Hyo Jin Moon October 11, 1986 Jacob K. Javits Convention Center
My fellow students and honored guests: I am truly grateful to God for the opportunity to speak to all of you at this beautiful convention center here in New York. I believe it is quite significant that this third annual World Student Convention, which CARP has sponsored, is taking place in America. This year commemorates 210 years of freedom, hope, and cultural diversity in America. Nowhere else in the world is there such freedom of opportunity; people from all nations come here to find success and prosperity. This month also marks the 100th anniversary of the Statue of Liberty, which stands in the harbor as a testimony to the hopes and dreams that can be realized here.
Yet the degree of freedom here has brought serious problems as well. Many people amass tremendous wealth, with little concern for those around them who are less fortunate. Others decide that the world affords them too little happiness and resort to drugs, alcohol abuse, and physical indulgence to fulfill that crying need.
These problems have persisted for so long that many today feel it is hopeless to find real, permanent solutions. Can we solve global problems with a Ph.D. in philosophy or economics? So far, no matter how brilliant people are, no matter how powerful a nation is, no one has been able to solve these most pressing problems.
An Innovative Solution
Answers based on material help alone have proven themselves insufficient to solve such global problems. But I invite you to try an innovative solution: God's love. The love of God is so overwhelming that anyone affected by it doesn't need an artificial high. My father once said that "man is meant to be intoxicated by the love of God:' He explained that when captured by the love of God, your entire body feels enraptured in a glorious state of joy. God's love knows no racial, cultural, or national boundaries. When you feel God's love you experience true human dignity.
But the love of God isn't merely a personal experience. Godly love is special because it is selfless. It thinks of others first. It cannot tolerate the unhappiness of others. A person filled with God's love treats everyone as his own brother or sister. He simply can't settle for less. With the love of God, helping others is as natural as waking up in the morning. By practicing God's love we can maintain true human value and bring about a prosperous, harmonious world community.
Equally important in achieving true happiness is a universal system of values. In the past, the great scholars and religious leaders of the world have taken important steps toward such a universal value system. Today, however, we need to complete this process with a new understanding that can embrace all persons, all religions, and all cultures, while preserving the unique value of each individual.
The most important thing for us to learn as college students is how to demonstrate God's love and universal values in our daily lives. The campus community is a great place to start, because it contains such a wealth of creativity and idealism. Students have the potential to be the vanguard, bringing positive solutions to the problems of mankind. The youth of every era have been the hope of their generation. In ancient biblical times, the young prophet Joshua led the new generation of Israelites into the Promised Land. And the American patriot Nathan Hale was only 21 years old when he inspired his countrymen with these last words: "I regret that I have but one life to give for my country:' But today we cannot be satisfied with the progress of a single nation or people. Our challenge is to unite all races, nations and religions to establish a truly peaceful world.
Time to Take Action
In order to accomplish this task, we need a new kind of student movement. Student movements of the past were filled with idealism but had no direction or focus. Today we must learn from the past and work with united effort to find new vision and deal effectively with the challenges of the present.
One area in which our help is desperately needed is the area of drug abuse. Nancy Reagan said last month that drugs "take and take, until finally every time a drug goes into a child, something else is forced out, like love and hope and trust and confidence. Drugs take away the dream from every child's heart and replace it with a nightmare"
The biggest crime today is that drug abuse is infecting a lower and lower age group. Drugs are now available to many children in elementary school. They are losing their hope and their chance to improve our society even before they are old enough to make wise choices.
When our own younger brothers and sisters are being corrupted by the drug menace, it's time to take action. Let us work together with community leaders, teachers, and parents to show all young people that there is a better high than drugs -- the high of service to others. For when we extend ourselves to other people our own character develops and we are all the better for the effort. But you here already know this, for you are the leadership for our generation. Our challenge is to pass on the message that love and service are the bywords of the eighties.
Besides attacking drug abuse, we are also initiating a World Student Service Corps, with the hope of creating an international volunteer network that can provide a way for students to assist in the development of any other nation. The World Student Service Corps offers an opportunity for students to take their ideas and their energy and invest them on the national or the global level.
We can talk and talk about needing respect for people of other cultures and nationalities. But good ideas must be put into practice to show their real value. Working with people of other countries, in service to those who need help, is the best way to prove that people who are different from ourselves are just as beautiful as we are.
This world volunteer service work will become a model of international cooperation for the sake of those in need. It will broaden our education through the experience with other cultures, beliefs, and ways of life. If world peace is to come, we students must be able to lead the way. I challenge you to involve yourselves in this project and thereby show a standard of love and service beyond nationality to promote and achieve world peace.
Let us truly make this third CARP Convention of World Students a starting point for a new student movement based upon new vision for students all over the world. Let us show the world that we can make a difference. And let us unite together as a worldwide family to become the herald of a new world of love and value.
Thank you very much. May God bless you.