity and dedication
over a long period.
Education today is focused on creating
a winner-take-all society
where those who finish first are rewarded
with a monopoly on happiness.
This is not
the right way to educate children.
Education must be a means for creating
a world where all humanity
can live well together.
The philosophies and methods of education
that have dominated us until now
must be changed to ones that let us
advance toward humanity's common goals.
If the United States
were to educate only for the sake of
the United States,
and Britain only for the sake of Britain,
then humanity's future would be dark.
must not teach how to live selfishly
but instead impart the wisdom needed
to resolve the myriad social problems
we face today.
The role of religious scholars
is even more important.
Religious scholars do not need to be teaching
complex theories and the superiority
of their own religions.
Instead, they need to give their students
the wisdom to love humanity and
build a world of peace.
They need to teach
the principle of selflessness.
We cannot expect a future of happiness
for humanity if scholars do not
take the lead in teaching our descendants
the principles of peace.
Humanity is one brotherhood and sisterhood,
and the world is one family.
The most important wisdom needed
by humankind comes
from knowing God's heart and His ideal.
For this reason the role of religion
continues to be important,
especially in the twenty-first century,
when science and technology seem to be
replacing the role of religion
in understanding how the universe operates.
Religions around the world
must understand the destination
of the human journey
and immediately cease
all major and minor struggles.
They should not be fighting for
the purpose of protecting their own honor.
Religions must pool their wisdom and
combine their energies and work diligently
to build the ideal world.
They must forget the past struggles
filled with hatred
and work out peaceful solutons.
No matter how much
we have done for world peace,
there is always more to be done.
whose mission is to lead humanity
into the ideal world,
must not forget for a moment that
truly their only mission
is to be apostles of peace.
Cultural Projects Express
In 1988, Seoul hosted the Summer Olympics.
I saw this
as a potential festival of peace
in my own backyard
and had many of our members
from around the world come to Seoul
for the event. The members helped guide
the international atheletes and officials,
cheered the athletes, served them food,
and presented them with mementos
of their visit to Korea.
Since China and the Soviet Union
were both participants in the Games,
I saw it a an event that could
critically alter the Cold War era.
Seeing the Olympic Games as
a festival of peace
gave it the potential to create harmony
between the communist bloc and
the free world.
On the day of the opening ceremony I sat
in the general seating area
of Jamsil Main Stadium
and watched with great joy.
After the Olympics, I carried on
the energy of the Games
by founding the Ilhwa Chunma
professional soccer team in Korea.
The Ilhwa team has won
several championships and built up
a strong fan base.
We have since founded the soccer teams
Clube Atletico Sorocaba
and Centro Esportivo Nova
Esperanca (CENE) in Brazil,
the home of Samba football,
and continue to operate them today.
The reason I chose to create soccer teams
is that I enjoy the sport.
I have enjoyed sports since I was young,
and for a time I did some boxing
and some traditional martial arts.
Soccer, however, is the one sport
that I continue to enjoy into my old age.
In my school days
I use to run around the schoolyard
diligently kicking the ball,
but now I enjoy watching it.
When the World Cup was held in Seoul,
I had three television sets set up
side by side
so that I could watch all the games.
I never missed a game that Korea played.
Soccer is a microcosm of life.
No matter how well
I might dribble the ball down the field, if someone
from the opposing team is faster and more skilled
comes along and steals the ball away from me, then in
an instant everything I did until then is for nothing.
Also, even if I might dribble all the way down
the field, and take a shot at the goal, if the ball
hits the goalpost and bounces back, that's the end.
It's up to me to dribble the ball, but it takes
more than one person to get the ball into the goal.
I need a teammate like Ji Sung Park,
who will assist me as the critical moment, or someone
like Young Pyo Lee, who will adroitly draw the other
team away from me.
The most important person on the team is the coach,
who watches over the entire team from the sidelines.
The coach doesn't run or score goals, but his power
is greater than that of all the players put together.
Similar to a coach who sees things that the players
cannot see and gives signals,
God sees things we cannot see and gives us signs. If
the players follow the coach's signs well, they will
almost always win. But if the coach sends signs and
foolish players either don't understand them or
ignore them and play according to their own thinking,
the team can only lose.
Soccer is a sport where competition takes place and
someone wins or loses, but it also has
the potential for significantly influencing countries
and increasing their cooperation toward peace.
I was told that twice as many people
watch the World Cup as watched the Olympics. This
provides an idea of how many people around the world
love soccer. Therefore, just like the Olympics, it has
the power to become a force for harmony between
countries, races, religions, and cultures. I see
soccer and peace among countries as potentially
Pele, who appointed as Brazil's Extraordinary Minister
for Sport in 1995, once visited Korea and spent time
in Hannam-Dong neighborhood of Seoul.
People remember him as the greatest soccer player in
the world, but the Pele I met was a peace activist.
He wanted to bring world peace through soccer.
When I met him, he laughed as he told me the story
of a game in Africa. He said, "I once played
in Nigeria, but the country was at war then.
