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Ushering in the Year of Advancement and Capable People!

Gerry Hall

by Olivia Saito, Ryo Kuroki, Maya Gunaseharan
SGI-USA Youth Leaders

Happy New Year’s, heroic members of the SGI-USA!

We would like to extend our heartfelt appreciation to you for all your efforts in 2019 to develop the youth and future division members, ensuring that our movement for justice, respect and the dignity of life flourishes into the far distant future.

We are also very excited to usher in 2020, the Year of Advancement and Capable People, which marks very significant milestones in our worldwide kosen-rufu movement and in society as well.

This year, we will celebrate:

• Jan. 26: the 45th anniversary of the SGI’s establishment
• May 3: the 60th anniversary of Daisaku Ikeda’s inauguration as third Soka Gakkai president
• Oct. 2: the 60th anniversary of President Ikeda’s first overseas trip to spread Buddhism worldwide, starting in the U.S.
• Nov. 18: the 90th anniversary of the Soka Gakkai’s founding

Thanks to the painstaking and determined efforts of Nichiren Daishonin, the three founding Soka Gakkai presidents, as well as the pioneering members of our movement, the great Law of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo has spread to all corners of the globe, and each of us has the opportunity to practice this Law and access its limitless power within our lives. In addition, we have a network of good friends in 192 countries and territories, where countless individuals support one another in becoming happy on a daily basis.

We are determined that, in 2020, we will vastly expand this network of compassion by welcoming 6,000 new youth division members to our harmonious SGI-USA community. By engaging in a united and wholehearted effort toward this end, we will take major strides in transforming the greed, anger and foolishness that plague our nation.

A key component in transforming the overall direction of our country is to spread the SGI’s message of hope and courage to young people. American youth today are facing a crisis of loneliness and depression that has led to tragic realities. According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, in 2017, some 32,000 young people between the ages of 15 and 34 committed suicide, which is approximately 87 per day. We are facing a mass epidemic of people who have lost all hope and sense of meaning in their lives.

Spreading our Buddhist philosophy, which teaches that each individual is infinitely precious and possesses a unique mission, is the most powerful antidote to this crisis. In his message to the SGI-USA July 2019 Youth Discussion Meetings, SGI President Ikeda stated:

My mentor, second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda, once said, “Youth are the ‘great ship’ of the people.” Amid the raging waves of these times, the responsibility of youth must always be to fearlessly grip the rudder of this great ship, and steer it in the direction that will protect all people and guide them to peace and happiness. (Aug. 2, 2019, World Tribune, p. 2)

Regardless of our age, let us all unite and stand up with the spirit of a youth and fearlessly engage in countless dialogues to spread our message of hope, courage and justice to one youth after another, and create history together with Sensei in 2020!

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