We just finished our first full day here in Japan! The first couple days of our program are dedicated to a two-day Divine Principle workshop where participants can deepen their understanding of Unification Principles through lectures and discussion. Lectures were delivered by the great Nakamura-sensei who drew upon his life experience to enrich the content. He talked about God’s ideal, the Fall, and the role of the Messiah.
Participants especially enjoyed listening to his personal experiences on how he transformed his life at the age of 18 through prayer and realizations from reading the Divine Principle. He shared deeply about Jesus who made the ultimate sacrifice for humankind. And he also told us about three people who lived ordinary lives but who ended up sacrificing their lives to save other human beings.
After each lecture, the participants gathered in teams to discuss and digest the lecture’s content. It’s only the second day, but people are slowly starting to open up and share about their thoughts and lives.
At the end of the day, we had a chance to reflect on all the content and share our insights with one other.
“[The lectures clarified that we put] emphasis on family. We put the family above everything. It reassures me that this is what I believe in.” – Joshua Yamamoto
“[I learned that] the Blessing marriage is having God as the center of the true love relationship in my life. This love I have for my wife is for God and for my children. It’s not for me. No selfishness at all. It’s always offering.” – Jason Hallal
“I learned a lot. I think that when we go back to our families, we should not just bring back souvenirs and snacks from Japan but also the words and truth that we received today. Bring it back and share it with them too.” – Jose
Although it was a long day, participants gained a deeper understanding of the Divine Principle and developed deeper relationships with their teams through the team discussion time.
CARP officially landed in Japan today, June 20, safely! Participants from different communities across America, Canada and England were welcomed and greeted by a few Japanese CARP members at the airport.
Thank you to everyone for your prayers and support! There was an air of excitement among the participants as they gathered together.
After everyone arrived, we took a bus to the Isshin Education Center where we will be staying for most of our time in Japan. There was delicious curry for dinner and then a short orientation. Participants received a booklet with information and were placed into groups and took some time to get to know each other and their motivation for coming along this trip. Many are hoping for an enriching experience both inter-culturally and in their faith.
“This is my first time going anywhere outside of the United States. I’m excited, especially because I love Japan and having Japan as my first place to go is really amazing.” – Justin Jobelle
“I’m looking forward to the pilgrimages, following in True Father’s footsteps [and] connecting with the communities [in Japan and Korea].” – Jinka Kawasaki
“After six months of not being with [CARP], it feels really good to actually go on a trip with them. I feel very happy and very blessed.” – James Lo
“I think it’s really cool that most of [my team] are people that I don’t know. Even if they are from L.A., I haven’t met them, and a lot of them are from different states, so it’s really exciting to come together with a bunch of different people.” – Sarah Takhar
Stay tuned for more adventures during this two-week event!
Here in the great city of Los Angeles we are shifting kick things into high gear as we prepare for our second annual CARP Japan trip. This past Sunday, June 18, we wrapped up our second consecutive orientation.
As you already know, CARP America is planning to welcome four times the number of participants this year. For this reason, we knew it was absolutely necessary to come together to outline unifying intentions and goals for the journey ahead of us.
The gathering most appropriately began with a prayer by the PCC chapter president Takayo Hiraki, followed by some words of inspiration from our very own co-founder, Dr. Hak Ja-han Moon. Afterwards, the purpose of the Japan trip was narrowed down to five points which Jermaine Bishop elaborated for everyone in attendance.
To experience the heart of the CARP founders by revisiting the triumphant path they traveled.
To uplift our brothers and sisters serving in Japanese and Korean communities.
To embrace our future as global citizens and leaders.
To offer our support in raising awareness of the significance of reuniting North and South Korea.
To provide momentum and inspiration to those who wish to begin local CARP chapter upon their return to their local communities.
Naoko San shared a brief recap of last year’s trip and the ripple of impact our actions created since then. It is amazing what young adults can do when they stand as one, refusing to accept borders as boundaries. The schedule for this year’s trip was shared by Jennifer Pierce and then we closed out the meeting by practicing a song we plan to offer to our distant family members serving in Japan and Korea.
In my last semester of college, I took a course in Global Health Diplomacy where the professor for the course called himself the Ambassador for Health. Having studied Diplomacy and International Relations for the past four years, this didn’t seem right to me since I was aware that the US government did not have an official position for a Health Minister.
I quickly came to realize that this professor who studied in the medical field intending to become a doctor decided at some point to change course in his career plans. Instead of becoming a practitioner, this professor took his extensive knowledge of medicine and health and essentially created his own position as he became the first U.S. diplomat of ambassador rank appointed to a public health mission.
More than anything else I took away from that course a new perspective on what it means to have a career. This professor had a role in mind that he wanted to fill and he was able to achieve that through his own unique creativity. Had he followed a path so many others had paved before him, he might not have made a unique and valuable contribution.
CARP’s last but not least Unification Principle is that “we contribute to society through mastery of our unique creativity.” This is the message that college graduates (of any year) need to hear.
Passion Isn’t Enough
It’s become commonplace to offer certain pieces of advice to college students that are actually quite misleading and incomplete. “Follow your passion” is a very attractive message. But relying on passion alone will not make you happy in the end.
