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J. Morales: Address to World Summit 2020

Address to World Summit 2020, Seoul, Korea, February 3-8, 2020


Hope is wishing something to happen, faith is believing it will happen, and courage is making it happen. Peace... what is peace?

Good morning. It is an honor to be at this 2020 World Summit to talk about building peace with interdependence, mutual prosperity and universal values.

I thank the organizers for this privilege, especially its founder, Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon. What is (paz) peace? While (paz) peace is much more than three letters, I will use its three letters in Spanish to talk about how (paz) peace can be built. The letter p, which it begins with, we will use to talk about (padecer) suffering.

Lately I have heard a lot of about tolerance in order to achieve or maintain peace, and that is fine, but I think we can go beyond tolerance to achieve peace, I mean (padecer) suffering, that is, being willing to suffer in order to achieve peace. But the question is, how much are we willing to suffer to achieve peace? Christian teaching is clear and strong on this subject. Christianity teaches to suffer to the point of death if necessary.

I would then like to turn to the second letter of the word (paz) peace, which is a, and I will use it to speak of (amor) love. And I will speak of a love without limits, which allows me to illustrate the extent to which a man can suffer for love and build peace. For love, Jesus was willing to go to death, a death that was very severe and painful, and there is no greater sign of love than to give one's life for another.

The apostle Paul tells us that a person with love is patient and kind, because the one who loves is not envious, nor boastful, nor proud; he is not selfish, does not easily get angry and does not hold a grudge. We can find this love magnified in the words of Jesus before he died, when he implored forgiveness for those who crucified him, and said in his prayer: "Father, forgive them for they don't know what they are doing." Being able to ask for revenge or justice, he asked for forgiveness for his aggressors. I ask myself, did they really not know what they were doing? Maybe they didn't know that it was the son of God who they were crucifying, but they did know that they were crucifying an innocent man. Jesus didn't just die for the wicked; he died begging for forgiveness for those who killed him.

To build peace you have to be tolerant, but sometimes you have to love your neighbors and be willing to suffer for them and in spite of everything forgive those who offend and hurt you. We are still missing the last letter, the z, and I will use it with the word (zanjar), extract, which means to solve an issue in a definitive way; it is also "removing difficulties."

If we add to the willingness to suffer, the love that forgives all, and add to it the action of removing all that blocks us from building and maintaining peace, and we commit ourselves to bring about change in millions of people, I believe that we can speak of personal peace, national peace and world peace. But, of course, we must be willing to act and not just talk.

To illustrate what I mean, I'll tell you the story of a mouse colony. In one house there was an old cat that no longer hunted mice, so in that house a large colony of mice grew. The owner of the house realized the problem and brought in a young mouse-hunting cat. In less than a week the new cat had wiped out half of the mouse colony. The older mice called an emergency meeting and exposed the problem.

The most intelligent of all said, “I have the solution. One of us has to tie a bell around the cat's neck so that when the cat moves, the sound of the bell warns us of its proximity.” Everyone said, “Excellent idea! Will you put it on?” “No," answered the mouse that made the proposal, "I gave the idea; the biggest of us must put the bell on.

“It's not fair,” said the big one. “Even though it's true that I'm the biggest mouse, compared to the cat I'm still a mouse. Let the fastest of us put it on.” Everyone turned to the fastest one, but the fastest one immediately said, “It's not fair, because compared to the speed of that cat I am slow; I wouldn't dare. Let's leave it in the hands of the bravest of us.”

They all turned to see the bravest mouse, but this one said to them, “Just a minute! I am brave but not stupid. That is suicide. I will not do it.” So, one by one they took a step back, and nobody dared to put the bell on the cat. The end of the story you already know: The cat killed all the mice.

The moral or teaching of this story is that no matter how good the ideas are, if there is no bravery and courage to carry them out, everything will remain in words or ideas and the end will be tragic.To talk about building peace, besides being willing to (amor) love to the point of (padecer) suffering and (zanjar) extract every bad thing, you have to have the courage to do what others only dare to talk about.

That is why I take the liberty of congratulating the founders of UPF because they are doing what others only talk about. They are investing their resources so that world leaders can talk but also do our part.

I would like to say good-bye and thank-you to UPF for inviting me to participate in this World Summit that brings together the leaders of 170 countries from the five continents. I have traveled from Guatemala accompanied by my wife, Patricia Marroquin de Morales, and national leaders to tell you all that it is possible to bequeath a better world for future generations, if we all do our part.

Dr. Moon, thank you for your example and courage at the head of UPF. And to all of you, my best wishes for the prosperity of your families and nations. Thank you very much. God bless you.



To go to the World Summit 2020 Schedule page, click here.