The final month of 2016 is drawing to a close. Not only are we gearing to tally up the amount of money we spent over the holidays, but also the amount of memories we accumulated this year. The good, the bad, the ugly. Whether we have hit our goal marks for 2016 or not, it is always good practice to reflect and redetermine to be better next year.
CARP President, Naokimi Ushiroda, has over 10 years of leadership development and goal-setting experience personally and in training others. According to him, a prerequisite to setting new goals is to first reflect on the past year’s accomplishments and failures or to make the “complete offering”.
The reason it’s called a complete offering is because it is important to claim your victories throughout the year, but it’s just as important to acknowledge your failures. A third point is to identify the lessons learned from both, your victories and your failures. That’s where the complete offering is made.
1. Claim Your Victories
It’s very easy for time and experience to pass by and to be forgotten. If you don’t take the time to remember and claim what went well, then no one will. And as time goes on, the experiences and emotions are very easily lost. So it’s very important that we take a few moments after any period of time, whether it be at the end of a year, a month, even a week or a semester, to reflect on and claim our victories.
The word “claim” is crucial here because it is a conscious effort on someone’s part to say “this is something that I am proud of” or “I’m happy that this happened”. This way you claim an experience as a victory or achievement for yourself. This is aso a way to celebrate progress for yourself – your own developments – as a mechanism by which to continuously encourage yourself.
2. Acknowledge Your Failures
In preparation for anything new, it’s really important to acknowledge what didn’t go well. Otherwise, what happens instead is that like having a subtle break on when you are trying to drive (or without noticing there’s a hand break), you’re trying to push but it’s not going as fast you would like. If you don’t acknowledge your failures, you will ask yourself “why would it work if it didn’t work last time?”
This holds you back from entering into any new engagements based on past failures that were never acknowledged. Take the time to clear out anything you felt you failed at or that you regretted just by acknowledging that it happened. This is the first step in letting that failure go.
3. Identify Lessons Learned
From a mastery perspective, this step is about constantly growing yourself. More important than the achievements or even the failures is the learning process and recognizing potential areas of growth. Taking the time to identify the main takeaways or lessons learned based on your victories and failures.
This is particularly important to apply to the failures. Oftentimes, there is more you can learn from your failures than your victories. If you’re able to reflect a few moments on lessons learned from a failure, it actually no longer stands as a failure. This used-to-be failure is now transformed into an investment for your future success.
This final step of identifying takeaways and lessons learned from your failures, is what transforms your victories and failures into a complete offering. That’s the best way to wrap up any time period where you can actually appreciate your failures.
This 3-step process of claiming your victories, acknowledging your failures, and identifying lessons learned will guide you to truly make a complete offering out of this past year. An offering is something that is given without any strings (resentments, worries, regrets, etc.) so making a complete offering is important in having closure and in being present for what the new year has to offer.
We suggest that you complete this 3-step process individually by writing these down on paper with three sections. Then, share within your family as a meaningful way to end the year together. As a spiritual practice, families can also offer the year to God, our Heavenly Parent, and pray for a bright new year ahead.
In honor of this week’s anniversary for the fall of communism, today’s Throwback Thursday is a testimony from a CARP University of Washington alumnus, Dr. David Burgess.
“In 1980 I was working in CARP on the Ohio State University campus. I had joined CARP the summer before after working in the Unification Movement since 1977. Once, I was talking with a graduate student on High Street next to campus about the dangers of communism.
It was a dangerous time. In 1979, the Soviet Union had invaded Afghanistan and much of the underdeveloped world seemed like it was in danger of being taken over by the communists. After a few minutes, the student looked at me and said, ‘You don’t know anything about Marxism.’
Although we had studied some Victory over Communism ideology, I had to admit, at least to myself, that he was right. Right there I decided to do something about that. Shortly thereafter, our director, Henri Schauffler, asked if I wanted to become a CARP student at Michigan State. I jumped at the chance.
University of Washington CARP
After I started studying Russian, I found that the University of Washington had one of the best programs in the nation so I moved to Seattle and we started a CARP program there. At first I was the only student, but more came and we had some cool programs on campus.