How do your think we were able to play in a place
where bombs were exploding all around?
Thankfully, there was a short ceasefire called so that
the game could be played. That's when I realized deeply
that football was more than just a sport. Football is
a means shared by all people in the world as a means
for creating world peace. After that, I decided that
I had to carry out a movement for world peace through
I was so impressed with Pele in that moment that
I firmly grasped his hand.
We live in a competitive society where there is
a great deal of stress. Stress creates tension
in our lives and takes away our peace of mind.
When stress accumulates, people can become irritated
and sometimes fight each other. Sports and the arts
are examples of things that help us to lower
our levels of stress. These things help us to vent
our pent up urges and bring humanity together.
The reason for my devotion to soccer teams,
symphony orchestras, and ballet companies is that
these activities are means to bring world peace.
Pele understands this kind of thinking.
Finding ourselves in agreement, Pele and I created
a new competition of international dimensions
called Peace Cup, and tournaments have been held
every two years since 2003. We brought
famous soccer teams from around the world to Korea.
A corresponding women's tournament
called Peace Queen Cup is held in alternate years.
In the summer of 2009
we held the first men's tournament outside Korea.
The 2009 competition
was held in Spain's Andaluia region. All profits
from the tournaments are used to support soccer events
for children and youth in developing countries.
In particular, we use soccer to help children with
physical disabilities keep their dreams alive.
Working with the office
of the U.N. High Commissioner for refugees,
the U.N. refugee agency, we held a soccer tournament
for young people in Liberia. This is a country where
fifteen years of tribal warfare
have left its people exhausted. It receives special
protection from the United Nations because of
its precipitous drop in population. The children of
this war-torn country gathered together to play soccer
and sing songs of peace.
In the process of kicking the ball around, they were
learning skills of teamwork and fairplay
that are necessary for bringing harmony between tribes.
The Peace Cup organization
also has a goal of building a peace stadium in the
Israel-Palestine Jordan region, as close as possible
to the Israel-Palestine border. The stadium would be
freely available to all as a peace-building venture.
We want to bring famous coaches from Europe and
start a soccer academy for the children in the region.
The adults may want to point guns at each other, but
the children will want to come to the soccer stadium
and kick the ball around. People say it is unrealistic
and shake their heads, but we will do this.
Already a member of the Israeli cabinet has said
the stadium should be built in the Israeli area, and
a member of the Palestinian cabinet says it should be
in the Palestinian area. I am determined, however,
to build it in a way that connects the two sides.
I am not one to be pressured into giving up my dreams.
I have a bullheaded strength of will that I use
to pursue dreams that will lead to a world of peace.
The creation of our ballet company
is another example of the same stength of will.
People said it couldn't be done. We established the
Universal Ballet in 1984. Today more people in Korea
are enjoying ballet than ever before.
When we first created our ballet company, Korea was
like a barren wasteland as far as ballet was concerned.
Korea now has its own world-renowned ballerinas.
Every time I watch ballet, I feel that this must be
what art in the Heavenly Kingdom is like.
When a ballerina stands on her toes and holds her head
toward the heavens, this stance strikes me as a perfect
pose for how we should hold God in awe. It has the look
of ardent desire. In ballet, human beings can use
the beautiful body given to them by God to express
their love for Him. It is the highest form of art.
The Universal Ballet began by performing Swan Lake and
the Nutcracker Suite. It has added Don Quixote, Giselle
and its own original creations
Shim Chung and The Love of Choonhyang. It has developed
to the point of being internationally acclaimed.
The Universal Ballet receives invitations from
the world's most famous venues. Its dancers are credited
with adding a uniquely Korean beauty to the energetic moves
of Western ballet. They are praised for the way they
harmonize Eastern and Western styles in their performances.
The Univeral Ballet has an academy in Washington, D.C.
I also created the New York City Symphony Orchestra and
the New Hope Singers.
The arts enable humankind to reflect the high ideals
embodied in God's own creative work. God poured His
entire heart into human beings and the world He created,
just as artists invest their entire being into their works.
The Book of Genesis makes it seem as though
things came into being simply by God speaking a word,
but that is absolutely not how it was. God invested all
His energy into creating the waters and the land.
In the same way,
the movements of the ballerinas on stage are fruits of
a creative process that requires total investment.
The same thing can be said about soccer.
A successful soccer team will invest it full energies
into a ninety-minute game. In making a single run
for the goal, a player will invest every bit of energy
that he can call up, as if his life depended upon it. This
is similar to what God went through as He created the world.
To pour out everything we have,
to offer ourselves up completely, for the sake of one moment
in time---this is how greatness is achieved and how humankind
comes to resemble God.
Master of the Seas and
the Future of the World
History has shown that
the country that controls the seas will become a
world leader. Consider Britain. It was once
invaded by Vikings from Norway and Sweden. In the
sixteenth century, soon after she was crowned,
Queen Elizabeth I realized that if Britain didn't
have control of the sea it could lose everything.
