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Daily Life

Kindness Equals Strength

Debra Williams

The following excerpt is from Discussions on Youth, new edition, pp. 114–15.

SGI President Ikeda: True concern for others manifests itself as unconditional friendship. To be kind means that the more someone is suffering, the more love you show that person. It gives you the courage to help another stand up. And it means recognizing another person’s unhappiness for what it is, trying to understand and share that person’s suffering. This will enable you to grow and at the same time help
the other person become strong. Kindness means training ourselves in the art of encouraging others.

The important thing is not just pitying others but understanding what they are going through. Empathy is crucial. Sometimes having someone who understands can give us the strength to go on.

Concern for others isn’t tangible. For that reason, we cannot reach another person with our kindness unless we do something that expresses it. However, people often either cannot muster the courage or are afraid of being rejected if they do extend a helping hand . . .

President Ikeda: Certainly, there’s no knowing how another will respond. Sometimes your sincere intentions will be completely rejected, or you may be laughed at or even ridiculed. But turning around and getting mad at the person you’re trying to help does nobody any good. Letting fear paralyze you is foolish, too.

What matters is what you want to do. You must have the courage to follow your instincts when it comes to helping people. Your life will expand only as much as you take action on behalf of others, regardless of how they may react toward your kindness. Kindness equals strength, so the more kind toward others you are, the stronger you will become.

The Secret to a Vigorous Old Age