by Nahmdoug Kim (Westpoint Military Academy Student)
I’ve never enjoyed being in the spotlight. Often times, I found myself just standing aside and being content to simply let things unravel or wait for others to do something. It takes a good deal of courage to make a decision or some kind of impact in a group, team, or community. For me, I have to dig way down to find that courage, and there have been plenty of times when I hadn’t found it and wish I had. But if you can become comfortable with uncertainties, chaos, and the looming possibility of failure, then you will find it much easier to take that action, or stick with that decision, or do whatever it is you are trying to do. So, pushing yourself to overcome that feeling of being uncomfortable will prepare you for much dire circumstances when the decision you make really matters. This goes along with Hyun Jin Nim’s words on attitude: you have 100% control over your attitude regardless of the situation and knowing that is what makes the difference. This thought helps me through difficult times, and I think you will find it valuable too.
Jr. LTF member, Myung Thongdee shares her testimony
“During the hike I was able to see that what the leader does affects the whole team. For example, in the beginning of the hike when I had the mindset [to think of] just myself and my pain and not thinking about the team or God, I realized that my team was not energized and my teammates (especially my siblings) were angry for no reason. But as soon as I changed my attitude and was feeling energized and reminding everyone the purpose of the hike and telling everyone to think of their goals, I realized that everyone felt more energized and had more energy to go up the mountain.
So I was able to realize that the role of a leader is very important because you are the role model for that team and you are the one who sets the culture in the team whether it’s right or wrong so being a leader comes with responsibility. No matter how difficult the situation is as a team leader you have to be a good role model for your team and especially for God.”
-Myung Thongdee (17)
This year’s Junior Leadership Task Force summer workshop in Seoul, Korea hosted 14 middle and high school students from the US. The motto of this 18-day workshop was “There is no such thing as number 2, only number 1,” highlighting the culture of excellence in both internal vigor and external skill.
Jr. LTF emphasizes a particular type of leadership which is based on having a clear understanding of God’s ideals and expectations for humanity, and then putting that knowledge into action. By living in accordance to those values and principles, leaders can set a precedent for others to aspire to and follow.
“Principles are conceptual but [they] become reality manifested through those who try to live by them. That’s why I follow the importance of principles and values with the precedent that there needs to be a substantial being that actually sets the example, revealing what that looks like [and] what that means. That is leadership.”
– Hyun Jin Nim (2015.08.03)
In order to raise such leaders, the workshop provided various types of education, including Divine Principle study, study of the Korean Dream, fundraising training, military boot camp, service learning and outdoor challenge. Not only was each activity educational, but it was also relevant in the context of becoming owners of God’s dream and supporting the re-unification of the Korean peninsula. Making a determination to continue their leadership training at home, the Jr. LTF youth are now back in the States, ready to make a substantial difference in the way they think, act and treat others so that everything they do is adding to their growth.
In Rockleigh, NJ, Blessed families in New York and New Jersey held a one-day Core Values seminar titled, “Culture of Heart & Core Values,” with special guest speaker, Mr. Keith MacMurdie. About 15 participants, whose ages ranged from parents, college age, to high school students, attended. The seminar included lectures by Mr. MacMurdie and Core Values activities where participants could practice what they learned on the spot.
Core Values Fridays, an outreach initiative started in March 2015, continues now on a weekly basis, but with a new twist. Though the themes of each day were based on a rotation of the same Core Values as before, this time the uniqueness and diversity of the Seattle community showed through the dynamic of each activity as each CV Friday was led by a different community member. The activities ranged from interactive Thai Boxing to crafty Origami Mobile Making, both of which were led by parents of the participating middle/high school students. Each activity was paired with guidance on how to use a particular Core Value in a practical way. For example, the night they prepared homemade kimbap (Korean dish), the participants were encouraged to Live for the Greater Good by making rolls for their next-door neighbors and putting their utmost investment into each roll.