The List

5 Quotes on Respecting the Dignity of Each Person's Life

From SGI President Daisaku Ikeda

1. Buddhism is a philosophy that affirms the preciousness of life. Nichiren Daishonin writes: “Life is the most precious of all treasures. . . One day of life is more valuable than all the treasures of the major world system” (“On Prolonging One’s Life Span,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 955); and “Life is the foremost of all treasures” (“The Gift of Rice,” WND-1, 1125).

We must build a society guided first and foremost by the principle of respect for the dignity of life. (January 2016 Living Buddhism, p. 36)

Photo: Masayuki Tsujimura.
Photo: Masayuki Tsujimura.

2. “We must remind ourselves that these people who are living with extreme uncertainty in desperate circumstances are our fellow human beings, no different from us. It is just that they were born in different countries and have different backgrounds and life stories.” (“The Global Solidarity of Youth: Ushering in a New Era of Hope,” Daisaku Ikeda’s 2017 Peace Proposal)

When our prayer to overcome our illness meshes with a deep sense of mission for kosen-rufu, it power- fully sets in motion the wheels of change toward a fundamental inner transformation. Weston, Fla. Photo: Mary D’Elia.
Photo: Mary D’Elia.

3. The differences between people need not act as barriers that wound, harm and drive us apart. Rather, these very differences among cultures and civilizations should be valued as manifestations of the richness of our shared creativity. (

New Orleans. Photo: Martha Manzanares.
Photo: Martha Manzanares.

4. The devilish workings of egoism inherent in human life create barriers that divide people. In contrast, the positive workings of the Buddha or our innate Buddhahood—manifesting as respect for the individual and the dignity of life—sweep away those barriers and bring people together. (The Victorious Teen, p. 120)

Photo: Bob Nardi.

5. More than anything, it is the depth and intensity of the commitment and pledge that lives in the hearts of the younger generation that will transform the world from one where nuclear weapons threaten the lives and dignity of people to one in which all people can live in peace and fully manifest their inherent dignity. (“Universal Respect for Human Dignity: The Great Path to Peace,” Daisaku Ikeda’s 2016 Peace Proposal.)

Photo: Daigo Otobe.
Photo: Daigo Otobe.