We hosted Lee Shapiro who showed his film about the Miskito Indians and the terrible treatment they received at the hands of the Sandinista government. Russell Means, the famous Oglala Lakota activist and former National Director of the American Indian Movement (AIM), also came and spoke to about 500 people about his experiences in AIM and also how many people turned on him when he stood with the Miskitos against the Sandinistas.
We also hosted Eldridge Cleaver, former leader in the Black Panther Party. Eldridge fled the country after leading an ambush that wounded two Oakland police officers. He lived in exile in Cuba and also traveled to North Korea to meet Kim Il Sung. He told me that Kim Il Sung’s wife named his second child. After seeing the reality of communism, he converted to Christianity and returned home to the U.S. and worked with CARP in the Bay Area and traveled to speak about what he saw.
After finishing my Bachelor’s degree at U. W. in Comparative Literature and Political Science, I began a Master’s’ degree program in the International Studies program in Russian Studies. We were teaching CAUSA at that time and I participated in several programs, including teaching some of the lectures to a group of legislators in Sun Valley, Idaho. Then we got the exciting news of the World Media Conference in Moscow. I had met with two delegations of Soviet journalists who Larry Moffit and his team had brought to the U. S., one in Seattle, the other in the Bay Area.
March to Moscow
By this time my Russian was pretty good, so I was invited to join the conference team for the conference in Moscow in the spring of 1990. I was the liaison to the Izvestia staff, the Soviet news agency that was the co-sponsor of the conference. So many amazing things happened.
Father Moon gave the keynote speech. I wondered what advice he would give to the assembled journalists and world leaders. He spoke primarily about Adam and Eve and how God had worked since that time to restore what was lost. I reflected later that it was the message he had come to the world to give and he would waste no opportunity to give it.
Father Moon giving the keynote speech at the 11th World Media Conference in April, 1990.
We were all on edge during the program about the proposed meeting with Secretary General Mikhail Gorbachev. It was uncertain even up to the last minute, but then suddenly things lined up and the meeting took place. It was a significant moment in God’s history as the mission to Moscow was finally fulfilled. A year later the failed coup against Gorbachev took place, communism collapsed, and we all celebrated – but my graduate studies in Marxism were a casualty of the collapse. It’s a price I was glad to pay.
Afterwards, I changed my focus to Russian literature and culture and got a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature. As I was preparing to search for a teaching position, God intervened in a powerful way. I was praying when I felt overcome by the power of the spirit and God asked me to leave my work behind and take an as yet undefined mission.
I was appointed the Northwest Regional Director of AFC, a position I held for eight years. After our AFC mission ended, our team members continued to meet and talk about how we could continue the mission. A small group of us began an organization called Origins Partnership. Our goal was to engage younger Unificationists in a way that we could pass on our experiences with True Parents. In 2015, we conducted two mentoring programs that we called Project Fusion – one in Barrytown, another in Pasadena.
Then, in January of this year, we met in the home of Judge Mark and Lucia Anderson in Mesa, AZ and gave birth to Project Phoenix. Seven elder Unificationists met with seven younger Unificationist leaders to plan a program. We recognized that our perspectives about what the program should be were quite different, and as we shared with each other and really listened, we soon understood that the program we needed to create was one that would allow us to replicate for a larger group what we experienced in the Anderson’s living room.
Two months later, we conducted a program for 120 at the International Peace Education Center in Las Vegas. Participants included Akira Watanabe and the students from CARP Las Vegas. In July we conducted another program for around 60 people at East Garden.
Project Phoenix in Las Vegas.
Our belief, and our experience, is that the most amazing people in the world are right here in our midst and that if we simply listen, allow those amazing people to share what they have to share and unleash their creative genius, there is nothing we cannot do or accomplish. We are planning more Project Phoenix programs for 2017.
In a way, for me Project Phoenix represents coming full circle in my life. As a young member who joined CARP in 1979 and worked with Tiger Park and who helped to start CARP chapters in places like University of Michigan, Michigan State, and later at the University of Washington, I experienced first-hand the impact a person can have.
Tiger Park and Mrs. Park with members in Colorado in 1981.
Tiger believed in us. He would drive all day from city to city to visit our centers to inspire us, share his heart with us, and ultimately to help us realize our potential. He would roll out his sleeping bag in the brothers’ room, and chafed at the idea that he should be treated as someone special.