She strengthened her country's maritime policy,
and through her dedicated effort, Britain became
a powerful maritime country. She mobilized capital
and technology to have strong ships built, manned
the ships with brave sailors, and sent them out to sea.
They did not know what was waiting for them
beyond the seas, but they risked their lives to go.
As a result, Britain, a small island nation
in the Atlantic, came to possess colonies on all
the continents and oceans and built an empire.
Western civilization centering on Britain saw
tremendous development in science and technology.
With the aid of the compass, British ships
journeyed to many different places in the world.
The country's highly developed material knowledge
and technology gave it abilities
with which it sought to conquer the entire world.
Korea, and most of the rest of the East, has taken
a different approach. The Eastern world does not
discard the spirit in pursuit of the material.
If there is a conflict between the material and the
spiritual, the East would rather discard the material.
So, generally speaking, life in the East
has been more difficult than in the West because it is
less materially developed. In the West, however,
spirit will not be dominated by the material forever.
As a totally materialistic culture brings degradation,
the opportunity presents itelf
to learn from the more spiritually oriented East.
Civilization developed from Egypt to Greece and Rome to
Britain and the United States and is now moving toward
the Pacific region surrounding the Korean peninsula.
The era of a Pacific civilization
is opening, bringing together Western science and
Eastern spirituality. The leaders in this new era
will be nations like Korea and its Asian neighbors.
It is not by mere coincidence that Korea and Japan
have been able to rise to international prominence
in a short time. This development was
a historical inevitability pointing to the Asian era.
The United States and Russia, however,
will not stand by and watch as our country rises to
a leadership role in the world. It is possible that
there could be a major conflict
involving the United States, Japan, Russia, and China
in the vicinity of Korea.
We must prepare for this contingency in two ways.
First, we must create a strong bond between Japan and
the United States and link this to Russia and China
so as to protect Korea. How can we do this?
With a philosophy and a heart that create oneness.
The only philosophy that can prevent wars
between religions and open a path to a peaceful world
is one that proclaims that humanity is one,
transcendent of race, nationality and religion.
To protect itelf from the dangers of war,
Korea must plant a philosophy of onenes in the world.
Second, we must prepare ourselves
for the new oceanic era. The Pacific era is at hand.
Anyone who cannot rule the ocean cannot become a leader
in the Pacific age.
If heavenly fortune comes and we are not prepared,
we cannot take advantage of the opportunity. If we know
that an oceanic era is about to begin and Korea
wants to be the leader of that era, then Korea must
make the necessary preparations.
There are more resources than fish in the ocean.
A greater treasure is its ability to provide energy.
As crude oil reserves decrease,
a sense of crisis over sources of energy is growing
day by day. If the world runs out of oil, humanity
will immediately find itself in the dark. There is
an effort to develop alternative energy from corn,
but this does not seem realistic
when there is not enough food being distributed to
feed the world's population as it is.
The true alternative energy source is the ocean.
Energy from the hydrogen in the sea represents
the future of humanity. Two-thirds
of the earth's surface is water. This means that
two-thirds of the raw materials that humanity needs
for the future are contained in the ocean. A new
future for humanity cannot be accomplished without
the ocean's resources. Developed countries are
already extracting oil and natural gas
from the ocean and selling it at high prices.
The world has only begun to discover the resources
in the ocean. The day is at hand when humanity will
find itself dependent on the ocean.
The oceanic era will not begin without human effort.
We must first go out into the oceans. We must go out
on boats and fight the waves. Without such courage
we cannot prepare ourselves for the oceanic age.
The country that conquers the oceans will become a
dominant power in the world and find the world eager
to study its culture and language. Korea must become
the champion steward of the Pacific Ocean.
It mustunderstand the will of the Creator and manage
His resources well.
in the Oceanic Era
The oceans can become
a central point for bringing the world together.
To take ownership over the ocean, we must be trained
to live on it with the same ease we live on land.
When I train people to fish, I send ten small boats
out with one large boat.
Once they are out on the open sea, however,
the small boats are responsible for themelves.
They must know the direction of the wind, what is on
the ocean floor, and what route the fish are taking.
They must learn all this on their own.
I like to use the phrase "Alaska spirit." By this
I mean the habit of getting up at five o'clock
in the morning, going out to sea, and not returning
until well after midnight, when in the summer
it is still light. The person with "Alaska spirit"
stays out on the ocean until he catches the
daily allowance. One cannot become a true fisherman
unless he learns how to endure this way.
Catching fish is not a pleasure cruise. Now matter
how many fish may be in the ocean, they are not
going to just jump into the boat.
It takes specialized knowledge and much experience.
A person must know
how to mend a net and how to tie an anchor rope.
Once a person receives intense training to become
a fisherman, he can go anywhere in the world and
become a leader of people. Learning
to be a fisherman is good leadership training.
Dominance at sea will require ships, including
submarines, that can go anywhere in the world.
Korea is already
the largest shipbuilding country in the world.
