Part 1: Happiness; Chapter 6: The Principle of “Cherry, Plum, Peach, and Damson” [6.4]

6.4 Appreciating Your Uniqueness

President Ikeda encourages an SGI-USA member who asked how to deal with his lack of self-confidence.

No one has absolute confidence in themselves. In fact, it is quite normal not to have much confidence. In many cases, people who go around bragging about their confidence are merely arrogant, always clashing with and greatly disliked by those around them. A person can be miserable with either too much or too little self-confidence.

The important thing is that all of you shine in your own way, win in your own daily endeavors, and develop your life in the way most suitable and natural for you. All you need to do is just keep on improving yourself as you steadily advance toward your goal.

After all, you are you, not someone else. There is no need for you to compare yourself with others; it’s your life. The important question is, What do you really feel and think in the depths of your being? Buddhism expounds the principle of cherry, plum, peach, and damson, each having their own unique characteristics, and the related principle of “illuminating and manifesting one’s true nature” (cf. WND-1, 746).

Cherry blossoms are cherry blossoms, and peach blossoms are peach blossoms. A cherry blossom can never become a peach blossom. Nor is there any need for it to try to do so. It would be perfectly miserable if it did. Similarly, you are none other than yourself. You can never be someone else, however much you might wish it. What matters is that you become the kind of person who can cherish, praise, and feel content with your own precious, irreplaceable life.

Chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is fundamental to this, enabling you to reveal your innate Buddhahood just as you are. Not only will chanting give you a wonderful, fundamental self-confidence, it will also adorn and dignify your life with the brilliance of your true and highest potential.

Please have absolute confidence in yourself, because you are living the noblest possible life, with a beautiful heart.

From a question-and-answer session with SGI-USA Culture Department representatives, Nagano, August 7, 1992.

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