But he was special, and we came to realize it in the way that he treated us. He shared his experiences of pioneering in the Korean countryside, starting a school in the village where he worked to educate the children, and how God had inspired him through his own mind. But most of all, he shared how Father Moon was really his father.
We all owe him a great deal and we would have run through walls for him. We still miss him. Our lives were “light, bright and exciting.” That was the culture that he inspired and even though our lives were frequently quite challenging, we could do it because of the culture that he infused into CARP. That is the culture that inspired CARP when I was young and one that inspire people today as well.
Dr. Burgess with his wife and two kids in Seattle, Washington where they live.
Here’s a student highlight story on Jungseuk Yoo from CARP Buffalo.
Meet Jung, an optimistic, friendly guy and a constant learner who just started a CARP chapter on his campus at the State University of New York at Buffalo. A junior studying Psychology, Jung is passionate about people and how people think and is always working to expand his understanding on the subject.
As someone born and raised in the Unificationist faith, Jung was always inspired by the founders’ words and ideals about the world especially the ideal of one global family under God. Upon entering his third year of university, Jung set out to find a platform by which he could share this ideal with his fellow university students.
“CARP is an organization that focuses on helping people to mature. I wanted to have something in place to help college students mature and do better for their future.”
After engaging with CARP for the first time at a STEP UP workshop in Las Vegas last summer, Jung felt guided by CARP and decided to start up CARP Buffalo on his campus.
So, What’s the Motivation?
Jung has two distinct motivations for starting up a CARP chapter on his campus.
One, Jung wants to create a space for people to give and receive love. His experience growing up in the Unificationist faith with Unification Principleswas a positive one as he recalls a loving and nurturing environment.
“Living my entire life in this community, the focus was always on loving each other. My motivation now is to help college students to receive that same kind of love.”
In a world that doesn’t easily love, Jung wants to build something that can transmit his experience of unconditional love to others around him.
Jung participated in the Unificationist Marriage ceremony (the Blessing) last March 2016, a tradition of eternal love.
Two, Jung wants to leave a legacy. In thinking beyond his stay at the University at Buffalo, Jung envisions leaving behind a successful club that will be able to guide future students.
“Upon graduation from college, I want to leave something behind where future college students can continue to mature themselves. CARP is a good platform because it’s something that anyone can be part of to gain something and learn about the idea of maturity.”
Jung’s legacy would be that of growing the CARP mission “to inspire and empower students to be global citizens by engaging them in the study and application of Unification Principles.” The Unification Principles are a guide to developing a holistic, mature human being with values rooted in loving others and contributing to a world of peace.
Keeping the Eye on the Ball
First order of business for Jung was to find out how to register a club on campus. The form turned out to be simple enough – he just needed ten people to sign up with him and an adviser for the club.
University at Buffalo students walking on campus during fall semester.
Though Jung is someone who enjoys sharing and talking with people and had a desire to share his CARP Buffalo vision, this task still had its challenges.
“It could have taken me less time, but I hesitated a lot because of the negativity.”
In reaching out to other students and potential advisers, Jung encountered some negative feedback because of CARP’s association with the Unification Movement. Instead of throwing in the towel, Jung received every feedback, positive and negative, and worked to incorporate them into his vision for CARP Buffalo.
Some of the negative feedback expressed that CARP seemed too religious. Jung felt this narrow-minded view was limiting CARP Buffalo’s potential for connecting people.
“CARP Buffalo is not about religion. It’s about the idea of maturity – how to achieve true maturity – and connection. People want to feel connected to one another and that’s what this club has to offer.”
With the help of the CARP coaching program, Jung set a weekly goal to talk to at least three people about his CARP Buffalo vision and to hear their thoughts. In the end, Jung found ten students willing to join and a professor to support the club as its adviser.
Accomplishing the Attainable
Like so many of us, Jung had an inspiration. He wanted to create a space on his campus wherein students could connect around the unifying principle of wanting to become the best versions of themselves, or to put it more curtly, to mature.
With clear motivations rooted in his desire to establish something for a greater good, Jung could be open and aware of the opportunities to actualize that idea. Meeting CARP in Las Vegas was that opportunity that led him on the path of establishing his own CARP chapter. And he had CARP’s continuous support in the form of coaching to accomplish this realistic goal.
