Heartbeat

Why Do You Contribute Financially to the SGI-USA?

Thoughts from the protagonists of American kosen-rufu.


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When I moved to El Paso, Texas, more than 55 years ago, I was homesick, poor and full of complaint, until I learned about the dream of American kosen-rufu. We were all poor back then, and I remember a member selling their new tennis shoes to contribute! Of course, we don’t encourage people to do this today, but this is how desperate we were to create fortune for our lives and contribute to kosen-rufu. All our efforts became wonderful memories and benefits. At 90 years old, I truly enjoy my life!

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I received the Gohonzon in 2013. After a year of practice, I had great appreciation for the SGI and President Ikeda, because the way I viewed my life had changed, and so I am determined to show my gratitude in financial contributions. Before Buddhism, I believed that I didn’t belong anywhere, but I’ve come to realize that I belong everywhere; my judgmental nature has transformed into empathy and compassion. So like all SGI activities, participating in contribution helps me expand my life.

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My mother and I started practicing in India right after my father passed away. That moment changed the trajectory of our lives. Today, I’m completing my Ph.D. in economics at a prestigious university. Just as I would do my utmost to protect and support my own home, I feel the same responsibility for my spiritual home—the SGI. It’s with this sense of appreciation that I contribute.

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This year marks the 60th year of my practice. Because of the SGI, I can continue to challenge myself and grow. As a local Many Treasures Group leader, I can’t be everywhere physically, but I can chant for us to build a movement of 50,000 youth in 2018. Chanting and making contributions—I think that’s how the Many Treasures Group members can best support. That’s our mission.