By Keiko Sometani
Dr. Junsook Moon, the co-founder of Global Peace Foundation(GPF) and Chair of Global Peace Women, brought an enlightening, however uncommon, perspective to Korean reunification in an informative speech at the recent Global Peace Convention hosted in Seoul. According to Dr. Moon, the mission of fulfilling Korean reunification begins in the home.
The Korean Dream
At a time when Korean unification is bringing brought closer to the forefront of the international stage, it is important to remember that a reunified nation may take many forms and not necessarily uphold the aspirations, values, and ideals of its citizens. This is why Dr. Junsook Moon and her husband Dr. Hyun Jin P. Moon are working to articulate a universal vision that reflects the most cherished ideals of the Korean people on their path to reunification.
The “Korean Dream” is a vision for a free, unified, prosperous nation that upholds human rights and freedoms for all Koreans. It embodies the ancient Korean ethos Hongik Ingan that Dr. Junsook Moon described in her address,
“Hongik Ingan, which means to live for the benefit of all humanity, is the founding aspiration of Korea. This simple phrase contains profound spiritual meaning that transcends history and time. Korean reunification cannot be achieved through short-sighted policies based on the geopolitics of the last 10, 20 years. The Hongik Ingan ideal that runs through the Korean Dream represents the destiny and yearning of the Korean people, its DNA.”
Dr. Moon shared her conviction that such a nation would spread peace and development across the world.
Learning Hongik Ingan at home
So how does the Korean dream connect to home life?
“Family is the most important and fundamental building block of society, the nation, and the world,” said Dr. Moon. Family life is where significant social and emotional learning takes place after all. Here, children learn at a very young age how to process their emotions, work through conflicts and relate with others harmoniously. In a nurturing and stable family, children learn about love, kindness, and sacrifice through relationships with parents, siblings and extended family members. The family environment shapes the development of a child as Dr. Moon conveys,
“Familial relationships encompass the most intimate and enduring relationships of love, even more sacred than religion. This is why parents and family have tremendous influence in shaping a person’s character. We know all too well that someone raised in a family filled with peace, love, and mutual support is likely to have vastly different outcomes from someone who experienced abusive and self-centered relationships.”
If parents embody the ideal of Hongik Ingan by living for the benefit of every family member and every human crossing the family’s path in life, children would learn this ideal and more likely embody it as they mature into adulthood.
Hongik Ingan is not something the government can mandate. It’s a way of life, already embedded in Korean history and society to some extent. A nation embodying Hongik Ingan is only possible if its citizens cherish and embody this ideal in their daily lives. And according to Dr. Moon, the family unit is the most natural place to learn and practice this ideal.
Empowering Women in building peace
Though the foundation of a loving, harmonious family is dependent on both men and women, Dr. Moon took the opportunity to acknowledge and uplift the unseen efforts of mothers.
“Think about your own mother. You know to what extent she leads a life of devotion and sacrifice for the sake of the entire family….. However, no mother expects compensation for her sacrifice. She only hopes for her children to be healthy and happy, dedicating herself to the family’s harmony and wellbeing, and guiding everyone on the right path.”
A mother’s role is crucial for a family’s wellbeing. In a way, she contributes to peace in society by raising virtuous citizens and future leaders of the nation. But women also have an important responsibility in contributing to peace directly as Dr. Moon points out,
“Women leaders who embody love and service play critical roles in promoting peace and uplifting human dignity throughout society. Recognizing this, we should support the growth and development of women’s leadership around the world.”
The Korean Dream will only be achieved through the “everyday actions” of Koreans in the North, South and around the world. As natural peacemakers, women have an important role in realizing the Korean Dream.
Visit www.1dream1korea.com for more on the One Korea Global Campaign.