ICUS XVI: Absolute Values and the Reassessment of the Contemporary World — Farewell Address
Sun Myung Moon
November 29, 1987
Each year as fall approaches, Mrs. Moon and I look forward to the ICUS conference with great anticipation, not only because we know the importance of these academic discussions, but because it feels like a great family reunion. At the first ICUS in 1972, our meeting was much like any other academic congress — very intellectual, but our relationship was that of colleagues. Frankly, we were all a little distant. It has been a great challenge — melting the barriers between such great minds from different disciplines, nations, and cultures. After a few years, we felt more like friends. Now, as Alvin and Tor mentioned in their opening remarks, we truly are a family. Isn’t that a great miracle?
Throughout the year, while you are all working so hard in every corner of the world, we think about you often and keep you in our prayers. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could live as one family in an ideal, peaceful world? We could transcend national boundaries and become true brothers and sisters under the same God. This is the vision of ICUS.
Now, our three days have passed all too quickly, and once again it is time to say farewell. I want to express my deepest thanks and appreciation to our new conference chairman, Dr. Alvin Weinberg, for doing such an excellent job in organizing this conference. Since Atlanta is very near our chairman’s home in Tennessee, I was thinking about serving for this final banquet a meal of hominy grits, Southern-fried chicken, and pecan pie. But Mrs. Moon is very health-conscious, and she worried that it might be too rich for our diets, so I didn’t win that discussion. Maybe Dr. Weinberg will invite us to his house for a real Southern meal. Wouldn’t you like that?
I also want to thank the two vice chairmen, Dr. Fukuda and Dr. Gerholm, as well as all committee chairmen, for making this year’s conference such a great success. Please join me in giving them all a great round of applause.
And I want to thank each of you participants for your dedicated efforts as well. In my Opening Plenary remarks, I said that “courageous pioneers are needed who, for the sake of the absolute values perspective, are willing to run risks and be bitterly persecuted.” I strongly believe you have demonstrated that you are such pioneers, and I respect each of you deeply.
In the last 16 years, ICUS has accomplished a great deal. What matters most in organizing any project is who is doing it and what is their motivation. Because I founded this project solely to fulfill God’s will, I never doubted that it would prosper. During our early years, we faced many obstacles and severe criticism. In some ways I welcomed that, because it meant that those people who were only interested in their own benefit were not attracted. Those who were willing to sacrifice themselves because they wanted to work for a noble goal have become the foundation members of ICUS. I know that God loves them in a special way.
I think we all recognize there is still much more to be done before we have fulfilled our responsibility as scholars, to lead the world to the solution of its problems. I have the deepest conviction that God will help us devise the solutions to all human problems, if we are willing to passionately invest our minds and our hearts and our strength? This is the great challenge of ICUS, and I pledge my unwavering support to you in fulfilling it.
May God bless you, your work, and your families in the coming year. I wish you a safe journey home, and I look forward to seeing all of you next year in Los Angeles. Thank you all very much.