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Q: How can I be sure that I’m progressing in my human revolution?


A: There are various ways to explain what is meant by “human revolution.” The word revolution points to a revolution in how we act and behave. In terms of our daily lives, proof of our human revolution could be simply stated as becoming a better person today than we were yesterday. And, from the perspective of Nichiren Buddhism, it means developing compassion for ourselves and for others, and becoming wiser, stronger, happier and more courageous.

SGI President Ikeda once discussed seven indicators that we can check to see if we are progressing in our human revolution. They are: maintaining good health; striving with a youthful spirit; creating good fortune; cultivating wisdom; living with passion; deepening our conviction; and accomplishing one victory after another.

In the end, he emphasized that developing compassion is the vital foundation of these seven elements (see The Wisdom for Creating Happiness and Peace, Part 2, pp. 12–14).

Buddhism teaches that genuine compassion helps us extend ourselves to others and bridge the gaps between people. It is the foundation for creating harmonious unity among people, which is the aim of Buddhism. And because it can be challenging at times to genuinely feel compassion, acting with courage is often the best way to bring it forth.

What practical actions can we take to steadily progress in our human revolution? When we consistently chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo to the Gohonzon, share Buddhism with others and make efforts to advance in our daily lives, we can develop a courageous, unbeatable inner state of life.

Progressing in our human revolution comes down to our ability to bring forth and maintain the spirit of challenge. Because sometimes, despite making our best and most sincere efforts in our Buddhist practice, we may still find ourselves feeling stuck or unhappy.

At such times, President Ikeda urges: “If you tend to be easily discouraged, just refresh your determination each time that happens. People who are resolved to see problems as opportunities and keep trying again and again, forging ahead with unflagging optimism, will definitely succeed in their human revolution” (The Wisdom for Creating Happiness and Peace, Part 2, p. 8).

No matter the challenge or setback, the key is to never give up. As long as we continue to persevere in our Buddhist practice, we are certain to undergo a profound inner change and, as a result, see actual proof in our environment.

When we find the courage and compassion to help others, this commitment to the welfare of others becomes the driving force for carrying out our human revolution and transforming our lives as well as the whole of humanity.

Excerpts From Nichiren’s Writings in Volume 9