Expressing Our Appreciation on This Significant May 3
Message of appreciation From SGI-USA General Director Adin Strauss
Greetings to everyone on May 3—Soka Gakkai Mother’s Day, and inauguration day for second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda and SGI President Daisaku Ikeda—a day of advancement and fresh starts.
We have tremendous fortune to be alive at this significant juncture and fulfill our unique, irreplaceable missions in the eternal campaign of kosen-rufu—fundamentally elevating the life state of all people and transforming the destiny of our planet.
Because of your efforts and sincere financial contributions, the SGI-USA has continued our steady development. Thank you for everything you do.
I would also like to extend a special thank you and welcome to all the members who will be participating in the SGI-USA contribution activity for the first time this year.
“Each year, I view the May Contribution Activity as a personal commitment to express my appreciation through financial offerings.”
When I was introduced to the practice 35 years ago, I was closed off, with no real solution for the challenges of depression and illness that my family faced. Since I did not have a solution, I tried to ignore these challenges. Nichiren Daishonin declares: “We ordinary people can see neither our own eyelashes, which are so close, nor the heavens in the distance. Likewise, we do not see that the Buddha exists in our own hearts” (“New Year’s Gosho,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 1137). This was me.
However, with the warm, repeated encourage-ment of seniors and friends in faith, I developed the strength to deal with these challenges and transform them.
Because of this, I am so grateful for this practice and for our Buddhist community that supports us at the crucial moment in so many inconspicuous ways. Just as Nichiren states, sometimes we cannot see our own eyelashes that are so close yet provide protection.
I am also filled with deep appreciation for President Ikeda’s tenacious efforts to spread Nichiren Buddhism worldwide, which he commenced 60 years ago from the United States. Each year, I view the May Contribution Activity as a personal commitment to express my appreciation through financial offerings.
Nichiren indicates in the same letter that “fortune comes from one’s heart and makes one worthy of respect” (WND-1, 1137). When we strive to bring out our inner fortitude for the sake of kosen-rufu, such efforts cannot fail to produce good fortune.
So let’s use this year’s May Contribution Activity to commemorate this May 3 and express appreciation for this unique and wonderful organization and all its members, and to “advance together wisely, harmoniously and joyfully, accumulating ‘treasures of the heart’ ” (January 1, 2020, World Tribune, p. 2).
From the depths of my heart, thank you again.