At the moment, it feels like the world is kind of falling apart. Violent conflict has increased throughout the world and the consequence is we can all feel divided by this. Russia’s war on Ukraine, which has already claimed tens of thousands lives, and the Israel-Hamas war with its thousands of deaths are sad proof of this and these are just a few of the 32 countries currently in conflict around the world. What is most shocking is the fact that babies and small children are among the victims because kindergartens, hospitals, and schools are also military targets. This is morally wrong, thoroughly reprehensible, and completely unacceptable. We robustly condemn these horrifying attacks in the strongest possible terms, just as we condemn all military attacks on innocent civilian populations. All of them constitute crimes against humanity. Violence has no place in this world and there is certainly no excuse that can justify these inhumane attacks. This kind of violence must end.
General Choi wrote in his Encyclopedia of Taekwon-Do that he developed Taekwon-Do to help build a better and more peaceful world. To achieve this ultimate goal, He puts a strong emphasis on moral culture and the perfection of moral behaviour through moral training. Everyone of us, as a social being, has the right to live in a free and peaceful society. By teaching the ethical, moral and spiritual values by which people can live together in harmony, we educate children and young people, those who will later form the fabric of our society, to become more peaceful people.
At many ITF events, we have commemorated the victims of wars in Europe, the Middle East and elsewhere in the world through minutes of silence and the White Card campaign initiated by Peace and Sport to invite the entire world to demonstrate their commitment to dialogue and peace through sport because there are many of them and every human life lost through senseless war is one too many. Individuals may find themselves torn with choosing a side to support throughout these conflicts, as a Taekwon-Do family we can choose to support humanity. We can stand side by side with those from different nations, race, religions and ideologies and still put humanity first. In this point we can all be unified.
The current Holiday season traditionally stands for light, hope, and also peace. The light should illuminate and indicate the path of life; hope stands for trust in a new beginning; and the desire for peace is deeply rooted. With these in mind, may we enter the new year 2024 with confidence.
I wish you and your families light, hope and peace during the Holiday season and on every other day!
With warm regards.
GM Paul Weiler