Transmitting Faith From One Generation to the Next
Future Division and Parents Group
by SGI-USA Future Division and Parents Group leaders
Future division is synonymous with successorship. Our efforts to foster these young successors is, therefore, indispensable in spreading the Mystic Law for the peace of the land.
At the March 2021 SGI-USA Central Executive Conference, we announced a future division and parents group initiative through the rest of this year to conduct:
• 10,000 visits to future division members (those in elementary, junior high and high schools); and
• 10,000 visits to parents/ legal guardians (those who have children in the future division).
The spirit behind these virtual or socially distanced visits, called “hangouts,” is to respond to the SGI-USA’s determination toward 2030, the Soka Gakkai’s 100th anniversary—to have a membership of 75,000 future division members. To make this a reality, we feel that these one-to-one, heartfelt interactions must be at the forefront of our activities.
Ikeda Sensei explains: “Kosen-rufu extends ‘horizontally’ through growing networks of friends and ‘vertically’ through the transmission of faith from parent to child, from one generation to the next. The only way forward is to entrust the future to the younger generation” (January 2021 Living Buddhism, p. 20).
With our sights set on 2030, let’s visit as many future division members and parents/legal guardians as a means to solidify the foundation of kosen-rufu in America and ensure that successors from our current future division membership inherit the baton of this mission as genuine disciples of Sensei.
Visit sgi-usa.org/hangouts/ to enter “hangouts” and track the current status of the campaign!
Voices From Future Division Leaders
New York Zone
Young Women’s Leader
One guest I’ve been visiting who’s a freshman in high school was really struggling with her friend group ignoring her. We started talking about friendships, college and the future, and frequently read Ikeda Sensei’s book Discussions On Youth, which she loves. Another future division member shared her own experience of overcoming friendship struggles through chanting, which encouraged this guest.
Recently, she had to go back to school and was afraid of being alone, especially at lunch time. I expressed that she has a mission as a Bodhisattva of the Earth, and I kept checking in with her that week. Then she told me that she had chanted Nam-myoho-renge-kyo for 15 minutes and felt a new sense of hope! She said: “I am not worried anymore that my friends don’t like me. I feel so happy and know that I can make new friends.”
It’s really Nam-myoho-renge-kyo and these friendships in faith that can help junior high and high school youth navigate their struggles. I’m ready to support them as an older sister.
Los Angeles Pan-Pacific Zone
Future Division Young Men’s Leader
I’ve been connecting with a high school sophomore who plays basketball. When I asked him how it’s going, he said, “All I do is find out how I can bring my team closer together.” Through visiting future division members, I’m realizing that each of them already has the qualities of a great leader. I just get to help remind them.
Our hangouts have been building trust. One high schooler is struggling with friendships, but he now reaches out to me and other young men’s leaders to talk and play games. He shares openly without concern of us judging him. Another guy sent me a text when he passed his driver’s test. I feel like I’m a big brother whose little brothers are excited to talk about their victories. We have an impact on their lives.
Every visit with future division guys reminds me that this is what we’ve got to do to ensure a future of hope.
Nile Alicia Ruff
Central Territory Future Division
Young Women’s Leader
The effort to visit future division members has renewed my faith in humanity. These young people have a profound desire to create a world where everyone can win.
Since becoming a future division leader earlier this year, I’ve been consistently visiting one young person based in Arizona. Through our visits, she’s becoming more intentionally focused on winning in her life and joining many SGI activities. Even over Zoom meetings, she has a look in her eyes that she’s trusting the Gohonzon more and more. Another future division member, in New Orleans, shared that a lot of her friends say that they don’t value their lives. She really wants to cherish them and help them value themselves. She has a very clear understanding of her mission to support others.
I want to do deep human revolution so I can support future division members no matter what and help make the world a place where each of them can enact their mission.