Jung’s hard work in establishing the club started to come to fruition as he organized CARP Buffalo’s first meeting earlier this December. There, he encountered enthusiasm from the participants as he explained CARP Buffalo’s vision and how it plans to engage the student body next semester.
Jung and CARP Buffalo members enjoying Korean melona ice cream after their meeting.
“It feels great!”
Yes, it feels great to work for something you believe in and to accomplish a long-standing goal. With personal grit and community support (from friends and CARP HQ), Jung accomplished not the unimaginable and inconceivable, but in fact, a very realistic, attainable goal.
CARP is inspired by Jung’s dedication to his goals and encourage him to continue to strive for bigger and greater things in his studies and in his interaction with people in his CARP chapter.
Contributed by Dr. Robert Beebe in preparation for the upcoming ‘Culture Wars’ 2-day workshop on January 14-15, 2017 at East Garden. Read about the first Culture Wars event that took place last September in Clifton, NJ.
As a ‘youngish’ member of the Unification Movement in the midst of the Cold War in the 1980s, I became involved in the CAUSA project. This project brought together clergy, educators and political figures, to study a “Critique and Counterproposal to Marxist Ideology” which held sway at that time on college campuses throughout America.
At the same time, CARP was actively involved in confronting leftist agitators who sought to undermine America’s fight against communism throughout the world. Rather than being simply anti-communist, CAUSA offered a Principled perspective known as “Godism” or “Headwing Thought.”
This perspective addressed the underlying issues that made communism attractive to many people while also demonstrating communism’s inability to fundamentally solve these issues. It then went on to present a God-centered approach that dealt more fundamentally with these problems. Perhaps not coincidentally, the Cold War came to an end with the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.
Today’s Challenge: the Culture Wars
Today we face an ideological conflict just as severe. The expression culture wars was coined by James Davison Hunter in 1991 in his publication, Culture Wars: The Struggle to Define America. America again has become a battleground where a “progressive” secular humanist view of life is in conflict with a God-centered, faith-based view of life.
Our recent presidential election was in part a reflection of this divide, which seems to be growing year-by-year. A unifying perspective is desperately needed.
Rev. Sun Myung Moon anticipated this situation in his speeches, such as his address at the 20th anniversary of the Washington Times in 2002:
…The mission of The Washington Times, however, was not finished with the end of the Cold War. The fall of communism did not automatically lead to world peace, nor did it mean that the ideal society that God desires would establish itself without any further effort on our part. Accordingly, during The Washington Times’ second decade (1992-2002) it had to rise to a new challenge – that of the “Cultural War,” or the fight against the degradation of values.
God desired that America maintain its traditional family and moral values, which had fallen into confusion. Secular humanism and extreme individualism and selfishness were on the rise. As a result, money and material goods have become “gods” to people in terms of their values. This has led to the decline of religion and the rise of secular humanism, which have led to the breakdown of families and raised juvenile delinquency…
Thus, ten years ago, at the 10th anniversary celebration for The Times, I defined another mission for the media. This is the need for media to promote ethics and moral values in our society. For its second ten years, I envisioned for The Washington Times the task of contributing to bringing about a moral society.
The culture wars are in essence a spiritual, moral battle, a “fight against the degradation of values.” It is no accident that this has been accompanied by an attack on religion, Christianity in particular. Christians who stand for traditional values, such as marriage defined between a man and a woman, are being characterized as bigots and hate-mongers.
There is a concerted effort to force people to go against their deeply-held beliefs, or face dire consequences. Bakers, florists, photographers, and others, have had to face stiff fines, sometimes in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, and have even gone out of business for refusing to service same-sex weddings.
Today’s culture wars are an extension of a trend over the last several hundred years as outlined in the Divine Principle in which Cain and Abel views of life developed and manifested themselves in the spheres of philosophy, politics, and economics. The Divine Principle itself, written as it was during the Cold War period, identifies communism as but the latest expression of the Cain-type view of life.
The effective demise of communism may have ended the Cold War; however, the secular forces which led to its advent have not. These forces find their root in the Cain-type view of life: perpetuated by resentment, anger, envy, hurt feelings, and rebellion against God. It began, as it did with Cain and the archangel Lucifer before him, with a feeling of lack of love.
