Skip to main content


Becoming “Courageous in Faith”

Photo by Karen Adams

by Stuart Adams
26 years old
Alameda, Calif.

I was enrolled in the fire academy and working as an emergency medical technician when the coronavirus pandemic hit. With a local outbreak, I was transporting people confirmed to have or suspected of having COVID-19 on each shift.

With a grueling schedule, I often slept at the ambulance station. Every time I wanted to quit, I would chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo and think about the quote on my altar: “A sword is useless in the hands of a coward. The mighty sword of the Lotus Sutra must be wielded by one courageous in faith” (“Reply to Kyo’o,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 412).

Out of the 30 fire academies in the state, only eight completed their programs this year—ours was one of them, and I was hired as a firefighter in July! On my first shift, I fought both the Hog Fire and the Gold Fire in northeastern California.

In the future, my goal is to work in the field of international disaster management and use mutual aid and disaster preparedness to build bonds of trust among nations. I want that to be the legacy I leave in Ikeda Sensei’s name as his disciple.

Casting Off the Transient and Revealing the True

Remaining True to Our Goals