Part 1: Happiness; Chapter 6: The Principle of “Cherry, Plum, Peach, and Damson” [6.8]

6.8 Everyone Has a Noble Mission

When we base our lives on the principles of Nichiren Buddhism, we can create a diverse and harmonious world where individuality is affirmed and differences respected.

Spring is near. The plum trees have bloomed, the peach trees have flowered, and soon it will be time for the cherry trees to blossom. The English Romantic poet Shelley said: “If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?”1 No matter how long and bitter the winter may be, spring always follows. This is the law of the universe, the law of life.

The same applies to us. If we seem to be weathering an endless winter in our lives, we must not abandon hope. As long as we have hope, spring will come without fail. Spring is a time of blossoming.

Buddhism, as I have mentioned many times, teaches the principle of cherry, plum, peach, and damson (cf. OTT, 200). The cherry has its distinct beauty, the plum its delicate fragrance. The peach blossom has its lovely color, and the damson has its delightful charm. Every person has a singular mission, unique individuality, and way of living. It’s important to recognize that truth and respect it. That is the natural order of things. That is how it works in the world of flowers. There, myriad flowers bloom harmoniously in beautiful profusion.

Unfortunately, in our human world, things do not always work this way. Some find it impossible to respect those who are different, so they discriminate against them or harass and torment them. They violate their rights as individuals. This is the source of much suffering and unhappiness in the world.

All people have a right to flower, to reveal their full potential as human beings, to fulfill their mission in this world. You have this right, and so does everyone else. That is the meaning of human rights. To scorn and violate people’s human rights destroys the natural order of things. We must develop ourselves to become people who prize human rights and respect others.

From Discussions on Youth, published in Japanese in March 1999.

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

  • *1Percy Bysshe Shelley, “Ode to the West Wind,” Shelley—Selected Poetry, selected by Isabel Quigly (London: Penguin Books, 1956), p. 162.