On the 2nd Anniversary of the Ascension of Father Sun Myung Moon
Founder of the Universal Peace Federation
UPF-UK Lancaster Gate, London, United Kingdom
Saturday 16th August 2014.
Each time I switch on the television in the past few months, I am greeted with horrifying images of war – images of humans killing other humans. Humans fleeing war waged by fellow humans; humans dying from gunfire or bombs dropped by fellow humans; humans dying of hunger, poverty, dehydration, lack of water, lack of food, lack of shelter – all caused by fellow humans. Humans fleeing their homes or being chased out of their homes by other humans; humans becoming refugees in their own homes and in their own countries; humans trying to flee to neighbouring countries for safety, from fellow humans.
In the USA there are recurring public demonstrations against police brutality on the Black youth. In Nigeria, young girls are abducted by men from rebel groups. In Gaza, Palestinians and Isrealis are killing one another. In Iraq, one group of people is killing the other. In Syria, Russia, the Ukraine – all over the world, brother is turning against brother for one reason or another.
Humans are persecuting and killing one another for being of a different skin colour; for being of a different race; for having different religious beliefs; for having different political ideologies; for having different sexual orientation; for being an immigrant; or just simply for being different from the next person.
The idea that we are different and separate from other people has caused the world to venture into unnecessary wars, which have led to the violation of the human rights and the persecution of people who we consider to be different from ourselves.
The belief that we are different and separate from others has also led to the world suffering all kinds of setbacks including the world hunger, poverty, conflict, economic, social and gender inequalities.
Father Moon was a man whose heart was focused on bringing together people of different faiths to bridge these divides. His call on people of faith to serve others is an important legacy that needs to be upheld.
Father Moon advocated that humanity should learn to love and share without limits, to sacrifice and suffer without limits, to practice courage and service without limits; not only for one’s own family, race, community, nation or country, but for the whole of humankind.
Father Moon, also believed in a new age of spirituality, one based on the universal principle of unselfish service to others and a culture of God-centered families where people of all nations, cultures, races and religions would live together in harmony.
Just like Father Moon, in Africa we believe in the spirit of Ubuntu. This is a traditional African philosophy that offers us an understanding of ourselves in relation with the world. In the philosophy of Ubuntu, we believe that “a person is a person through other persons” and that there exists a common bond between us all. It is through this bond, through our interaction with our fellow human beings, that we discover our own human qualities.
The ongoing wars around the world not only affect the countries in which the war is being fought, but the suffering and repercussions of each war always spread right through the entire globe resulting in the exodus of refugees, increased hunger and poverty levels, as well as unnecessary deaths, human suffering and economic costs on both sides.
Ubuntu speaks of the fact that my humanity is inextricably bound up in each one of us. And in war, unnecessary deaths and suffering are experienced on both the side of the victor, as well as that of the vanquished.
Just like the philosophy of Ubuntu, Father Moon teaches us wholeness and compassion, which provides a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that we belong in a greater whole.
In the philosophy of Ubuntu, the idea of a global human family is one of the building blocks of society and is the nebulous concept of common humanity and oneness.
Father Moon teaches us to be peace-loving citizens of the world with a peace plan that starts from the level of the individual, in which we must find peace with God, then peace with our fellow man, in order to finally secure world peace. Father Moon calls us to live lives of true love, public service and to work to bring peace among religions.
In honouring Father Moon’s life and his work, it would be great if humanity can create a genuine global human family that has shared responsibilities, shared benefits and shared values, to instill the spirit of oneness and become one true global human family filled with love, unity, harmony, compassion and peace!