March Youth Discussion FAQ Meetings
by Olivia Saito, Maya Gunaseharan and Ryo Kuroki
SGI-USA Youth Leaders
Thank you all for your incredible efforts so far in this Year of Advancement and Capable People! In March, we will continue our shakubuku focus while gathering for our most important March Youth Discussion Meetings.
Across the country from March 7–15, youth division members and guests will participate in these chapter-level discussion meetings themed “One Youth. Infinite Hope.”
The prevailing feeling among the youth of today is one of hopelessness and powerlessness. Our aim is to empower young people to feel that they can transform their circumstances, make a difference and be a source of hope and inspiration for their family, community and society at large.
At our July Youth Discussion Meetings last year, we welcomed more than 17,000 youth, and almost half were guests. Through the process of reaching out to as many youth as possible toward those meetings, over 26,000 life-to-life dialogues took place!
The feedback we received from both members and guests was extremely positive, and many expressed their desire to be a part of more meetings like this, where young people can create genuine friendships and openly share their challenges and hopes for the future. Many youth, as a result of attending a 2019 July Youth Discussion Meeting, received the Gohonzon and began their Buddhist practice.
In his message to last year’s youth discussion meetings, SGI President Ikeda powerfully conveyed his expectations for the youth of America:
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 the 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)
Responding to our mentor’s call, we are determined that these gatherings will be a source of inspiration for all those who attend, and that many more young people will decide to join our wonderful SGI community as a result of attending this month’s Youth Discussion Meetings. Together, let’s make this another turning point for the youth of our country, and, ultimately, for the sake of our future.