It has the ability to become a great sea power.
What Korea need now is more people willing
to go out to sea.
Koreans are the descendants of Chang Bo Go,
that wealthy man of the ninth century who ran
an international maritime trading business and
was called "Ocean King." We have a long tradition
of going out to sea on ships, fighting the waves,
and winning battles.
People naturally fear the waves.
When waves catch the wind, they become swells.
Waves and swells are needed for oxygen to be mixed
into the sea. If the ocean is calm
for an extended period, without wind or waves,
it begins to die. When we realize the value of waves,
they are no longer something to be feared. Even if
a strong wind blows and the waves become fearsome, we
understand that this is the way to help the fish live.
Then the waves become
part of the attraction of the sea. A hundred feet
below the surface of the ocean there are no waves. If
we were to take a submarine to the bottom of the ocean
it would be so cool that
there would be no need for air conditioners. The fish
choose the depth that has the temperature that
is right for them and then perform wonderful dances
as they swim in schools in their favorite waters.
Similar to our Little Angels dance troupe
with their fans, the fish have their colorful outfits
and gently wave their fins. It is a beautiful and
peaceful environment that they live in.
The world, too, will soon be as peaceful as this.
The fact that an oceanic era is coming means that Korea
will soon have the opportunity to change the world.
People who live in peninsula countries have had to
contend with invasions from both land and sea
throughout history. To survive they had to be brave
and develop a steely national character.
It is not by coincidence that civilization developed
in peninsula countries such as Greece and Italy.
Civilization could blossom in these countries because
they had the enterprising and tough, adventurous spirit
needed to spread their influence across both continent
Have you heard about the Black Stream, a boundary
current in the western part of the North Pacific Ocean?
It travels four thousands miles a year, based on the
gravitational pull of the moon. It is an oceanic gyre
that revolves all the way around the Pacific Ocean.
To describe it
simply as "tremendous" is not sufficient.
All the oceans of the world move by the same power
that moves the Black Stream and other ocean currents.
If these currents did not exist,
the waters would not move, and would die. Just as
even the largest and mightiest rivers eventually must
flow into the sea, even the largest oceans must move
in accordance with currents like the Black Stream.
The Korean people must become like the Black Stream
and cause the flow of their peace-loving culture to
influence the whole world. We must become a source of
strength in the world, the place where all of life's
forces come together in a peaceful concentration.
I have visited Korea's southern coast many times
in an effort to find the place that could become
the center of a Pacific civilization, and I believe
that Yeosu and Sooncheon are suited to the task.
The sea off the coast of Yeosu is as tranquil and
clear as a mirror. It is where Admiral Yi Soon Shin
dealt the Japanese a heavy defeat in the late 1600's,
and it is also where he died in battle. Yeosu has
a great history of sea battles, and it is also
the point where Youngnam and Honam regions meet.
It is at the end of the foothills of Mount Jiri,
where leftists and rightists fought each other
following the Korean War. In this sense, it is
a land imbued with the pain of our people.
Sooncheon Bay, famous for its reed beds,
has a beautiful and world-famous coastline. Out
on the sea, with its clear waters
that shimmer in the sunlight, we can catch many
different types of fish. Abalone and brown seaweed
grow in the tranquil waters of the bay.
The large tidal flats are filled with cockles
and other types of shellfish and small octopus.
I have been out on the seas in that area
and also climbed the mountains, and it is clear
that this is a beautiful land that has everything
necessary for the coming Pacific age.
I am now developing Korea's southern coast, with
the focus on Yeosu. As a part of the preparations
for this, I have been to Geomun Island
and other islands in the area and lived there for
several months. I consider people who live there,
farming and fishing for the past several decades,
to be my teachers.
I ate and slept in humble inns as I studied
everything in detail. I didn't just study books.
I went everywhere, using
my eyes and feet to check everything. As a result,
I now know what kinds of fish can be found
in what area of the ocean, what kind of net needs to
be used to catch them, what kinds of trees grow
in the mountains, and which home on the island has
an old man living alone after having suffered a stroke.
The day I finished my studies of the southern coast
I took the village mayor, who had been helping me,
on an airplane to Alaska. He had taught me everything
he knew, so I wanted to return the favor by teaching
him what I knew about Alaska. I went fishing with him
in Alaska and told him about the different kinds
of fish and how they can be caught.
Even if I know only a little about something,
I don't feel comfortable unless I share it with others.
Very soon after I began developing Yeosu, it was chosen
as the venue for an international maritime exposition
to be held in 2012. Together with the Olympic Games
and the World Cup, international expositions are among
the three largest festivals on a global scale. During
the six months that Expo 2012 will be held in Yeosu,
the one-hundred-fifty-four member countries of the
International Expositions Bureau
will operate various exhibits. This will focus
the world's attention on Yeosu, and the technology and
culture of developed countries will flow into Yeosu.
Have you ever looked up at a summer sky and seen clouds
blowing by at an amazing speed? Once clouds catch
the wind, they move quickly over mountains and oceans.
