The List

4 Keys Students Should Keep in Mind

Striving for your goals will enable you to become a capable person.


NEW YORK CITY, Oct. 3—A student’s purpose is to develop into a capable person for the future. Youth must develop strength in all areas of their lives: physically, intellectually and spiritually. So encouraged SGI Vice President Yoshiki Tanigawa, who met with members of Buddhism for Global Peace, the SGI-USA campus club at Columbia University, for a Q&A on the grounds of the private, Ivy League research university based in Manhattan. Mr. Tanigawa had traveled to the U.S. last month, on behalf of SGI President Ikeda, to attend events in New York, Boston and Los Angeles, where members made a fresh departure toward Nov. 18, 2018, and the nationwide goal of gathering 50,000 youth (see the Oct. 7 and 14 editions of the World Tribune). During the hourlong session, Mr. Tanigawa, a former Soka Gakkai student division leader, acknowledged that college is a time when students face many struggles and insecurities, including uncertainties about the future. And he offered four key points for the student division members to keep in mind.


1. Hope:

Even if youth have strength and intellect, if they lack hope, they will not be able to move forward. Having hope is the greatest treasure for youth. That is why kosen-rufu is so important. It’s about taking responsibility for the happiness of others. We must become people who can help create hope for others.

Where can we find hope? It’s important to have good friends in faith—those with whom we can open our hearts and be ourselves. He also urged the youth to study Nichiren Daishonin’s writings, which will be a source of strength throughout their lives.


2. Courage:

Courage and hope go hand in hand. Courage is what gives youth the confidence to continue challenging themselves.


3. Perseverance:

Youth must learn to keep challenging themselves, even if they don’t see immediate results. Youth must cultivate perseverance so they learn to not give up.


4. Advance:

Youth must have the spirit to move forward, even a little bit, every day. If you regress even a little, then you create the causes for defeat.

Mr. Tanigawa said it’s important to focus on the task in front of you. “When you overcome a challenge, then you can confidently see a bit further,” he said. He assured the youth that engaging in this process would bring about a clear direction. “The important thing is to keep making efforts,” he said. “As long as you keep advancing with sincerity, you will see that no effort was wasted. You will eventually come to understand the meaning behind your struggles.” The SGI vice president then imparted second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda’s encouragement to the youth to dream big: “It’s perfectly all right for youth to cherish dreams that may seem almost too big. What we can achieve in a single lifetime is always but a fraction of what we would like to achieve. So if you start out with expectations that are too low, you’ll end up not accomplishing anything at all” (Discussions on Youth, pp. 21–22). Mr. Tanigawa told the youth that while not every goal may be realized, the very act of “striving for your goals will enable you to become a capable person.”

(p. 10)