Nuremberg, Germany—A UPF program discussed how to translate the phrase “Peace Starts with Me” into actions with results.
Based on the title of the April rally in Vienna, Austria, at which UPF co-founder Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon appeared as the main speaker, the Nuremberg branch of UPF held an event on July 21, 2018, hoping to look at the phrase “Peace Starts with Me” from a new perspective.
Enzo Campione opened the event by greeting the sizable audience. Next came a performance by the African singing group Oasis of Love, who are almost a part of the UPF family! Their mode of expression, using song, dance and national costumes, never fails to inspire. Then we watched a film about the festival in Vienna and were quite amazed at how wonderful the whole production was.
Franziska Hookway read excerpts from the speech that Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon delivered at the Vienna rally.
Next, Dietmar Jorde of UPF-Nuremberg spoke on the main topic. He considered the questions “Why does peace start with me?” and “How does peace start with me?” He offered a profound answer, embedding this ingenious phrase so deeply in the minds of the audience that it never again will be commonplace.
He began by examining the efforts of philosophers and thinkers to consider why lasting peace on earth has not yet been achieved. He chose four ideas: historical materialism from Karl Marx; psychoanalysis from Sigmund Freud; modern aggression psychology; and peace research.
Mr. Jorde said the last three of the four ideas conclude that: humans basically will remain as they are; there always has been and always will be war; and it is possible only to limit the damage.
Only historical materialism presents an idea of a peaceful future in the form of communism, he said. However, the way leading toward the peaceful future is a nightmare, rather than a vision, with millions dead and gulags and terror as a way to overcome the enemy of the people. Thus all the humanistic approaches to peace represent a dead end.
More hope is offered by a religious outlook, Mr. Jorde said. According to the story of the Human Fall in the Bible’s book of Genesis, the beginning of all our problems was the disobedience of the first human ancestors. This disobedience was the failure of Adam and Eve to fulfill their responsibility to follow God’s word and wait to marry until they had reached a standard of personal maturity, he said. Therefore, we can realize that although wars may be ended by politicians, the military or the United Nations, the path to lasting peace begins with each individual personally, he said.
How will peace be achieved by living by the motto “Peace Starts with Me”? Each individual must develop a heart and personality based on the word of God, he said. The best way to accomplish this is to live one’s life for the sake of others.
However, this is only the first step. When peace becomes firmly anchored at the individual level, it must be spread to the next level, that of the family. This was the topic of the second lecture, given by Enzo Campione. He described the difficulties that arise when immature people embark on an intimate relationship and are then responsible for children, which often results in the breakdown of the relationship. And defective relationships are normal for children who have not received the full love of their parents, Mr. Campione said. That is the critical role of the family. One may say that it also can mean hell.
But intact families, serving as schools of love, are the hope of God and humankind, he said. They can be established by people who have fulfilled their responsibility to develop a mature personality. In such families, one can learn everything necessary for life. When all the relationships within a family are healthy, they enable us to relate well to all people. From this kind of family, a peaceful society, nation and world can be established.
Finally a guest from a Sikh community, Mr. Sukhdev Singh, asked if it would not be better, rather than to argue about the existence of God, to ask who put life into the first cell, and how it is possible that the earth has revolved around the sun for millions of years, and where the energy that keeps all the electrons revolving around the nucleus of an atom comes from. He stated that it is good to talk about peace, but that it would be even better to work for peace. That was a good final statement.
In closing, all sang in unison Make Me a Channel of Your Peace before enjoying snacks and discussion. It was, and is, our hope that the heavenly message “Peace Starts with Me” will continue to live and grow.
(Translated from German by Catriona Valenta.)