“The youth division is the fresh driving force for kosen-rufu in Japan and the world. In that sense, the youth members, running in the forefront of our movement, are the mentors, and the men’s and women’s division members, who are entrusting them with the future, are the disciples.”October 31, 2014, World Tribune, pp. 5, 7. —SGI President Ikeda
SGI President Ikeda once remarked how the SGI is sparkling ever more brilliantly with talented individuals, just like stars filling the sky.
He said: “There is an astronomical phenomenon known as a starburst, during which thousands or hundreds of thousands of massive stars are all born at once . . . There are also periods in the momentous advance of kosen-rufu when great numbers of capable people suddenly burst on the scene.”Ibid., p. 4.
In this Year of Advancement and Capable People and to commemorate the 60th anniversary of President Ikeda’s first visit to America to make Buddhism accessible to ordinary people beyond the borders of Japan, the SGI-USA aims to welcome 6,000 new youth, a starburst of capable people, if you will, who will usher in an era of respect for the dignity of life.
Fostering ambassadors of the future is not an easy task. In the following excerpt from volume 12 of The New Human Revolution, President Ikeda offers practical steps to fostering youth. This scene takes place in New York in May 1967.
“In fostering youth we need to entrust them with specific assignments and give them opportunities to take the lead. It is by taking responsibility and accumulating experience that people develop their talents. If we don’t provide youth with opportunities to challenge themselves, they will never grow.
“We may, however, feel compelled to step in or take over, thinking that it would be easier or more expeditious to do things ourselves rather than leave it to inexperienced youth. But leaders need to have the magnanimity to take full responsibility even if the youth make mistakes . . .
“At the same time . . . if we simply tell the youth to do this or that without guiding them, it’s as if we’re waiting for them to fail. First, we ourselves have to take action and set an example, and then we can give them the responsibility, encouraging them all the while.
“Of course, it’s important to bring any problems to their attention, as well as to set new targets for them. Above all else, however, we must give them hope and the confidence that they can definitely succeed if they put their minds to it.”The New Human Revolution, vol. 12, p. 33.
Notes [ + ]
|1.||↑||October 31, 2014, World Tribune, pp. 5, 7.|
|2.||↑||Ibid., p. 4.|
|3.||↑||The New Human Revolution, vol. 12, p. 33.|