Now is not the time to be hesitating. In a way
similar to those clouds, heavenly fortune will be
blowing the world toward Yeosu and the Korean peninsula.
I plan to connect
all the islands along the southern coast with bridges
and build condominiums where boat-loving people from
around the world can come and stay. These will not be
resorts just for play. Americans, Germans, Japanese,
Brazilians, and Africans will all come. They may go
out on different boat to catch fish,
but I will encourage them to stay under the same roof
to show that humanity is one family.
The coming era will also be one of aeronautics and
even space travel. The time is coming when possessing
a well-developed aeronautic technology will be
an absolute necessity. It will be too late for Korea
to prepare its space industry if it doesn't start now.
For this reason,
I am preparing an aeronautic industrial park in Gimpo,
in Kyeonggi Province. I plan to produce world-famous
helicopters as fine as Sikorsky.
Soon the day will come when helicopters bearing the
Taeguk symbol of Korea will fly through the skies
all over the world. (The Taeguk is the red and blue
symbol on the Korean flag.)
A Single Dandelion Is
More Precious than Gold
Three of the greatest challenges of modern society
are solving pollution problems, creating
a consciousness for protecting the environment, and
increasing food production.
The earth has already been extensively damaged.
Our endless greed for material possessions
has brought about serious air and water pollution
that is destroying nature, including
the ozone layer that protects us. If present trends
continue, humanity will find itself unable to escape
the consequences and traps of the wreckless pursuit
of material goods.
For the past twenty years, I have been working
to sustain Brazil's Pantanal region, The Pantanal--
a region that lies in Brazil, Bolivia and Paraguay--
is the world's largest wetlands area. It is listed
with UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
I am carrying on a worldwide environmental movement
to preserve the living creatures of the Pantanal in a
pristine state of natural purity, as God intended at
the time of creation.
The Pantanal, where
the water, land, animals, and plants exist in harmony,
is truly a magnificent place. Simple words such as
beautiful and fantastic
cannot begin to describe its value. Photos of the area
taken from the sky are so beautiful that a collection
of these photos is one of the best-selling nature photo
collections in the world.
The Pantanal is one of humanity's treasure troves,
where rare species such as the white-throated capuchin,
red-howler monkey, macaw, jaguar, anaconda, the ostrich-
like rhea, and the caiman live.
The flora and fauna
of the Pantanal and the Amazon basin seem to exist as
they might have on the first morning of Creation.
The Pantanal is like a modern-day Eden. Human beings
have destroyed a great many beings that God created.
Too many species of plants and animals have become
extinct because of human greed. In the Pantanal,
though, the original forms that God created still remain.
I am planning to establish an aviary
and an insect preserve in the Pantanal to save some of
these unique species from extinction.
In addition to being a habitat for many plants and
animals, the Pantanal is also an importatant source
of oxygen for the earth, and it is also a storehouse
to absorb greenhouse gases.
The Pantanal is changing rapidly, however, due to
industrial development. If the Pantanal, which
along with the Amazon provides such a large amount
of oxygen for the earth, is destroyed, the future
of humanity will be dismal.
Hundreds of species of fish live in the Pantanal.
One is a gold-colored fish called the dorado, which
often reaches a weight of more than twenty-six kilos
(forty pounds). When a dorado first took my hook,
it felt like my body was being sucked into the river.
As I reeled in the line with all my strength, it jumped
out of the water several times. After several jumps it
still had plenty of strength left to fight. It was so
strong it seemed more like a bear or a tiger than a fish.
The lakes in Pantanalare almost always clean.
No matter what is put into the water, it quickly becomes
clean again. The water is cleansed quickly because
the wetland environment filters
sediments and pollutants, and this is why there are
so many species of fish living there.
Each species feeds on something different.
Living together in a complex system they also devour
organic wastes the dirty the water. Even their act
of feeding has the function of keeping the water pure.
In this respect, fish are very different from
human beings because they never live for their own
sakes, but as part of a larger balanced system.
They help clean their environment and make it better.
The back of a water hyacinth's leaf in the Pantanal
wetlands is black with bugs. If all the bugs would
remain there, the hyacinth would not be able to live,
but there are fish that eat those bugs off the leaves.
So the bugs live, the hyacinth lives and the fish live.
That is what nature is like. No creature lives for
itself. Instead, they live for each other. Nature
teaches us this tremendous lesson.
No matter how many fish there are in the Pantanal,
if people are given the freedom to fish there,
the population is bound to decrease.
To protect the fish we need to develop fish farms.
Because the fish in the Pantanal are so precious,
we need to develop many fish farms.
Similar facilities to protect insects, birds and
mammals are also needed. Raising insects will help
increase the bird population.
The Pantanal provides a perfect environment for all
these creatures, and by focusing on how to increase
their population humankind can continue to enjoy them
for centuries to come.
It is not just fish that are plentiful in the Pantanal.
