The List

5 Quotes on Compassion

From SGI President Daisaku Ikeda

1. Life produces new life—surely this is consideration in its most basic form. Delving deeper into this idea, I think we can say that the earth itself is a giant living organism filled with consideration. The activity of the entire universe is essentially a function of compassion. (The Victorious Teen, p. 70)

Photo: Marc Giannavola.

2. In the Buddhist view, wisdom and compassion are intimately linked and mutually reinforcing. Compassion in Buddhism does not involve the forcible suppression of our natural emotions, our likes and dislikes. Rather, it is to realize that even those we dislike have qualities that can contribute to our lives, and can afford us the opportunity to grow in our own humanity. Further, it is the compassionate desire to find ways of contributing to the well-being of others that gives rise to limitless wisdom. (January 2017 Living Buddhism)

Dayton, Ohio. Photo: J.J. Chien.

3. When we reach out to help and support someone suffering in our immediate environment, we are taking a concrete step toward solving society’s larger problems. And by doing so, our own dreams and path forward will come into focus. Above all, we gain confidence and resolve. (

4. Both ourselves and others matter. Caring only about one’s own happiness is selfish. Claiming to care only about the happiness of others is hypocritical. Real “joy” lies in both ourselves and others becoming happy together. Second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda said: “Becoming happy yourself is no great challenge; it’s quite simple. But the essence of Nichiren Buddhism lies in helping others become happy, too.” (March 2016 Living Buddhism)

Photo: Debra Williams.

5. To overlook no one; to judge no one; to abandon no one; to have complete faith in another person and reach out to them and awaken their Buddha nature—this is the humanistic spirit of Nichiren Buddhism. (April 1, 2011, World Tribune, p. 8)

Weston, Florida. Photo: Noriko Kakusho.