The Essence of the Culture Wars
The mantras of the Left — gay rights, marriage equality, gender identity, reproductive rights — all arise out of a desire to find the happiness that its proponents perceive have been denied them by the dominant Christian culture.
To the Left, sincerely held religious beliefs on matters of sexuality, childbearing, and marriage are in reality simply manifestations of discrimination towards those who feel and act differently. The church must change its views to accommodate the “new” morality rather than leftist individuals change their lifestyles to accord with traditional religious beliefs.
In the culture wars, as it was with the Cold War, there is no middle ground. The West’s attempt at coexistence, as seen by the failure of détente in the 1970s, went nowhere because in the end, communism was not interested in compromise. Its goal was world domination.
Similarly, in the culture wars, the Left has shown no interest in accommodating the beliefs and values of Christians. Its goal is a complete subjugation of what it regards as an antiquated worldview.
Wherein lies the resolution to this conflict? The outcome of the Cold War offers us a clue.
Communism finally collapsed of its own accord when the masses living under its system realized that the propaganda they had been subjected to throughout their lives would never deliver on its promise of a workers’ paradise.
Rather they began to long for what the West offered in terms of individual freedoms and material wealth. Despite its issues, the West had already achieved what the communist system could only continue to promise.
Winning the Culture Wars
The culture wars cannot be won by mere intellectual arguments alone. Pointing out the wrongs of communism was never sufficient to bring about its downfall. It fell because the West offered something more attractive.
Supporters of the causes celebrated by the Left will never be won over by more convincing arguments, especially not by those rooted in religious beliefs. Only by realizing that the driving force of these causes are resentments and anger rooted in feelings of lack of love can we begin to understand the path to a lasting resolution.
We best convince advocates and practitioners of this new morality’s deception not by standing defiantly against it but by demonstrating a better path to the happiness that everyone seeks.
Building loving marriages as the basis for happy families and healthy children creates an attractive alternative that over time will draw people out of lifestyles that ultimately do not lead to the promised land of true and lasting happiness.
But more can and should be done. As Rev. Moon always spoke about, we must practice true love and live for the sake of others. As Jesus said, we mustlove our enemies and pray for those who persecute you, as we must expect those on the other side of the cultural divide will do for a long time to come.
This is not naïve idealism. The success of the civil rights movement in transforming racist attitudes in the 1960s was largely due to its adherents practicing forgiving love in the face of sometimes vicious attacks.
“Love trumps hate” is one mantra of the Left with which we can agree.
On October 3rd, 2016, CARP Malaysia organized a “Pure Love Community Service Project” with the theme, Living In the Hearts of our Grandparents at the Machap Old Folks House. There was a total of 31 volunteers including young people, parents, guests, and missionaries. Some people also brought along their entire family to join in this service project creating a nice, warm atmosphere.
Poster used by CARP Malaysia to promote their service project
The main purpose of this service project was to serve and bring joy to the elderly in the community. There were many other possible projects, but this service project with the elderly was chosen because it would give those involved a chance to grow their capacity to love and serve people who are like their very own grandparents. Many times, we live far away from our own grandparents but don’t realize that we have many other “grandparents” around us. This project was a good opportunity to build upon those relationships.
CARP Malaysia members posing with the elderly of Machap Old Folks House
This was a great project but it was not without its challenges. We were challenged by the generation gap, cultural shock and difference in mind-set. The volunteers, however, took those difficulties very graciously and did their best to overcome them. They tried to invest fully in loving the elderly and uniting as one.
The volunteers brought a smile on every face with their energetic cultural performances showcasing their talents in dancing and singing. Many of the elderly clapped along and were deeply moved by the performances.
They said, “You are the first ones to do this for us. We have never experienced anything like this before. We are so happy. You moved our hearts deeply.”
The volunteers also massaged their “grandparents” and cleaned the Old Folks House.
CARP member massaging an elderly person
It was a good experience for the participants to put into action the phrase they had so often heard, “live for the sake of others.” They found that true happiness came from serving others and making others happy.
CARP members take time to talk and connect with the elderly
CARP Malaysia is already preparing its next service project; going to the underprivileged children’s homes to bring joy to their younger brothers and sisters.
Thank you CARP Malaysia for spreading joy and love to your community!