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Our Mission to Change Humanity

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

At the beginning of this significant year of 2020, we, the youth of the SGI-USA, made a call to action—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.

On the heels of May 3, which commemorated the 60th anniversary of our mentor’s inauguration as the third Soka Gakkai president, people around the world continued sheltering in place to slow the spread of COVID-19, a pandemic that has ravaged our world, showing no discrimination in its reach and impact. These trying times have been compacted by news that groups of people continue to be targeted for no fault of their own, due to the greed, anger and foolishness that run rampant in people’s hearts.

We remain determined to transform our anger, pain and frustration into a force to create value, and we stand in solidarity as youth of the SGI-USA to show the world that we will never accept this as our new normal. Rather, through sharing the life-affirming philosophy of Nichiren Buddhism with one person after another, we will blaze open a new path for tomorrow and make it known that another way of living is possible. We vow to create a tangible shift this year by raising future leaders of justice and peace, who will be the antidote to our country’s turmoil.

Ikeda Sensei reminds us that “those who have suffered the most will be the happiest … those who have suffered the greatest humiliation and indignity will walk proud and tall, with their heads held high. There will be new leading actors in the drama of human history. Those whom the world has oppressed the most will become those who carry the world into the future. Those who have experienced the extremes of human cruelty to fellow human beings have a historical mission to change humanity” (Sept. 12, 1997, World Tribune, p. 12).

With our mentor’s words etched into our hearts, we will prove the validity of Nichiren Buddhism and Sensei’s philosophy of humanism. In our efforts to “embrace and teach” others, we will reconstruct the existing framework of society so that the sanctity of human life underpins all.

This is our mission as Bodhisattvas of the Earth: to challenge the darkness of the times by ceaselessly engaging in dialogue with countless people and spreading our Buddhist philosophy of hope and justice. Through such decisive action, we will uproot ideas that deny the dignity of human life and thus “establish the correct teaching for the peace of the land.”

Please join us as we reaffirm our determination to change the tide of our country by breaking through our limitations, saturating our communities with the seeds of the Mystic Law and nourishing them through heartfelt dialogues and friendships with one youth after another. Together with our mentor, let’s bravely look at our reality and become the protagonists who will transform it.

As the youth of America, we will overcome the myriad sufferings plaguing society! Let’s become the ONE YOUTH to bring forth INFINITE HOPE, more than ever!

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