Part 2: Human Revolution
Chapter 14: “Be Good Citizens!” [14.2]

14.2 Be People Who Shine through Their Behavior

President Ikeda explains that by winning the trust of others through our behavior as human beings, we can show wonderful actual proof of the greatness of Buddhism.

President Makiguchi often used to say: “There are three kinds of people in the world—those everyone wants to have around, those whose presence or absence doesn’t make a difference, and those whose presence causes problems. Always try to be the kind of person that others want to have around, both in your home and your workplace.”

Becoming people who are trusted, respected, and liked by all—indispensable people who are needed at home, at work, and in our community—is the way to show the validity of our Buddhist practice and advance our movement for kosen-rufu.

In a letter to his disciple Shijo Kingo, Nichiren Daishonin writes: “Live so that all the people of Kamakura will say in your praise that Nakatsukasa Saburo Saemon-no-jo [Shijo Kingo] is diligent in the service of his lord, in the service of Buddhism, and in his concern for other people” (WND-1, 851).

At the time, Shijo Kingo was facing considerable hardship. Envious colleagues had made false accusations about him to his lord, who responded by confiscating some of his estates. The Daishonin advised Shijo Kingo that instead of bemoaning his situation, he should work on developing himself and strive to grow as a human being. This, he explained, was the most genuine and noble way for a person to live and the path that a Buddhist practitioner should take.

Even if we are subjected to unfounded criticism or attack, we should remain undisturbed and keep living our lives in the right way. By doing so, we will win the praise and respect of others in the end.

It is in our behavior as human beings that the teachings of Buddhism come alive and actual proof of our Buddhist practice is revealed. Our courteous, humane conduct can be said to be an expression of correct faith.

In addition to being good practitioners of Nichiren Buddhism, I hope you will also be good neighbors, good citizens, and good members of your local community and society. May you win the praise, respect, and trust of others through such behavior. Spreading circles of bright, deep, ever-widening trust and understanding is the key to expanding our movement for kosen-rufu.

From a speech at a Rio de Janeiro representatives conference, Brazil, February 10, 1993.

The Wisdom for Creating Happiness and Peace brings together selections from President Ikeda’s works on key themes.