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L. Sandiford: Prudent Living as the Fundamental Essence of Life

Address by H.E. Sir Lloyd E. Sandiford, former Prime Minister of Barbados, at the World Assembly in Korea, December 2010

I have long been puzzled by the fundamental questions of what is the purpose of human existence, who is man, and who is woman. I have dipped into the writings of the world's philosophers and into the teachings of Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon. In the seventy-third year of my own existence, I have come up with the precept that prudent living is the fundamental essence of life.

By prudent living I mean the pursuit of a lifestyle that is satisfying and beneficial to each man, woman, and child, and to the family, community, nation, humanity in general, and the environment. Prudent living begins with the belief that all things and all creatures primordially were created by the Divine One whom we call the creator God, the natura naturans.

Prudent living also encompasses the belief that the character, true nature, and attributes of the Creator God inherently and transcendentally include the untainted virtues of moral excellence of love, peace, sincerity, kindness, considerateness, generosity, benevolence, goodness, omnipotence, omniscience, immutability, justice, truth, wisdom, forbearance, forgiveness, omnipresence, patience, and mercy.

In the words of the Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon, the essence of human existence is living for the sake of others. I put it this way, if I may be permitted to quote myself in a 1991 spring Commencement Ceremony at Pennsylvania State University, USA, with respect to prudent living:

  1. Go for regular medical check-ups and screening test as the best preventive measure against the most feared diseases;
  2. Choose food that is nutritious, balanced and adequate in both quality and quantity;
  3. Stop smoking, if you do;
  4. Take only moderate quantities of alcohol, if you have to;
  5. Refrain from illicit drugs;
  6. Adopt safe sexual practices;
  7. Avoid situations which cause undue stress to body, mind and emotions;
  8. Develop sound, harmonious and helpful relationships in family and group life;
  9. Opt for a philosophy of life that is based on a value system which emphasizes pride in one's self and one's identity, respect and consideration for others, fair play, honesty,integrity, truth, love and acknowledgement of the Divine.

But how do we operationalize the precepts of prudent living in our daily lives? Since 1988 I have been deeply impressed with the efficacy of the words of the 1945 UNESCO Constitution: "Since wars begin in the minds of men, it is the minds of men that the defenses of peace must be constructed."

Why would one nation seek the patrol boat of another nation, with consequential loss of life? Why would one nation attack another nation seemingly without provocation? These happenings will occur, and continue to occur unless we can get at the root causes of conflict among people and among nations.

Love and peace are at the heart of the solution, and the characteristics of love and peace have to be inculcated in the human heart among the peoples of all nations, and particularly where the conditions for conflict are extant.

As a diplomat, I am committed to a process of seeking peaceful solutions to conflict, providing education and housing, and enhancing the culture and opportunities of people.

I exhort you all to work together with UPF to attain these goals!