Embrace the World

Setting a goal in life is similar to planting a tree. If you plant a jujube trees in the front yard of your home, you Will have jujubes in your home. If you plant apple trees on the hill behind your home, then the hill will produce apples. Think carefully about your choice of goals and where you intend to plant it. Depending on the goal you choose and where you plant it, you can become the jujube tree in Seoul or an apple tree in Africa. Or you can become a palm tree in the South Pacific. The goal you plant will bear fruit in the future. Think carefully where will be the best place for your goal to bear fruit.

When you are setting your goal, be sure to consider the entire world. Consider Africa, which continues to suffer from poverty and disease. Consider Israel and Palestine, where people continue to aim their weapons at each other and fight over matters of religion. Consider Afghanistan, where people barefly keep themselves alive by raising poppy plants used to make harmful drugs. Consider the United States, which has thrown the world's economy into a pit with its extreme greed and selfishness. Consider Indonesia, which suffers from continued earthquakes and tidal waves. Imagine yourself in the context of those countries, and think which country and which situation will be most appropriate for you. It may be that you are best suited to India, where a new religious conflict may erupt. Or it could be Rwanda, which languishes in drought and hunger.

In setting your goal, don't be so foolish as to use fact that Korea is a small country as an excuse. Depending on what you do, there is no limit to how large a country Korea can become. Its national boundaries could even disappear. If we do good work in Africa, then Africa will become our country. So think of the world as your stage in deciding what you want to do in life. If you do, you will likely find many more things to do than what you have been dreaming of until now. You have only one life to live, so use it to do something that the world needs to have done. You cannot reach the island of treasure without adventure. Please think beyond Korea, and think of the world as you stage in setting your goal.

During the 1980s, I sent many Korean university students to Japan and the United States. I wanted them to go out of Korea, where tear gas cannister were exploding almost daily, and let them see a wider world with greater variety. The frog that lives at the bottom of a well does not realize that there is a wider world outside the well.

I was thinking globally before that word even entered the Korean language. The reason I went to Japan to study was to see a wider world. The reason I had planned, before Korea was liberated, to work for the Manchuria Electric Co. in Hailar, China and learn the Chinese, Russian and Mongolian languages was to help me live as a global person. Even now, I travel by plane to many places in the world. Even if I were visit a different count±3 everyday, it would take more than six months to visit every country in the world.

People live everywhere in the world, but they all live in different circumstances. There are places where there is no water to cook rice with, while other places have too much water. Some places have no electricity, while some countries are not able to consume all the electricity that they produce. There are many examples of how something is lacking in one place but overabundant in another. The problem is there are not enough people to help equalize the distribution.

The same is true with raw materials. Some countries have an abundance of coal and iron ore stacked in piles. They don't even need to dig into the earth. All they need to do is shovel the coal and iron ore from where they are piles. Korea, however, has a critical shortage of coal and iron ore reserves. To dig out anthracite coal, we need to risk our lives to go tens of meters underground.

The same is true with technology. Africa has many places where bananas grow naturally in abundance, so people could keep from starving just by eating bananas. There is a lack, however, of the technology needed to create banana plantations and grow bananas in large quantities, and so people starve. Korea's climate is not suited for growing bananas, and yet we grow bananasi This technology in Korea could be very helpful in solving the problem of poverty in Africa. It is similar to the way that South Korean technology for planting corn has helped relieve starvation in North Korea.

The phrase "global leader" is in vogue recently in Korea. People say they want to become fluent in English and become global leaders. Becoming a global leader, however, is not a matter of a person's fluency in English. The ability to communicate in English is nothing more than a tool. A true global leader is someone who is able to embrace the world in their own bosom. A person who has no interest in the problems of the world cannot become a global leader, no matter how well he might communicate in English.

To be a global leader, a person must think of the world's problems as his own, and have a pioneering spirit to find solutions to these. A person who is attached to a secure and fixed income, or dreams of having a pension after retirement and a comfortable family life, cannot be a global leader. To become a global leader, a person must consider the whole world to be his country and all humanity to be his brothers and sisters, and not be overly concerned that he does not know what the future may hold for him.

What are siblings? Why did God give us siblings? Siblings symbolize human beings around the world. The experience of loving our brothers and sisters in the family teaches us how to love humanity and love our fellow countrymen. Our love for our own siblings expands in this way. The family whose members love each other shows us how humanity can live together in harmony. Love among siblings means that one sibling will go hungry, if necessary, so as to leave food for his brother or sister. A global leader is someone who loves humanity with a brotherly love.

It has already been a long time since we first heard the phrase, "global village.** Already, the Earth is a single community. If a person's goal in life is to graduate from university, get a job with a company that will pay him a high salary and lead a secure life, then that person will have the success of a puppy. But if he dedicates his life to helping refugees in Africa, he will have the success of a lion. Which course is chosen depends on the heart of the individual person.

I continue to travel around the world. I never have even a day's rest. The world is like a living organism in that it is always changing. New problems are always arising. I go to the dark corners of the world where these problems exist These are not the places with beautiful views or comfortable amenities, but I feel happy in places that are dark, difficult and lonely.

My hope is that Korea will produce a true global leaders. I hope to see a political leader who will lead the United Nations and a diplomatic leader who will stop the fighting in areas of conflict I hope to see someone like Mother Theresa, who will take care of those wondering on the streets and die. I hope to see a peace leader like me who will develop new areas by pioneering lands and seas that others have neglected. The starting point is to have a dream and a goal. Please have an adventurous and pioneering spirit, dream dreams that others dare not dream, set goals for yourselves that have meaning and become global leaders that will bring benefit to Humankind.