Feature

50,000 Youth!


In today’s world, many people suffer from anxiety and hopelessness in the face of the great rifts and uncertainty pervading society. Now more than ever there is an urgent need for the forces of good to come together and lead the nation toward mutual respect, understanding and peace. And this is precisely why the SGI-USA is committed with ever-increasing resolve and vigor to raising capable young people who will transform the destiny of our society.
In response to this urgent need, the youth of the SGI-USA have made a bold goal toward November 18, 2018: to gather 50,000 young agents of change who will lead the United States toward peace and humanism based on the ideals and philosophy of Nichiren Buddhism.

Why 50,000?

The SGI’s peace movement began on September 8, 1957, when second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda made his Declaration for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons, entrusting this mission to the 50,000 youth gathered that day. This one ripple became the foundation for the SGI’s efforts for nuclear abolition and peace and has since evolved into waves of dialogue, understanding and respect emanating throughout the world, spearheaded by President Ikeda.

Returning to these roots of our mission for peace, we decided to gather 50,000 youth who will generate unstoppable currents of peace and respect for life in the 21st century.

In SGI President Ikeda’s message to the September 2016 Headquarters Leaders Meeting, he spoke of the significance of the next two years:

With Soka Gakkai Foundation Day, November 18, 2018, as the next goal for the advance of the Soka family, let us joyfully scale the summit of kosen-rufu through compassionate propagation, spreading the Mystic Law even more widely.

Please promise with me to work hard over the next two years with our fellow members around the world to expand our network of Bodhisattvas of the Earth, and forge ahead with energy, wisdom and good cheer to make the triumph of mentor and disciple resound into the eternal future of the Latter Day of the Law. (October 7, 2016, World Tribune, p. 3)

With President Ikeda’s vision of 2018 in mind and in working to nurture 50,000 youth, we are determined to introduce countless young people to the SGI and help them develop faith that is never defeated by anything. In so doing, we will create an enduring flow of kosen-rufu that will be so strong and broad that it will last eternally into the future.

SGI President Ikeda encourages youth and future division members, Florence, Italy, June 1992. Photo: Seikyo Press.
SGI President Ikeda encourages youth and future division members, Florence, Italy, June 1992. Photo: Seikyo Press.

With President Ikeda’s vision of 2018 in mind and in working to nurture 50,000 youth, we are determined to introduce countless young people to the SGI and help them develop faith that is never defeated by anything. In so doing, we will create an enduring flow of kosen-rufu that will be so strong and broad that it will last eternally into the future.

Striving for Our Goals

In the process of striving for the lofty goal of raising 50,000 youth over the next two years, we will doubtlessly be faced with many challenges and obstacles. Therefore it is vital that each SGI-USA member decide how this organizational effort connects to his or her own life, considering: What is my own determination toward November 18, 2018? What are the goals I want to accomplish? What do I need to do to realize my goals?

President Ikeda encourages us in his headquarters leaders meeting message:

No matter what trials may beset us, no matter what hardships continue to assail us, we summon forth the same lionhearted spirit as [Nichiren] Daishonin and fearlessly confront them. Encouraging one another as members solidly united in purpose and steadfastly chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, we challenge ourselves to overcome one obstacle after another, changing poison into medicine. We fight with the resolve to triumph in the end with a bright smile to ensure that “ultimately delight awaits” our family, friends and loved ones as well as the place where we live. (October 7, 2016, World Tribune, p. 3)

The Chapter Is the Key to Victory

And as we strive toward November 18, 2018, each SGI-USA chapter will become the hub for nurturing and developing the youth in each locale. President Ikeda explains the significance of the chapter in The New Human Revolution as follows:

In the Soka Gakkai, however, a chapter is not just an outpost. In my opinion, for the area encompassed by the chapter and the people practicing Buddhism there, it has the same responsibility and mission as the headquarters. From the perspective of our organization on a national scale, the Soka Gakkai headquarters may be the central hub, but I hope that each of you will strive to establish and develop Buddhism in your respective communities thinking of the chapter as the headquarters in your area. (The New Human Revolution, vol. 26, p. 299)

In this sense, we hope that members in each chapter will also consider: How many determined young people do we want to develop by November 18, 2018? What is our focus and plan of action for raising these youth?

The guidance that follows highlights the significance of the chapter in the SGI.

Throughout the SGI-USA, as we set our sights on the 2018 gathering of 50,000 young Bodhisattvas of the Earth, with the chapter leaders at the helm, let’s all become stalwart champions of kosen-rufu in our communities!

(pp. 10–11)

 

More in Feature:

The Chapter is the Key to Victory

 What Is Your Chapter’s Determination Toward
The Gathering Of 50,000 Youth In 2018?