Part 2: Human Revolution
Chapter 20: Encouragement for Youth [20.19]
20.19 Be Suns Illuminating a New World
President Ikeda offers advice to SGI-USA youth division members on life and faith.
Youth is a time full of worries and problems. Young people’s hearts are constantly vacillating. You are worried about your future, your personality, relationships, social issues, and life in general. You are confused and anxious. You are troubled by the gap between ideals and reality, and may sometimes fall into self-hatred and become consumed with insecurity and fear.
Youth is a season of emotional turmoil and suffering. This is the reality of youth, no matter what the country. In a certain sense, that’s how it should be. You are not the only ones suffering like this, and in this period of change and growth, these feelings probably can’t be helped.
The important thing is not to be impatient. You can’t attain peace of mind nor social stability all at once. It takes time.
If a plane tries to take off without taxiing down the runway and gradually building up speed, it won’t succeed. And even if it takes off, if it lacks sufficient fuel and good maintenance, it won’t stay in the air long. It may even crash.
Life and Buddhist practice are like a marathon. You may at times run out front and at times fall behind. But what matters is the final moment at the finish line.
The training you undergo in your youth is all for that final, true victory. That’s why you need to study as hard as you can now. Keep chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo and build up a reservoir of life force.
Steadily move ahead on the fundamental path of putting your faith into practice in life, in your own distinct way.
The sun rises every day. It never takes a break. If you do the same, persistently forging ahead in accord with the Mystic Law, the ultimate law of the universe, you will come to enjoy a wonderful life of complete satisfaction and fulfillment, far surpassing anything you imagined. Please be assured that this is the most certain and valuable way to spend your youth.
We are pioneers embracing this great philosophy, of which so much of humankind is still unaware. It is, therefore, extremely important to demonstrate just how wonderful Nichiren Buddhism truly is by showing actual proof of its benefit in our lives. Seeing such proof will enable people to realize the greatness and originality of this Buddhism and see that it is different from anything they have encountered before.
Nichiren Daishonin writes: “Even more valuable than reason and documentary proof is the proof of actual fact” (WND-1, 599).
Of course, you shouldn’t overreach yourselves just trying to show proof. All you need do is present an example of steadily seeking to improve and develop yourselves in the way most natural for you—in your daily lives, in your families, your workplaces, your communities, and in your character.
Just carry out your human revolution in your own way. In doing so, you will naturally come to impress others with your vitality, hope, conviction, and reassuring presence. That, in itself, will build the foundation for sharing Nichiren Buddhism with others, without any need for words.
There’s no need to rush in our efforts to share Buddhism. I feel it’s better to be strict and uphold sound standards for membership, rather than just increase our numbers.
All people have a fabulous “new world”—a yet-undiscovered-realm—within them. It is called the world of Buddhahood. But most of humanity is still not aware of its existence.
Our Buddhist practice is the effort to fully tap and activate this “new world” of Buddhahood, a realm of infinite power and potential.
Once we awaken to the world of Buddhahood within us, our lives are filled with unsurpassed joy. An entirely “new world” also opens up in our lives and in society. Communicating this to others is our mission.
From a speech at an SGI-USA youth training session, U.S.A., February 26, 1990.
The Wisdom for Creating Happiness and Peace brings together selections from President Ikeda’s works on key themes.