The Words of the Ikeno Family
Preserving the Second Generation
February 21, 2000
There are two sides to preserving second generation blessings: 1. preservation 2. prevention. By preservation, I mean how to preserve those blessing that have already been established. By prevention, I mean the education that MUST precede the blessing.
I guess I put preservation first because it is the more pressing matter. Frankly, I'm pretty lost about what can be done. But, I can shoot off a few ideas that I think might help:
1. A blessed family department specifically for second generation. There is a blessed family department, but I think it should split into the first generation and second generation wings. The issues that surround second generation are too different and too many for the first generation department to deal with. This department should develop a family/couple counseling section that is accessible to second generation newly-weds. A lot of times the second G's are blessed then left to work on their blessing alone. Natural network of have developed, but that is not enough. Many of them are struggling with the same problems, an elder first or second G should be there to consult with, one that has gone through and overcome such problems and show the struggling couples the path to the light at the end of the tunnel. (too often it feels like a never ending one...) I also mentioned that the department should be accessible...this means that department has to take the initiative to reach out to these couples. Make a newsletter, call through the list of newlyweds to see how they are doing, advertise the counseling service extensively. It is one thing to create an organization that has the potential to meet the needs of a demand, but it is another thing to let the population that needs the service know about it and encourage them to utilize it.
2. Parents should take an active but not evasive role in cultivating their children's blessings. Most second G's are not event 20 when they get blessed. They've never dated, never had experience developing and maintaining a romantic relationship. Furthermore, the expectation of females and males differ widely. I know, we are to come without expectations, but there are scripts that the society build into us as to what we should and should not do in a romantic relationship. These scripts are different for both guys and girls. Anyway, the help of parents, such as actually making a relationship with the in laws - one that seems more than a one time a year phone call helps solidify the commitment. Also, parents could have practical advice for children, be there for them, to provide anecdotes, advice or just a shoulder to let out frustrations on. I'm sure parents can recall the difficulties that they've had solidifying their blessings - to bring in a romantic atmosphere in the middle of mission - it was tough. But somehow, hopefully, they've made it, and that advice, that success is worth a lot for the second G's.
3. Make sure there are clear goals in the development of the relationship. Too many times the blessing happens, then nothing happens after that. There is some ambiguous extent ion of the second g that got blessed, but whether they notice it or not is up to the couple. There is some wisdom to family planning. Granted there should be flexibility, but at least a vague notion of years to come, where will they live, when will they start family, all the nitty-gritty stuff that sometimes get forgotten in the sweep of romanticism or lack of, should be directly addressed.
Prevention is something I would like to focus on more. There are the couples that are struggling right now, but what is making them struggle? What were they lacking before they arrived at the blessing that causes them to struggle? This is a huge area which I can't even begin to cover. It is something that they should be educated with from the time they breathed their first breath. What does it mean to be a second G? What is the value of True Family? What is the purpose of Second G as the first to be born without original sin? What is the value of the blessing?
These are only some of the questions that should be addresses, questioned, examined, and studied. Anyway, there are a few areas that I think need to be focused on in terms of education.
1. Building up the family. This is where the identity begins. This is where the heart's growth begins. If the family is shoddy, so will the child's development. It is through the family that the second G first encounters the role of True Parents in their daily lives, in their family structure, in themselves. If these concepts are not developed, the meaning of the blessing will become compromised. Actually, the family is like a witnessing ground. It is through the family, the parents , the siblings that the second G should begin studying the DP, learning how to pray, learning how to lead a life of faith. I'm sure every member has gone through such a process, the second G certainly could use some of it too. Anyway, there are a few things that I think could help the family educate the second G's = just speculations - feel free to bash them if they sound ridiculous.
A. Traditions - Hoon Dok Hae, pledge, evening service, meal prayers, regular study of DP or father's words.
B. Relationships - Parent-Parent, Parent-child, child-child. This becomes a real muscle when your child is struggling. If there are good parent child and child - child relationships, discourse of the problems can occur. Furthermore, it's the substantiation of the core of the DP.
C. Public Mission - There is always the bigger picture, and it is essential that the second G get plugged into it. We are the ones who have to "build the kingdom of heaven." It would be pointless if we had to go reinvent the wheel. How about inheriting the foundation and starting from there?
2. Building the community. Like it was mentioned, there is a whole society of junk out there, in the media, the schools, etc... Not as a shield, but as a weapon to defend the second G and break down the society, the second G community should be built up. With a strong sense of community comes responsibility, ownership and activism. If there is no community on the other hand, there is no connection. The community is the collective ripple of change. This needs a few things, especially because the second G population is growing so rapidly. Pretty soon there will be a need to take care of the third generation. There are again, a few bizarre ideas that have floated through my head now an then concerning community.
A. A central communication office - A second G office that creates a network between the different areas of second G populations, that organizes national workshops, the standard educational requirements, that provides and supports for the second G's..
B. A regional communication office - Getting down to the grass roots, to reach out to the second G one on one is very effective. This organization can get into counseling, education, and community building.
Anyway, this e-mail is getting way too long.......and it's all words and ideas, not action. I'm really happy that people are addressing this issue though, it's a pressing one, a crucial one, and one that is in my face everyday.
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