Consider this graph that shows the relationship between a sample of student’s passions and the available jobs in those industries. If you cannot make a living with your passion, how long will that passion keep you happy?
Even some of the most successful people today did not necessarily follow their passion and yet they are passionate about their work. In many of these cases, people took on opportunities that eventually led to their passion.
For example, Steve Jobs – a pretty successful guy – became passionate about technology after a myriad of jobs and experiences that had little to do with his career at Apple. Jobs also made a valuable contribution to society in providing people with a means for greater convenience.
It would seem that helping others and improving society especially in big problem areas can guide a fulfilling career.
Our contributions need to be unique because they need to be diverse. Diversity is at the heart of a healthy and thriving community. In a democracy, diversity in perspectives and ideas can contribute to more inclusive solutions. A company needs diversity in its workforce to succeed in a globalizing world. A campus club like CARP benefits from a diverse membership in contributing to exciting and relatable programs and events.
Finding Your Creativity
Instead of following your passion (which is a state of passivity), take control and master your unique creativity which will then lead to a passion-driven life. But before you can master anything, you need to be able to identify the thing you are mastering.
So, if you haven’t already, how do you find your unique creativity? You need to take the time to ask a number of key questions about your life experience so far.
Take out a pen and paper and start with these:
Name the top 3 peak experiences in your life. What do they have in common? What does this tell you about yourself?
What are 3 of your most proud accomplishments? What were the key elements that defined this experience – the task, the skill set you drew upon, and the nature of the impact you made?
What are 3 big problems in the world that interest you? What would you like to tell your children and grandchildren about what you accomplished in your career? How will you explain to them what career you chose?
Happiness in your career is the cross between what you love, what you’re good at, and where you can make the greatest contribution to society. For more questions around your unique contribution, read through this article by Oliver Segovia in the Harvard Business Review.
We all have our unique creativity fueled by our interests and skills (which embodies passion), but sometimes the voices of other people cloud what we might already know and believe about ourselves. This is why it’s important to think out these questions on your own.
Whether you are fixed on a career path or not, take the time to ask yourself the right questions, consider your answers, and write them down. Then, you can set aside the question of what and focus on the how.
To master your unique creativity and offer that to the world will do wonders for your career.
Takanari Sonoda shares a testimony about last year’s Japan trip which led to the start of a new CARP chapter.
“One of the biggest inspirations for wanting to establish CARP at El Camino College was because of the CARP Japan trip that I went to last summer. During the trip, I was able to experience how beautiful and alive a principled lifestyle could be. Also the testimony from the new CARP members about how the principle and CARP changed them and even saved them really touched me.
These experiences really made me want to spread principle at my college campus. I also saw how great it would be for students to have a place to keep learning, practicing, and spreading the principle in their college years. I was really lucky to have a big group of supportive friends, parents, and other community members, which helped create a spiritual foundation to establish CARP in El Camino.
We started out simply by reading the Divine Principle together once a week and discussing what we needed to do to establish a CARP club. There were many obstacles we had to face like getting paperwork done, searching for an adviser, and fulfilling certain qualifications to be officers in the club. I found myself many times facing personal problems and limitations. Despite all of the obstacles, one thing I learned throughout the process of trying to establish CARP is the importance of connecting vertically.
There were many times where I I tried to do things on my own without informing my central figures about the situation and almost always, things did not go to plan. I really felt that with my central figures’ awareness of the situation and praying for us, Heavenly Parent could set the condition to really mobilize spirit world to help us with what we needed to accomplish.
Another thing I learned was the importance of a trinity by working with my two friends, Song Yong and Kodai. If one of us couldn’t do something or show up somewhere, we were able to support each other to accomplish what needed to be done. I felt that Heavenly Parent really worked through that.
After CARP became official on campus, we organized a ‘CARP Introduction’ event. I was really nervous up to the very end, especially in the few days leading up to it. I struggled with logistical things like reserving a room for our meeting. I was in a lot of stress trying to figure it out when I thought to ask the Robotics Club if we could use their room for the event. Since I was a part of the robotics club, they agreed to let me use the room.
On the day of the ‘CARP Introduction’ event, there was still no response to the emails we sent to the people who were interested in CARP at Club Rush (where campus clubs can set up a table for recruits). I decided to text them and still there were no replies. I did not want to give up and I started to invite anyone via text and also inviting students while walking across campus.
Surprisingly, I met a lot of classmates I usually don’t bump into who said they would come! I also got a confirmation text from someone who only met us once at the beginning of the semester. I couldn’t remember what they looked like but I was excited they were coming!
In that instant, I felt extremely grateful and happy towards Heavenly Parent. Upon reflection, I see that my happiness was also Heavenly Parent’s happiness. I could see that when I was working hard, Heavenly Parent was working even harder.
As it got closer to the ‘CARP Introduction’ event, I headed towards the room to prepare and to my surprise, there were Robotics Club members there. I had thought no one was using the room since I got the permission to use it. In the end, it worked out for the better because they were willing to participate in our event, too.
During the event, CARP LA members from other campuses came to support us and our adviser was also able to come. So, it was a one big miracle! What I could take away from this whole experience is that Heavenly Parent is working hard every moment of the day and has many things prepared. However, it is up to us and our efforts to accomplish the things that Heavenly Parent has prepared for us. Every opportunity is precious.”