Part 1: Happiness; Chapter 7: Happiness for Both Ourselves and Others [7.8]
7.8 The Supreme Path of Benefiting Others
In this selection, President Ikeda emphasizes that the supreme way to work for the happiness of others is to share with them the Mystic Law.
The reality of life is that people usually cannot even help themselves, much less make their own families happy. Many political leaders and celebrities pretend to be caring and altruistic, but how many are actually dedicating their lives to the welfare of others?
Our members in the early days of our movement were virtually all poor. Most had no particular social status or higher education. But they possessed a lofty spirit. They were determined to help everyone they encountered become happy. They burned with a sense of great mission as trailblazers for humanity.
There is no nobler way of life than to be committed to helping others, to empowering them to become happy.
I will never forget the words of one of the members who pioneered the movement for kosen-rufu in Peru: “Other than my blood and my bones, what sustained me in this life was just my wish for the happiness of the people of Peru.” Those were his last words.
Mr. Toda, said:
“You can give food to the hungry and money to those in need, but you cannot distribute those things equally to all who are wanting. There is a limit to material aid. And the recipients may be glad, but they may also become dependent upon you and think they can continue to receive this support without any effort on their part. The greatest offering one can make is the offering of Buddhism. This allows people to gain fresh life force, enabling them to do their work and to become healthy again. This inner strength, like water welling up from the earth, is limitless.”
This is, indeed, the supreme path of benefiting others.
From Discussions on Youth II, published in Japanese in September 2000.
The Wisdom for Creating Happiness and Peace brings together selections from President Ikeda’s works under key themes.