End of Year Message from Grandmaster Taejoon Lee
In the beginning of the new decade the World received a wakeup call, a reality check in the form of an unseen enemy that would alter the course of history and our lives will never be the same. During the last two years of the so-called pandemic of the Coronavirus, it revealed many aspects of our true human nature as individuals as well as the collective, of governments and our leaders, of mass media and conglomerates, of the super wealthy and the powermongers.
There have been many negative consequences as well as troubling social, economic, and political ramifications as a result of the pandemic, which I am not going to get into here. However, I want to share with you some important values, which we as humanity have realized globally because of this unfortunate circumstance.
The lockdowns were self-induced house arrest, being forced to stay home from work and school, not being able to get out of the house and socialize as prisoners in our own homes. It limited the distractions and disrupted our daily habitual behavior as automatons. Although many of our social liberties were taken away, it forced us to reexamine what is important in our lives. It made us spend more time with our families, take time to reflect and examine our lives and our goals. It made us question why we go to work in the first place. The daily activities, the mundane interactions, and ordinary relationships that we all took for granted were now all taken away and had to be readdressed.
We were faced with change, sudden erratic change that no one was prepared for. And, not only that, but we were also faced with the uncertainty of our future with glimpses of the apocalypse. Fear engulfed our lives and it manifested itself in very dark ugly ways. It ruined and destroyed many lives, not only the lives that were taken directly by the virus, but more so by the indirect consequences of fear, panic, isolation, and the confronting of our repressed demons. Many lost their battles, leaving them devoid of hope, they turned to self-destruction and lashing out toward others with violence and nihilism.
There is really no one to blame, except for our own human nature. Covid-19 was not the problem, but the dark side of our human selves. Covid was just the spark that ignited the fuel of indignity, malice, destruction, selfishness, cowardice, and hatred, burning away the fortification of reason, compassion, selflessness, and courage. It also unleashed all the vulturous stalkers who prey on the weak, feasting on the dead, callous to misery, and fattened the profiteers of suffering and misfortune.
However, amidst the flames of despair and chaos, those who were not turned to ashes rose with enlightened wisdom. They learned the value of relationships, of family, and that life was short. Life is long and arduous without loved ones and without purpose, but with others whom you love and love in return, life is too short and even a second cannot be wasted. This realization made millions of people quit their jobs, reevaluate their goals, start their own businesses from home, be content with less, minimized frivolous activities and invest more into their relationships.
Additionally, this crisis has tested our human spirit and created heroes out of ordinary men and women. As intellectuals, politicians, and billionaires hide in their ivory towers, the men and women on the frontlines as first-responders have risked and sacrificed their lives so that others may live. Their endeavors are pure as they are not motivated by money, fame, or popularity as politicians, CEOs, and billionaires, but they are just doing their jobs as best they can. Credit belongs to these men and women who have acted without selfish motives as well as the good Samaritans, the good neighbors who did not close their doors, point fingers to blame, turned on their neighbors, and shunned or rebuked others.
It was as though God gave us a slap in the face to wake up from our hysteria of greed, vanity, and narcissism, falling ever deeply into a dystopian nightmare. Of course, this is just a mild slap and only those who are ready to be awakened will see and hear the message. For many, this pandemic will only accentuate all that was self-serving, delusions of grandeur, hoarding of power and money, ramping up their vein quest for immortality.
This pandemic has been the definer and the accentuator to reveal the core of our individual pursuits as well as the ones in power, of institutions, governments, nations, and globalist powermongers. It is evident that we are living in an era where the liberty and well-being of the individual is no longer held in high regard, but instead for whatever best serves the globalist agenda.
Our Hwa Rang Do community throughout the world has also been impacted and have faced enormous challenges since the pandemic. I am proud to see that our students, instructors, and masters have remained resolute, unshaken, and united in solidarity during these critical times. I want to remind you all that we are dedicated to enhancing, bettering, maximizing, and empowering the individual so that we may be of greater service to others, strengthening our bonds of family and friendships. We must not create division, but exercise compassion and understanding while remaining firm in our convictions to our beliefs, to our creed, always honoring God.
Never succumb to the fear of death, as we will all die, and no one can control how we die but only God; worry about how you live and focus on living well. If you have lived right and live in the Truth, then there’s nothing to be afraid. There are many fears, and it is impossible to be completely fearless, but there’s one fear that will conquer all fears, the fear of God.
During the Winter Holidays, cultivate, enhance, and strengthen your relationships with family and friends by sharing yourself for they are your true treasures on Earth. Then, with the renewed strength of love and purpose, charge ahead in the New Year with the renewed elevated goal of maintaining and nurturing your treasures.
Hwarang Forever and God Bless,