The riverbanks have pinapples, banana trees and mango
trees. Rice grows so well there that it is possible
to have three harvests a year, even without irrigated
fields. That's ow rich the soil is. Crops such as
beans and corn can be grown just by spreading the seeds
over the ground. Very little human labor is needed.
Once while taveling down the Paraguay River on a boat,
we stopped at a house sitting near a bank.
The farmer who lived there realized that we were hungry,
so he went into his field and dug up a sweet potato.
It was the size of a watermelon! He told us that
as long as he leaves the root in the ground
it will continue to produce potatoes for several years.
The thought that potatoes can be harvested without
annual planting left me with a strong desire
to take them to countries where food is lacking.
People who advocate developing wetlands stress the
economic benefits of such developments. The Pantanal,
however, provides plenty of economic benefit just
as a wetland. The area has vast tracts of virgin
hardwood forest, and natives claim that a person could
drive a spike into one of those trees and it will still
live more than a hundred years. These massive trees
produce woods such as brown ebony which do not rot
and are said to last longer than iron.
Imagine what it look like to have forests
with such precious trees. I had some seedling of these
trees planted on four hundred hectares (nine hundred eighty-
eight acres) on land in the Pantanal. The trees our members
planted have made the Pantanal even more beautiful.
Human selfishness is destroying nature. Competition for
the shortest route to economic success is the main reason
that the earth's environment has been damaged.
We cannot allow the earth to be damaged any further.
Religious people must lead the way in the effort to save
nature. Nature is God's creation and His gift
to humankind. We must work quickly to awaken people
to the preciousness of nature and the urgent need
to restore it to the rich and free state it enjoyed
at the time of Creation.
Because it has become widely known that the Pantanal is
a treaure trove, a struggle over its future has begun.
The place that we should be protecting is about to become
a battlefield for greedy human beings.
For the past ten years, I have been taking leaders
from countries around the world to the Pantanal and
sponsoring discussions on how to protectthis region and
the rest of the world's environment. I am gathering
the world's environmental experts and scholars
and encouraging them to take an interest in preserving
the Pantanal. I am working to stop the Pantanal from
being destroyed by merciless material desires of
As the environment issues grow more serious, many
environmental groups have sprung up.
The best environmental movement, however, is the one
that spreads love.
People generally take care of things that belong to them
or people they love. They do not, however, take care
of or love the natural environment that God created.
God gave this environment to humanity. It is His will
that we use the environment to obtain food, to have it
in abundance, and to experience the joy of living
in the beauty of nature. Nature is not something
to be used once and thrown away. Our descendants for
many generations to come must be able to rely on it
just as we have.
The shortcut to protecting nature
is to develop a heart that loves nature. We must be able
to shed a tear at the sight of even a blade of grass that
we see as we walk along the road. We must be able
to grab hold of a tree and weep. We must understand
that God's Spirit is hidden inside a single boulder or
a single gust of wind.
To care for and love the environment is to love God.
We must be able to see each creature created by God
as an object of our love.
With our spiritual eyes opened we could see that
a single dandelion by the roadside is more valuable
than gold crowned of kings.
Poverty and Hunger
If you are never hungry, you cannot know God.
The times when you are hungry are opportunities to be
nearest to God.
When you are hungry and able to look humbly at each
approaching person as if he were a close family member
and want to help him,
then you are more likely to be fed. In such situations,
it is important
to maintain a sympathetic heart for goodness.
Hunger is not an issue
relegated to less-developed areas of the world. Even in
the United States, which enjoys one of the highest
standards of living in the world, there are millions
of people who are undernourished and hungry.
When I went to the United States, one of my first
projects was to purchase trucks to be used for the
distribution of food to the poor.
The situation in impoverished countries is far worse.
When I look at the world situation, I feel that
securing sufficient food supplies is the most pressing
problem. Solving the food crisis cannot be put off
for even a moment. Even now, some twenty thousand
people around the world die of hunger-related causes
every day. We cannot afford to be apathetic
just because we and our immediate families are not
Simply distributing food supplies by itself will not
resolve hunger, though.
A more fundamental approach to the problem is needed.
I am considering two fundamental and concerete methods.
The first is to provide ample supplies of food at low
cost. The second is to share technology that people
can use to overcome hunger on their own.
The issue of food will present humankind with a very
serious crisis in the future. We cannot build a world
of peace without first resolving the food issue.
Sufficient food supplies for all the world's population
cannot be produced on the limited amount of land area
that is currently available.
We must look to the oceans for a solution. The oceans
hold the key to solving the food crisis in the future.
This is the reason I have been pioneering the oceans
for the past several decades.
In Alaska pollack smaller than fifteen inches long
are used for fertilizer. They would make wonderful food,
but people don't know how to prepare them so they use them
just for fertilizer. As recently as twenty or thirty
years ago, we could ask Westerners to give us the tail
of an ox and they would let us have it for free.
Koreans are very fond of food prepared with the bones
or intestines of cows, but some Westerners do not know
that these are edible.
