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Are People Born Evil?

Hyo Jin Moon April 22, 2007 7:00 am Belvedere, Tarrytown, NY

Here are my notes from Hyo Jin nim’s speech Sunday 22 April 2007. My ability to convey what was actually said is limited. These, at most, convey some sense of what Hyo Jin nim said and are not a verbatim record. Hyo Jin nim’s website is: To see two of the projects that Hyo Jin nim is working on log on to: and Joe Kinney

Rev. Andrew Compton is the MC. All welcome Hyo Jin nim and offer a standing bow. (Hyo Jin nim bows to the audience as he approaches the stage.)

Good morning.

Let me start off by asking you a question.

Are people born evil? (Audience responds "no.")

I have to talk about it because obviously we all know what happened. (The context is the 33 deaths on Virginia Tech Campus last week)

All those innocent lives lost. That’s unthinkable; the degree of shock and the horrendousness is just immeasurable.

We have to talk about it because it happened.

The thing is that it happens not just in America, but in places like Iraq where America is trying to bring democracy. Dozens of people, at times hundreds of people die every day. That’s a tragedy.

If you really try to put it out because taking care of ourselves in it’s self is difficult. You don’t want to think about a problem that exists in the world where truly people are selfish and dying.

But that’s another issue when it comes to you and me, when it comes to "I."

What happens to "I"?

That’s what’s important, right? Because from that "I" something happens, hopefully something for the right. And even that is a hope. It’s not a conclusion. It might be a promise to your self therefore in light of yourself you want to view it as something of hopefulness.

Sometimes you don’t want to pat yourself on the back too often. Because if you do that too often without any results, that matters beyond yourself, right? Beyond "I