One Youth. Infinite Hope.
One person awakening to their buddhahood can change the world—introducing the SGI-USA’s new, hope-filled focus.
by Olivia Saito, Maya Gunaseharan and Ryo Kuroki
SGI-USA Youth Leaders
Message from the SGI-USA youth leaders
This is a call to action from the youth of America. It is a cry from the depths of our beings to call forth and raise a new generation of peacemakers who have both the philosophy and means to transform our country from the inside out.
This year, 2020, marks the 60th anniversary of SGI President Ikeda’s first visit to America, his launching point for the worldwide spread of Nichiren Buddhism. In 1990, he cited the book The Cycles of American History by Dr.
Arthur M. Schlesinger, who discusses the theory that America returns to its founding ideals every 30 years. This was evident in the 1930s and 1960s, with President Roosevelt’s New Deal and the American Civil Rights Movement. Furthermore, the 1990s marked a monumental shift in the SGI-USA’s history, in which we returned to the foundations of faith, the Gohonzon, Nichiren Daishonin’s writings and President Ikeda as our eternal mentor of kosen-rufu.
Now, 30 years later, the youth of America are resolved to create another tangible shift. How so? By welcoming 6,000 young people to the SGI-USA this year. These future leaders of justice and peace will be the antidote to our country’s turmoil—from gun violence and climate catastrophe to anxiety, suicide and the opioid crisis.
We may sometimes feel powerless as a single individual to effect change in the world. Our Buddhist practice, however, teaches us that “one is the mother of ten thousand” (“A Sage and an Unenlightened Man,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 131). Everything starts from one inspired person, determined to make a difference. When all the members of the SGI-USA stand up with the resolve to help one youth rise up with this same mission and awareness, we will undoubtedly create a tidal wave of hope throughout our country and the world.
The one youth we introduce will not only gain infinite hope in their own life but will also be the source of infinite hope for their family, community and society. One person awakening to their Buddhahood can change the world. It is just as Sensei declares:
The body and mind of a single person can create waves of change throughout their families, circle of friends, workplaces, community and even their nation. Everything begins with one person; change begins with one person; and a path is forged by one person. Waves are set in motion when we meet with one person, speak with that one person and take action together with them . . . It has become increasingly crucial to treasure each youth. And that youth we cherish will go on to inspire another, setting off a chain reaction of youth calling forth more youth.(tentative translation, January 28, 2020, Seikyo Shimbun)
We have a responsibility for the sake of humanity to stand up in this significant year. Let’s not be bystanders of history. Let’s be active participants by giving infinite hope to one young person.
This year, we are resolved to break through our own limitations, saturate our communities with the seeds of the Mystic Law and nourish them through heartfelt dialogues and friendships with one youth after another. What greater way is there for us to express our appreciation to our mentor in this 60th year of worldwide kosen-rufu?!
Will you join us?