The same is true with fish. About twenty percent
of the world's fish catch is routinely thrown out.
Whenever I see this, I think of the people who are dying
of hunger, and I feel pain. Fish is a much more reliable
source of protein than beef. How wonderful it would be
if we made fishcakes or fish sausages to give to people
in impoverished lands!
Once this thought came to me, I started projects to
process and store large volumes of fish. It does not
do any good to catch large amounts of fish if you cannot
handle them properly after the catch. Even the best fish
cannot be kept well for more than eight months.
Even if they are frozen and placed in refrigeration, air
gets in through the cracks in the ice, and water escapes.
You could pour water on the fish and freeze them again,
but by then the best flavor is already gone and the fish
might as well be thrown out.
We gathered fish that were being thrown out and
researched how to turn it into fish powder. We sought
to do something that even advanced countries like France
and Germany have not done. Fish turned into powder
could be transported and stored easily, even in hot and
humid climates. Fish powder is ninety-eight percent
protein, among the very highest protein content
of all food products. For this reason it can be used
to save people from dying of hunger. Fish powder could
also be used to make bread. We are still searching
for ways to make it available to impoverished countries
around the world.
The oceans contain limitless food supplies, but the best
method for saving humanity from the food crisis is
fish farming. I foresee that there will be buildings,
similar to the skyscrapers we see in our cities today,
devoted to fish farming. By using water pipe systems,
we can farm fish in tall buildings or even on the tops
of mountains. With fish farming we can produce more than
enough food to feed all the world's people.
The ocean is a blessing bequeathed to us by God.
When I go out on the ocean,
I am completely absorbed in fishing. I have caught
all kinds of fish in different countries. One reason
I fish is so I can teach
people who don't know how to fish. In South America
I spent several months showing local people my fishing
methods. I took in tangled fishnets myself and spent
three or four hours showing them how to untangle them.
To secure adequate supplies of food at low cost,
humankind will need to develop the ocean. This and
the great grasslands that are still in their
prehistoric state are our final storehouses of wealth.
This task, though, will not be easy. It will
require us to go to places that are so hot and humid
that moving around and working hard with a strong sense
of dedication become very difficult. Developing the
grasslands in tropical regions cannot be done without
a love for humankind that is passionate and dedicated.
Jardim, in Brazil, is just such a place. It is a quite
difficult place to live in. The weather is hot, and bugs
that have not even been named yet are continually biting.
I lived in that place and made friends with all its
various creatures. I walked around barefooted, feeling
the red soil of Jardim beneath my feet, I looked like
the local fishermen.
It is only when the local people look at you and say,
"You really are a farmer," or "You really are a fisherman,"
that you are qualified to receive their knowledge and
share your own knowledge with them.
It is not something that can be done by someone
who needs to sleep eight hours a night in a clean and
comfortable bed, eat three square meals a day, and
take naps under a shady tree.
When we were developing a project in Paraguay,
a group of our members and I were living in a small hut
in Olimpo, close to the Paraguay River.
There was only one toilet, and each morning we had to
take turns using it. I would get up each morning
at three o'clock, do some exercises, and then go fishing.
Because of this, the members who were with me
went through some very difficult times. They were not
used to cutting bait
early in the morning before they were completely awake.
When we took the boat out,
we had to cross through a number of other properties
in order to reach the mooring site. Unlocking the gates
to these properties in pitch darkness was difficult.
One morning when the members were fumbling with a lock,
unable to open it, I yelled at them,
"What are you doing?!" I shouted so loudly and fiercely
that I surprised even myself,
so I am sure it must have been difficult for them.
But I feel that I cannot afford to waste so much as
a single second. I don't have any time
to be idly standing around. I can clearly see a list
of all the things I must accomplish before there can be
a world of peace, so my heart is always in a hurry.
When I fished there on the river before dawn,
the mosquitoes would swarm like a dark cloud. Their
stingers were so sharp they would pierce through
a pair of jeans. In the predawn darkness we could not
see the floats on our fishing lines, so we had to
attach white plastic bags to them. I could not wait
for the sun to come up. I was in too much of a hurry.
I still miss Jardim. I miss everything about it.
When I close my eyes, I can still feel the heat
of Jardim air pressing against my face. The minor
inconveniences to my body were nothing. Bodily suffering
passes quickly. What is important is that this place
can one day play a significant role in serving the world.
Being in Jardim brought great happiness to my heart.
Going Beyond Charity
to End Hunger
To solve the problem of hunger we must
have a patient heart that is willing to plant seeds.
Seeds are planted and wait unseen under the soil until
they are able to germinate
and break through their outer cover. Similarly, it is
better in the long run to teach a person how to plant and
harvest wheat and then turn it into bread than it is
to give a piece of bread to a person who is about to die.
The former may be more difficult and not result in
as much public recognition, but it is the only way
to arrive at a fundamental and sustainable solution to
world hunger. We need to begin now
to study the climate, the soil and the character of
the people in areas that suffer from hunger.
There is a species of tree called the moringa.
The people in Congo feed the leaves of this tree, which
are high in nutrition, to their children to supplement
their diet. They also feed them to their cattle to
fatten them up before taking them to market.
They pound the leaves of this tree on a stone mill,
add some oil, and fry them in batter to eat themselves.
It may be a good idea to plant many moringa trees
and make powder out of the entire tree
after throwing out the root, which is poisonous.
The powder can be used to make bread. Many countries
could follow this example and plant moringa trees. Also
Jerusalem artichokes, which look like sweet potatoes,
grow very quickly once they are planted in the soil.
The amount that can be harvested is three times greater
than that of other famine relief crops. Planting a lot
of Jerusalem artichokes is another way to contribute to
resolving the hunger problem.
In Jardim, a large earthworm is used in farming, and
this makes the soil quite fertile. This earthworm
exists only in South America, but perhaps we can
study its ecology and use it to help agriculture in
other areas. Koreans are working in the Mato Grosso
region to study silkworms. If the cultivation of
silkworms is successful there, it will be possible
to make silk cheaply and sell it to buy food.
There is no quick fix to the problem of world hunger.
People in each country have different tastes for food
and different customs, and the plants and animals are
different. The important point is
concern for our neighbors. We first need to develop
the heart that, when we are eating enough to fill our
own stomachs, we think of others who are going hungry
and consider how we can help them. True peace will not
come as long as humanity does not solve the problem
of hunger. If the person next to me
is about to die of hunger, peace is a mere luxury.
It is as important to teach the skills
needed to become self-sufficient in producing food
as it is to distribute food directly to those in need.
To teach such skills, we need to build schools
in remote areas to combat illiteracy. Technical schools
will need to be established in order to give people
the ability to support themselves. The Westerners
who conquered Africa and South America did not do
enough to provide technology to the people who were
already there. They only used the people as laborers
as they sought to dig up and take away the resources
that were buried in the ground. They did not teach
the people how to farm or how to operate a factory.
This was not right. Our church has,
from the early stage of our foreign mission work,
established schools in places such as the Congo
for teaching agriculture and industrial technology.
Another problem faced by people suffering from hunger
is they cannot afford proper medical treatment
when they become ill. On the other side of the world,
developed countries are seeing an overuse of drugs, but
people who are hungry often die because they cannot afford
simple medicine for diarrhea. Therefore, as we work
to eradicate hunger we must also provide medical support.
We must establish clinics
and care for those who suffer from chronic illness.
For example, centering on the New Hope Farms
in Jardim, Brazil, I donated ambulances and medical
equipment to over thirty surrounding small towns.
I created the New Hope Farm as a model to show how
humanity can live together in peace. We tilled a wide
expanse of land to make farmland,
and there is a cattle ranch in the higher elevations.
Although New Hope Farms is in Brazil, it does not
belong only to the people of Brazil. Anyone who is
hungry can go to New Hope Farms, work and be fed.
Some two thousand people from all races and from
all over the world can always eat and sleep there.
We will establish schools
all the way from elementary levels to university.
People will be taught how to farm and
how to raise cattle. We will also teach how to plant
and raise trees and how to catch, process, and sell fish.
We do not have only a farm.
We use the numerous lakes in the vicinity of the river
to create fish farms and fishing grounds.
Paraguay's Chaco region occupies sixty percent
of that country's territory,
but it has been a neglected land. The Chaco region
was formed when the sea rose to cover the land, and
even now you get salty water gushing up when you dig
into the ground. I was in my seventies when I first
went to Paraguay. The lives of the people living in
this long-neglected land were impoverished beyond words.
It caused me great pain in my heart to see them.
I sincerely wanted to help them, but they were not
prepared to eaily accept me, a person of different
skin color who spoke a different language.
I did not give up, however. I traveled the Paraguay
River for three months, eating and sleeping with people
from the area. At more than seventy years of age,
I was taking on a task that people said was impossible.
I taught the people I met what I know about fishing,
and they taught me their language. We were on the boat
like this together for three months and became friends.
Once they began to open their hearts, I talked to them
again and again about why the world must become one.
At first, their reaction was indifferent. Year by year,
though, the people of Paraguay began to change.
After ten years, they changed so much that they held
a global peace festival with great enthusiasm.
Resolving the food situation does not mean that peace
will follow immediately. After the hunger issue
has been resolved, it is important to carry out
education programs on peace and love. I have built
schools in places such as Jardim and Chaco. At first
people didn't send their children to school but instead
had them help raise their cattle. We worked hard to
convince them that the children and young people needed
an education. As a result, we now have many students.
We built a light industrial factory where they could
produce items using simple technologies, and
the students became more interested in attending school
so that they could work in the factory.
We are all responsible for the people around the world
who die of hunger. We need to take action to help them.
We need to feel a clear sense of responsibility and
find a way that they can be fed and saved. People who
live well should come down to a slightly lower position
and raise up those who live poorly, to bring about
a world where all people live well.
(end of Chapter Seven)